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RE: [Synoptic-L] Crossan on Q skepticism

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    ... If someone has a copy of Crossan & Reed s response to Sanders, I d be curious to read them. The few quotes posted on the NT Gateway Weblog are
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 5, 2005
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      At 09:52 AM 1/5/2005 -0500, John C. Poirier wrote:
      >Mark Goodacre wrote:
      >> . . . Perhaps Crossan and Reed, somewhat
      >> lazily, failed to check to see whether Sanders himself had written
      >> anything on source criticism.

      If someone has a copy of Crossan & Reed's response to Sanders,
      I'd be curious to read them. The few quotes posted on the NT
      Gateway Weblog are over-the-top but would make a lot more sense
      if actually directed against Wright.


      >You may be right, Mark. I suppose Crossan might not even be aware of
      >Sanders's works on source criticism (but hopefully Sanders's rejoinder would
      >have given him a clue). It's a shame that such high profile works as
      >Crossan's longer books can be so much in the dark about source criticism.

      Well, source criticism in the synoptics is a back-water, and I've
      given up expecting even otherwise impressive scholars to know more
      than what can be found undergraduate introductions (including some
      of who have written such introductions).

      Nevertheless, given the avowed centrality of the results of source
      criticism in Crossan's method, it just boggles the mind that Sanders
      could be so neglected.

      >Several years ago, at an SBL meeting, I suggested to the folks at Sigler
      >Press that they republish The Tendencies of the Synoptic Tradition. They
      >immediately jumped at the idea, and asked if I could get them a copy of the
      >book. But since (they said) the book would be destroyed in the process, I
      >didn't want to give them my copy, since it was rather difficult to find. (I
      >know: if Sigler republished it, I could buy as many copies as I wanted, but
      >I was still loathe to give up my C.U.P. copy.)

      I know what you mean, it took me about four years for me to track down
      a copy. But .... I saw a paperback reprint of TENDENCIES at the last
      SBL. I think it was by Wipf & Stock.

      If I had to guess why Sanders' source critical has made less of an
      impact than its merit would suggest, I might brainstorm two reasons:

      1. The conclusions reached in TENDENCIES were largely negative, with
      relatively few positive results.

      2. Sanders shifted his attention to other fields (HJ, Paul) and did
      not follow up his source critical work terribly much. Granted, his
      contributions to HJ and Paul are of huge importance, so it's hard to
      fault the man.

      Stephen Carlson
      --
      Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
      Weblog: http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/hypotyposeis/blogger.html
      "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35


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    • Peter Head
      ... John, I need a bit of help here. I don t know what a dagwood sandwich is. I wonder if you think it is a bad thing, too easily swallowed, that people think
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 7, 2005
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        At 02:52 PM 1/5/05, John C. Poirier wrote:
        > I think
        >the situation is really serious, especially in North America, where the
        >pilings on of the Q scholars are quickly turned into dagwood sandwiches.

        John,

        I need a bit of help here. I don't know what a dagwood sandwich is. I
        wonder if you think it is a bad thing, too easily swallowed, that people
        think is good but is really bad for them. Or whether some more information
        about North American dietary conventions might help.

        Peter



        Peter M. Head, PhD
        Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
        Tyndale House
        36 Selwyn Gardens Phone: (UK) 01223
        566607
        Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
        http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/Staff.htm


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      • John C. Poirier
        ... Sorry about that. A dagwood sandwich is simply an extremely tall sandwich. In the comic strip Blondie , Dagwood Bumstead built sandwiches that looked to
        Message 3 of 15 , Jan 7, 2005
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          Peter Head wrote:

          > . . . I don't know what a dagwood sandwich is. I wonder if you think it
          > is a bad thing, too easily swallowed, that people think is good but is
          > really bad for them. Or whether some more information about North
          > American dietary conventions might help.

          Sorry about that.

          A dagwood sandwich is simply an extremely tall sandwich. In the comic strip
          "Blondie", Dagwood Bumstead built sandwiches that looked to be more than a
          foot tall, with thirty or more ingredients, and the term "dagwood" came to
          stand for a very tall sandwich (although I think that's better known to my
          parents' generation than to mine).

