September 20, 2006
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On Teaching

I'm starting Ward-Perkins recent study on The Fall Of Rome And The End Of Civilization . It sets out on a disheartening note:

I also thank the very many students at Oxford, who, over the years, have helped make my thinking clearer and more direct. The career structure and funding of universities in the UK currently strongly discourages academics and faculties from putting any investment into teaching — there are no career or financial rewards in it. This is a great pity, because, in the Humanities at least, it is the need to engage in dialogue, and to make things logical and clear, that is the primary defence against obscurantism and abstraction.

Defense against abstraction might not invariably be a good thing, but the point is well taken.

Torill is being offered a deal: money and power in exchange for not doing research.

No research, no travel for conferences, no time to write and explore, no books, no articles, no research- or writing leaves for 4 years. At least. The maximum time, if I get caught up in this, is 12 years.