Friday, May 06, 2005

Divorce among academics and obstacles in interdisciplinary research

Among the obstacles to interdisciplinary research in several of the core humanities disciplines, as important as any intellectual factor, is the purely practical matter that the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day combines academic holidays with exceptional hotel discounts. Since there is scarcely any demand for hotel rooms except from academic associations during this period, rates may be lower than at any other time. As a result, several of the major disciplinary associations—those in classical studies, economics, history, linguistics, modern languages, and philosophy—meet simultaneously in different cities during this short period.

The effect of this practice on divorce rates among academics has not been documented, so far as I know, but its tendency to isolate philosophers from literary scholars and historians from philologists is unmistakable.


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