          In itself, a dagwood sandwich is not a bad thing, but applying it as a
          metaphor to the way certain North American scholars reconstruct history,
          it's not meant to be flattering.


          John C. Poirier
          Middletown, Ohio




          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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        • Jeffrey B. Gibson
          ... A dagwood is an extremely tall, multi-layered sandwich. It s named after Dagwood Bumstead, the husband of the title character in the comic strip
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 7, 2005
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            Peter Head wrote:

            > At 02:52 PM 1/5/05, John C. Poirier wrote:
            > > I think
            > >the situation is really serious, especially in North America, where the
            > >pilings on of the Q scholars are quickly turned into dagwood sandwiches.
            >
            > John,
            >
            > I need a bit of help here. I don't know what a dagwood sandwich is. I
            > wonder if you think it is a bad thing, too easily swallowed, that people
            > think is good but is really bad for them. Or whether some more information
            > about North American dietary conventions might help.

            A "dagwood" is an extremely tall, multi-layered sandwich. It's named
            after
            Dagwood Bumstead, the husband of the title character in the comic strip
            "Blondie"
            (by Chick Young, I think), who loves to construct (and devour) these
            monstrosities.

            Yours,

            Jeffrey
            --

            Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

            1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
            Chicago, IL 60626

            jgibson000@...

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          • Tim Reynolds
            ... Sorry, everybody. s Leeaann, Did you get Brooks the Picasso book? Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l List Owner:
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 7, 2005
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              on 7/1/05 9:39 AM, Jeffrey B. Gibson at jgibson000@... wrote:

              >
              >
              > Peter Head wrote:
              >
              >> At 02:52 PM 1/5/05, John C. Poirier wrote:
              >>> I think
              >>> the situation is really serious, especially in North America, where the
              >>> pilings on of the Q scholars are quickly turned into dagwood sandwiches.
              >>
              >> John,
              >>
              >> I need a bit of help here. I don't know what a dagwood sandwich is. I
              >> wonder if you think it is a bad thing, too easily swallowed, that people
              >> think is good but is really bad for them. Or whether some more information
              >> about North American dietary conventions might help.
              >
              > A "dagwood" is an extremely tall, multi-layered sandwich. It's named
              > after
              > Dagwood Bumstead, the husband of the title character in the comic strip
              > "Blondie"
              > (by Chick Young, I think), who loves to construct (and devour) these
              > monstrosities.
              >
              > Yours,
              >
              > Jeffrey
              > --
              >
              > Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
              >
              > 1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
              > Chicago, IL 60626
              >
              > jgibson000@...
              >
              > Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
              > List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...


              Sorry, everybody.

              s


              Leeaann, Did you get Brooks the Picasso book?



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            • John C. Poirier
              Having now read the entire exchange between Sanders and Crossan/Reed (after finding it on microfilm last night), I d like to follow up on my earlier comments.
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 11, 2005
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                Having now read the entire exchange between Sanders and Crossan/Reed (after finding it on microfilm last night), I'd like to follow up on my earlier comments.

                 

                Mark Goodacre wrote:

                > But I think my explanation would be that to my knowledge, Crossan

                > shows knowledge only of Jesus and Judaism among Sanders's work on the

                > historical Jesus (brief mention in The Historical Jesus).

                 

                Yes! The exchange makes it very clear that Crossan and Reed did not read Sanders's 1993 Theology Today article on "Jesus in Historical Context", as most of Sanders's response to Crossan and Reed's book duplicates what he wrote in that earlier article.  Crossan and Reed could have avoided a lot of basic mistakes if they had read the earlier article, which touches very directly on just about all the historical errors that they make in their 2002 book.

                 

                Earlier, I wrote:

                 

                > I was bewildered, as were others, by Crossan's remark last year in the New

                > York Review of Books concerning E. P. Sanders's non-use of gospel "source

                > criticism".  The remark, of course, would immediately sound strange to

                > anyone familiar with Sanders's books and articles devoted to gospel source

                > criticism.  Sanders himself was taken aback by the remark, and offered, as

                > an explanation, that it was an "inside joke".

