Sunday, 23 January 2011

A Work of Creative Non-Fiction

Promoted by its creator as "a heart-breaking work of staggering silliness" this video is a response to So, You Want to Get a PhD in the Humanities.



Part of this dialogue is worth transcribing:

Prof. Sawyer (Louise): Over the past four and a half years I have also designed, written and maintained a substantive work of creative non-fiction, a blog which has hundreds of readers. I want to be promoted.

Mr. Chairperson (Daryl): I have read your blog Louise. It is charming. But it is self-published on the non-peer-reviewed internet. Perhaps I should have been more specific. The standard for promotion in this department is two peer-reviewed scholarly books. In print. On paper. With hyperbolic blurbs by leading scholars in the field.

Louise: As I said, my blog is a work of creative non-fiction. It may not be a conventional work of scholarship but it raises vital question about how we read, write, and think in the 21st century. If I were to print it out it would be hundreds of pages long. I want to be promoted.

Daryl: We did not hire you to be a creative writer. You are a professor of literature.

Louise: Traditional academic publishing is dying. The humanities are in peril. You should be grateful for any effort to communicate what we do to a broader audience. However, Daryl, I am also teaching and publishing scholarly work in this field. I want to be promoted.

Daryl: Your blog is written in the voice dead cat. You make fart jokes and drink in an imaginary pub. How can you expect anyone to take you seriously?

And so it goes … Jonathan Swift gets a mention … strangling with a bow tie … bureaucratic make-work … anthrophobic trees. It has it all.

1 comment:

Doc-in-Boots said...

It is fantastic and depressing all at once!