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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Disciples (ii)

It does occur to me that I do in fact have a disciple in Spain, Margarita GC, who did a dissertation on LGM taking more or less my line, after having come to study with me in Kansas for a few months. Her recent book, based on her dissertation, cites 10 separate publications by me, which is something of a record for me. Google scholar says I am only cited by 92, and doesn't include any of these citations, so just by virtue of this one book my citations have increased more than 10%. Of course, google scholar doesn't really capture the extent to which my work has been cited in Spain, and does not even include all of my own publications.

So I guess I don't need to have too many disciples of this type. One or two would probably be enough. I'm irritated by even having to need this kind of extraneous ego-food.


Anonymous said...

OK, I have also been thinking about this. A current immediate motivation for writing more is to hit one for the team, drive my department's stats up versus those of other departments in the university. If I ever finish this series of projects I am going back to poetry, in which case I can engage in the game of getting more citations for you.

But more seriously: I am trying to figure out what it is to have this kind of ego. The way in which I can relate is, I cannot stand it when students use references I have given them to argue (however poorly) points repugnant to me. The French creolité people adore Vasconcelos, La raza cósmica, although I reveal it to them as an example of a problem, not an afffirmation or a solution. And they believe that since they are in French they have enough knowledge to opine whether people like Mignolo or Moreiras are right or wrong, and they believe this without even having degrees yet from our institution or any.

So yes, bad students are maddening, but that is why having disciples of the copy-cat kind would be rough. So much better to see someone do something intersting of their own than a vague version of what one would do oneself.

Jonathan said...

The question, for example, of giving a student an idea and then having them not do it as I would have... It is vexing, because you cannot force them into it, even when the result is going to be inferior. It is far better to have them come up with their own ideas. I think the far more satisfying model for a "disciple" would be someone like Thomas Basbøll, who doesn't even work in the same field or live on the same continent, but is only influenced indirectly. I certainly don't want disciples like Moreiras has them, and I don't envy the student who is planning to write a dissertation on Lorca with me fairly soon...