                 

                I can now quote Sanders's response to Crossan/Reed’s remark:

                 

                Final irony.  My "refusal to use source-analysis" may be an insider's joke.  I have written extensively about the sources of the gospels, but I reject Crossan's opinion that the Gospel of Thomas is very ancient and that the layers of a hypothetical (and, in my view, fictional) document, Q, can be reconstructed.  These dubious hypotheses lie at the heart of his "source-analysis."  I am joined by most scholars in the first rejection and by a good number in the second.

                 

                I also wrote:

                 

                > Could it be that Crossan's mind has been fooled, on the surface level,

                > into equating rejection of Q with rejection of source criticism itself,

                > and that this is the result of his reading of Wright?  Does Crossan

                > equate Sanders's Q skepticism with Wright's dismissal of source criticism?

                 

                I could still ultimately be right about this, but nothing in the Sanders-Crossan exchange suggests any connection with Wright.

                 

                 

                John C. Poirier

                Middletown , Ohio

                 

              • John C. Poirier
                This post is not about the synoptic problem, but I hope it will be acceptable. I need some advice. As many of you know, I haven t yet completed my Ph.D.,
                Message 7 of 15 , Jan 15, 2005
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                  This post is not about the synoptic problem, but I hope it will be acceptable.

                   

                  I need some advice.  As many of you know, I haven’t yet completed my Ph.D., although I’ve been in my program for 12 years now.  My experiences writing my dissertation have been an absolute nightmare.  My advisor is the world’s worst when it comes to working with students.  I’ve had all kinds of problems with him all along, but the latest is that it has been nine months since I sent him my completed dissertation, and he has yet to get back to me about it.  He won’t even answer my emails.  I keep complaining about this to my dean, and he keeps telling me he’ll push my advisor.

                   

                  Does this kind of stuff go on a lot in higher academia?  Do other advisors take nine months to read their students’ work?  How much of this am I supposed to take?  Is it right for me to continue paying money towards an advisor’s salary when he can’t even read a dissertation in nine months’ time?

                   

                  What should I do?  Seeing that it’s so hard to find a decent teaching job even *with* the Ph.D. in hand, is it worthwhile for me to continue this nightmare?

                   

                  Feel free to respond offline.

                   

                   

                  John C. Poirier

                  Middletown, Ohio

                   

                • Jim West
                  ... That s both ridiculous and unacceptable. I would contact not the Dean but the President, and I would find the email address of every Trustee I could find
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jan 15, 2005
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                    John C Poirier wrote:

                    Does this kind of stuff go on a lot in higher academia?  Do other advisors take nine months to read their students’ work?  How much of this am I supposed to take?  Is it right for me to continue paying money towards an advisor’s salary when he can’t even read a dissertation in nine months’ time?

                    That's both ridiculous and unacceptable.  I would contact not the Dean but the President, and I would find the email address of every Trustee I could find and raise cain.  I would call the local paper too.  And the tv station- and explain to them my situation.  Also, if your local news has one of those "consumer help" segments, contact them. 

                     

                    What should I do?  Seeing that it’s so hard to find a decent teaching job even *with* the Ph.D. in hand, is it worthwhile for me to continue this nightmare?

                    The PhD isn't just about getting a job, its about personal accomplishment.  Don't let a bad advisor rob you of something you have clearly worked very hard for.  Raise hell.

                    Best,

                    Jim


                    -- 
                    Jim West, ThD
                    http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
                    http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com
                    
                    
                  • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                    John, you haven t yet reached the length of time it took me to finish my Ph.D., but that was my own choice. Your advisor s (in)actions are unacceptable. The
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jan 15, 2005
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                      John, you haven't yet reached the length of time it
                      took me to finish my Ph.D., but that was my own
                      choice.

                      Your advisor's (in)actions are unacceptable. The Dean,
                      too, seems to be doing little to help you. You
                      shouldn't have to be paying for this in money, time,
                      and career.

                      Perhaps somebody on this listserve knows your advisor
                      and could apply some pressure. Some of Jim's
                      suggestions might be worth following, e.g., contacting
                      somebody higher up than the Dean. Or possibly other
                      scholars in the department?

