Friday, February 26, 2010
Hope-y Change-y (Academic Version)
So, the academics in Exotic Research Country are famous for being territorial. I "grew up" (archivally speaking) on stories of archivists who hid documents, professors who sabotaged the students of other professors, ones who refused to let you work in "their" territory. So when I discovered that two people were already working in areas close to the project I had finally settled on, you can imagine my trepidation.
But you know what's nice? Change. Seems that as a new generation of scholars has come up, they have discovered the joys of collaboration – even transatlantic collaboration. This generation seems much happier to share information, discuss ideas, and critique approaches in a helpful way.
Case in point: I wrote to the two main people working near "my" topic (to be fair, it was "theirs" long before it was "mine"). One is in the U.S.; the other is here. And dig this: both of them were excited to have another person working on it, and eager to meet up and talk. Imagine that!
So, I'm going into my weekend, eyeballs sore from staring at documents, but otherwise very happy.