Here's why: I don't know much of anything about the history of Exotic Research Country.
No, that's not quite true. I know a great deal about it -- more than my medievalist colleagues who study other countries. But my knowledge of it can't even be put on the same page with that of my friends and colleagues who also study ERC which, for the duration of this post, I'm going to call Blargistan.
I went to grad school specifically to study the history of Blargistan. I was fascinated by it for various reasons that I won't get into here. And sure enough, I did my M.A. with a professor whose research was in the history of Blargistan. But most of his reading on the subject was a couple of decades out of date, and since I wasn't yet savvy enough to find the best current scholarship on my own, I ended up reading a lot of the same books he had read in grad school many years ago, and little else.
For the Ph.D., I switched to work with a professor whose advising style I worked better with. It was a good choice, and I don't regret it one bit. But this professor's work had nothing at all to do with Blargistan. He read and wrote fluently -- even elegantly -- in Blarg, but his area of specialty was thematic -- let's say, for the sake of argument, scholastic theology. So, I ended up writing a dissertation (and later a book) on scholastic theology and kittens in Blargistan.
And as I'm now moving on to another project, I'm realizing that I now know a great deal more about both scholastic theology and kittens (separately and together) in the Blargistanian context than probably most medieval Blargistan historians working in this country. What I don't have, I'm coming to realize, is a good grasp on the general literature of medieval Blargistan -- all that stuff that my friends read as a matter of course in grad school completely passed me by. In fact, there is one Very Important Author in the field who doesn't appear in my book's bibliography at all because, other than a single article, I've never read any of his work. That's not my judgment on the worth of his work, which is universally acknowledged to be excellent; it's just never come up.
If people knew, they would be shocked.
So, as I move away from kittens and scholastic theology and onto a new thematic project, I find that I have a hell of a lot of catching up to do, simply to make myself into the moderately competent Blargistan scholar that I claim to be.
And quickly: before I get found out as the fraud I am.