                      Jeffery Hodges

                      =====
                      University Degrees:

                      Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
                      (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
                      M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
                      B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

                      Email Address:

                      jefferyhodges@...

                      Office Address:

                      Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                      Department of English Language and Literature
                      Korea University
                      136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
                      Seoul
                      South Korea

                      Home Address:

                      Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
                      Seo-Dong 125-2
                      Shin-Dong-A, Apt. 102-709
                      447-710 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                      South Korea

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                    • Thomas R. W. Longstaff
                      Although it s probably unnecessary let me add one comment. I agree with Jeffrey that your advisor s action (or really inaction) is unacceptable. So, too, the
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jan 15, 2005
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                        Although it's probably unnecessary let me add one comment.

                        I agree with Jeffrey that your advisor's action (or really inaction) is
                        unacceptable. So, too, the course that your dean seems to be following seems
                        irresponsibly negligent at best. I don't think that I would recommend, at
                        this point, writing to trustees, the news media, etc. although at some point
                        communication with trustees may be in order. I would suggest that you
                        arrange a personal appointment with the president to talk about the
                        treatment that you have received, and are receiving, from your advisor and
                        the dean. He/she may be able to set things in motion and should do so. If
                        that fails, you should contact the chair of the board of trustees rather
                        than individual trustees. Having been both a department chair and chair of
                        the board of trustees of a graduate school I am convinced that this is the
                        best way to go and the one most likely to gain you the assistance that you
                        need. You want to get results, not to build hostilities insofar as that is
                        possible.

                        I hope that the responses from list members provide you some support and
                        guidance as you attempt to deal with an unacceptable situation. While these
                        comments are not "on topic" for the list, I trust that professional support
                        for one another will not be considered inappropriate.

                        Thomas R. W. Longstaff, Ph.D., Biblical Languages and Literature, Columbia
                        University (where I was fortunate to have a superbly helpful committee
                        composed of J. Louis Martyn, Reginald H. Fuller and Raymond E. Brown).



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                      • E Bruce Brooks
                        To: John Poirier Cc: Synoptic-L On: Advisor Problems From: Bruce [I wasn t going to reply, other than a note of encouragement to John privately, but as I was
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jan 15, 2005
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                          To: John Poirier
                          Cc: Synoptic-L
                          On: Advisor Problems
                          From: Bruce

                          [I wasn't going to reply, other than a note of encouragement to John
                          privately, but as I was writing that note, I see words of advice popping up
                          on my screen via Syn-L. Since my experience of academe (which I admit does
                          not include schools of theology) leads me to believe that acting on that
                          advice might well be detrimental to John's present hopes, I venture to reply
                          at large also, hoping to lure further voices in the same vein, and so
                          balance things out. The reply is nevertheless addressed to John, and is
                          meant for him].

                          You ask, and I think it is the central question, "Does this kind of stuff go
                          on a lot in higher academia? The simple answer is, Yes, and a lot worse. The
                          complicated answer goes on to say, And there is not a thing you can do about
                          it except go elsewhere, quietly. A professor is worth more to a school than
                          any student (for one thing, they have more money invested in him). To
                          contend formally with a professor is, in effect, to contend formally with
                          the school (the school will automatically feel involved with the professor;
                          students are The Other). And the rule in school administration is that
                          schools are always right, and they will invariably close ranks against even
                          the most objectively justified complaint about one of "their" professors.
                          That can quickly lead to formal litigation. You can publicize the complaint.
                          One MA student in my experience did just that, with a very similar problem.
                          She gathered signatures. She wasn't expelled, but also, the problem wasn't
                          corrected. The general result of pursuing a formal challenge within the
                          institution will be (1) you will never get a degree from that school, and,
                          quite possibly, (2) no other school will accept you as a transfer student,
                          meaning, you will never get a degree, period. The extreme case in my
                          experience was a professor who stole his PhD student's research and
                          published it as his own. The facts were obvious, but the result was that the
                          student quietly [key word here] left that institution, and resumed his
                          degree work elsewhere. He finally got his degree, and is now teaching - in
                          another country. There were no repercussions for the professor, who
                          continued a high-profile position as an institute leader, and continued to
                          employ the prettiest secretaries in the whole building, and to be courted by
                          everybody in the program, including his own senior colleagues.

