“The Chair of Palaeography at King’s College is the only established Professorship of Palaeography in Britain” boasts the KCL website. Not for long, it seems. It plans to axe the position too (along with the three philosophers). Another brilliant contribution to learning.
Still, it is so good to find that learning thrives elsewhere in London. For example, I see that next Monday’s lecture at CRASSH (the Cambridge Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) is by one Professor Steve Dixon, of Brunel University , who is coming to talk about “Performing Split Selves: Doubles, Cyborgs and Multi-Identities in Theatre, Dance, Performance Art and Cyberculture”. Gosh. What a pity I’ll be in New Zealand and will have to give that a miss.
I can see that thinking (if that’s the word) about cyborgs and performance art might beat paleography and even the foundations of computational linguistics when it comes to sexiness. But call me old-fashioned, but it’s not exactly serious is it? But hey, who cares about serious scholarship any more? It’s 2010, and time for cyberculture. Oh well. But sometimes, just sometimes, Cyril Connolly’s valedictory words in Horizon come to mind again: “It is closing-time in the gardens of the West”.
I think I’m off to read Montaigne.