Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Plagiarism and Update
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1088  Monday, 22 April 2002

[1]     From:   Graham Bradshaw <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 21 Apr 2002 01:02:25 +0900
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1085 Re: Plagiarism and Update

[2]     From:   Pat Dolan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 20 Apr 2002 21:16:01 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1085 Re: Plagiarism and Update

[3]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 21 Apr 2002 12:47:23 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1085 Re: Plagiarism and Update

[4]     From:   Richard Burt <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 21 Apr 2002 19:24:18 -0400
        Subj:   R. Posner defends plagiarism: Shakespeare did it, etc.,


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Bradshaw <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 21 Apr 2002 01:02:25 +0900
Subject: 13.1085 Re: Plagiarism and Update
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1085 Re: Plagiarism and Update

Actually, my puzzlement was genuine, and I am grateful for Annalisa's
impressive reply.

Graham Bradshaw

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pat Dolan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 20 Apr 2002 21:16:01 -0500
Subject: 13.1085 Re: Plagiarism and Update
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1085 Re: Plagiarism and Update

> I'm trying very hard to assume your question is one of
> honest lack of clarity, but this kind of attitude - that composition is
> nothing more than teaching underprepared (sorry, "stupid") kids where to
> put their commas, and that it has nothing to do with "real" scholarship
> or intelligence - bugs the hell out of me. It is a highly demanding,
> theoretically exciting field that nevertheless is mocked by more
> established fields and scholars.  What bugs me the most is that
> Composition stands in exactly the same position to the rest of academia
> that English did at beginning of the twentieth century - a supposedly
> new field considered too simplistic and practical to be of interest to
> actual scholars, relegated to underpaid part-timers, often women, who
> work twice as hard as those in cushy tenured positions and yet are told
> over and over that they aren't doing real work.

Not to mention the fact that many of the humanists that stand as our
intellectual models from the generations preceding Shakespeare's were
(among other things) composition teachers and theorists (Erasmus,
occasionally More and others, to start).

Similarly bugged, but previously silent,
Pat

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 21 Apr 2002 12:47:23 +0100
Subject: 13.1085 Re: Plagiarism and Update
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1085 Re: Plagiarism and Update

Annalisa Castaldo defends the academic discipline of composition:

> Composition is a perfectly legitimate discipline, the
> study of writing in all forms.

This can hardly be true. You don't really want us to believe that this
subject covers all literary and non-literary writing, I'm sure. Did you
mean to say 'composition and rhetoric' has this grand purview?
Composition must be the active bit of making something.

> There is a theoretical component, basic and advanced
> classes and even graduate programs and conferences.
> Perhaps you have heard of the Conference on College
> Composition and Communication, which draws thousands
> of scholars from around the world, dwarfing our own SAA
> convention?

Star Trek conventions are big too, but that alone shouldn't impress us.

> this kind of attitude - that composition is
> nothing more than teaching underprepared
> (sorry, "stupid") kids where to put their commas,
> and that it has nothing to do with "real" scholarship
> or intelligence - bugs the hell out of me.

My one semester teaching composition in an American university could
rightly be characterized as failure to help mostly stupid students write
a sentence. Apparently the ability to leap and kick had for many been
deemed worthy of a scholarship, but this blatant body fascism had to be
ameliorated with a pretence of developing their minds.

British colleagues report the same experience, and one is currently
arguing with her administration against a plan to start doing
composition over here. Her university has noticed that many students
aren't able to write correct English and they want to remedy that;
Graham's point about remedial English seems quite right. Of course, the
students should have learnt how to write before they came to university.
Recent British governments have wanted to increase university intake to
include people who previously would have been permitted to work in an
office with only A-level qualifications. Giving them university degrees
no more creates new jobs for them than 'getting on their bikes' (Norman
Tebbitt's advice the unemployed in the 1980s) did.

> What bugs me the most is that Composition
> stands in exactly the same position to the rest
> of academia that English did at beginning of
> the twentieth century - a supposedly new field
> considered too simplistic and practical to be
> of interest to actual scholars, relegated to
> underpaid part-timers, often women, who
> work twice as hard as those in cushy tenured
> positions and yet are told over and over that
> they aren't doing real work.

Actually, a survey of websites belonging to "cushy tenured" faculty on
SHAKSPER indicates that many of them are also doing it, presumably
because English departments' teaching of composition to all university
students generates the income which subsidizes the literature teaching.
One might adapt to such an uncomfortable situation, but there's no need
to delude oneself that composition is a university-level subject.
Students shouldn't leave school unable to write. Now, if you want to
make a case for rhetoric, that's a different (and vastly more
interesting) matter...

Gabriel Egan

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 21 Apr 2002 19:24:18 -0400
Subject:        R. Posner defends plagiarism: Shakespeare did it, etc.,

Article at

http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2002/04/posner.htm

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.