                          Clarification: You best know your own institution. But my perception is
                          that, despite some recent attempts to put education on a consumer basis,
                          with implied warranty and all the rest of it, the general presumption of
                          institutions is still that you are not paying for instruction (and teachers
                          are not paid, at least not by the hour, for giving instruction). You are
                          paying for the personal prestige and career enhancement that a degree from
                          that school will eventually provide. You can try to make a consumer case, in
                          the courts, and the lawyers will take your money, but you won't win, and if
                          you should win, your only award will be money, not reinstatement, let alone
                          degree (the court can't award degrees, and almost no court will venture to
                          reverse an academic decision as such). By putting things on that basis, the
                          ultimate form of confrontation, you will only dig yourself a deeper hole in
                          which to lose. Let me add that I entirely share the indignation that
                          permeates previous responses. I could probably top any examples that the
                          previous respondents have to offer. There are cases known to me personally,
                          right now, where a tenured professor has violated every expectation of his
                          employment, and every decency of his implied obligation to students
                          (including refusal to return student papers, or to finalize degree
                          proceedings that stretch over years). The institution, and even the
                          professor's colleagues, are simply not interested; nay, they are
                          enthusiastic. If you make trouble as the victim of such a situation, you
                          will be branded a "trouble-maker" and excluded from the school's, and very
                          possibly the profession's, good graces.

                          The same guideline applies, in my view, to outside litigation and also
                          taking things "higher up" within the institution. It might conceivably be
                          different if you had a relative on the Board of Trustees, or were a close
                          friend with a major donor. But the scenario at best is one of winning a
                          confrontation, and academe does not like confrontation, and, by and large,
                          it systematically penalizes those who (in their view) provoke confrontation.

                          It should be different, I totally agree. In some places it *is* different.
                          Between my writing this paragraph and the previous one, another Syn-L
                          respondent has provided an example. But the general pattern, from all
                          evidence available to me, is as I describe it, and it seems your institution
                          is running true to form. If so, I think you are stuck. It's beyond the power
                          of any individual to reform an institution, let alone the "culture of
                          scholarship" in which those institutions exist. Not only is there no
                          structure for bringing such instances to a proper (morally defensible)
                          ending, either intramurally or otherwise, but such imperfect structures as
                          exist, for determining professorial nonfeasance or even scholarly
                          misconduct, are vanishing from the scene. The trend, as far as I am aware of
                          it (and I read the Chronicle of Higher Education, which is what the
                          administrators also read) is in the direction of worse, rather than better.

                          So follow previous advice if it appeals to you, but only if you have
                          sufficient income, from non-academic sources, to fund that battle and to pay
                          for your life also. Indefinitely. NB: Lawyers cost about $300 per hour,
                          minimum, and the minimum may not be good enough, for a difficult trial case,
                          and you may at some point need competent legal advice, even in an intramural
                          case (the other side will certainly have some).

                          ADVICE

                          After all that, I should now offer some positive advice. This is it, with
                          all modesty, and with the usual "no warranty" disclaimers, but in good faith
                          and in helpful spirit. (1) Don't do anything to call attention to yourself.
                          Within that admittedly hard limit, (2) Quietly see if there is another
                          person in the department (or whatever) who could take over the job of thesis
                          advisor. If so, very gingerly and privately and with use of all the
                          subjunctive and conditional and implicational resources of the language, see
                          if that person would be willing to do so. Perhaps only a shifting of roles
                          on the thesis committee would be involved. In any case, don't make your
                          complaints part of the inquiry to the alternative advisor. It won't help,
                          for reasons listed above; it will polarize things in the wrong direction.
                          Also, if the present advisor routinely delays or denies feedback and other
                          student guidance, his colleague will know it, and may already be shouldering
                          the burden it creates (I know one guy who is doing his own work, plus the
                          work of two no-show tenured colleagues; he gets very tired by the end of the
                          week). If not, (3) see if there is another institutional program in the area
                          that would take your project on. That is, explore the possibilities of both
                          long-range and short-range shifting of your work. Transfers at the graduate
                          level are difficult, whether within a department or between institutions,
                          but they do happen, they are perhaps even a little more common now than 50
                          years ago, and that option is a lot more peaceful to the soul than the
                          demands of litigation (which, even if you have providently kept a full
                          "paper trail" of your own work and your advisor's nonfeasance, are much
                          greater than you may imagine; copying, filing, annotating, midnight oil,
                          general psychic wear and tear). With those alternative possibilities known
                          (never, repeat never, enter the office of a superior without being prepared
                          to lose everything in the ensuing conversation), (4) talk to your advisor.
                          Ask if there is some problem (eg, a problem of doctrine, or a problem of
                          sources, or simply a problem of personality) with your work. Nonfeasance is
                          one way a professor may take to tell you so. If such a problem emerges, see
                          what can be done to solve it. Utter subordination is the right mode in which
                          to put these questions. The solution may be to adopt conclusions, or
                          methods, or style, more in keeping with those of the advisor. Some thesis
                          advisors (and I would think, especially so in the NT field) see themselves
                          not as research facilitators, but as orthodoxy enforcers. Your solution in
                          that case is to embrace orthodoxy, whatever that may mean in your particular
                          situation.

                          Whether you are comfortable doing that is up to you. A word of personal
                          experience: I have often been told, at various stages along the way, and by
                          persons entirely sympathetic with my aspirations, Oh, just do what they
                          want, you can say what you think later. Often. But I have never been told,
                          OK, now you have paid your dues (that is the idiom), you are officially one
                          of us, so tell us what you think. Never. Students may imagine that they are
                          being trained to think. Would it were true. Once in a while, it is indeed
                          true. More typically, they are being trained to accept, and devotedly
                          promulgate, what their teachers think. The students of one modern China
                          expert now populate Chinese and history departments across the continent.
                          They are recognizable by their almost comical predictability. They all know
                          the same answers to the same question. It is that situation that many
                          trainers of graduate students are looking to achieve.

                          I was once crossing Harvard Yard with a very senior colleague in the French
                          Department, who had shifted his field entirely from the one he had long ago
                          been hired for. He grinned at me and said, I have tenure; I can do whatever
                          I want. That, I may say, is an extremely unusual use of tenure (or
                          equivalent protection). The usual use of tenure is to do nothing, except
                          cash the checks (this was before the days of direct deposit). Nonfeasance
                          (and hopefully your case is nothing worse) proliferates accordingly.

                          I know, principle might dictate something less abject and conciliatory. I
                          have principles too. The thing with following principle, though, is that one
                          wakes up one morning and realizes that one is not working for a career in
                          the field (as was originally the idea) but for immortality in the form of an
                          article in the New Yorker, profiling one's struggles and empathizing with
                          one's failures. It's fame of a sort, but be sure that it is worth it, as the
                          sole reward of a combative response to the situation, before embarking on a
                          combative response to the situation.

                          As for one's very natural indignation, which I repeat that I fully share, go
                          out to the neighborhood bar and drink it off. That's what they have
                          neighborhood bars for. Or write the New Yorker article yourself, and leave
                          it among your papers, to be submitted under a nom de plume by your executor,
                          sometime in the future.

                          I don't mean to be cynical, but I do mean to be helpful, and I wish you well
                          in extricating yourself from the situation with a minimum of friction and a
                          maximum of degree.

                          Use what tact you can, and beyond that, may good fortune attend you.

                          Bruce

                          E Bruce Brooks
                          Warring States Project
                          University of Massachusetts at Amherst


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                        • John C. Poirier
                          I d like to thank everyone for the thoughtful advice about my problem. I m not sure about the course I ll take, but I ll probably sit tight for a little while
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jan 17, 2005
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                            I'd like to thank everyone for the thoughtful advice about my problem.

                            I'm not sure about the course I'll take, but I'll probably sit tight for a
                            little while longer before I take the next step. And that step, if I take
                            it, will probably be to write to the Chancellor of the school.

                            Unfortunately, I'm my advisor's first ever Ph.D. student, so I have no way
                            of gauging whether I'm an exception to the way he treats students. (It's
                            probably not good to be someone's first ever student.)


                            John C. Poirier
                            Middletown, Ohio



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