14 feb. 2006

I'm rather unsure of my self-image. I could think of myself as a top scholar of 20th-Century Spanish poetry within U.S. academia. That's true enough and I have the publications to back it up.

Or I could think of myself as a kind of a humanist throw-back, still devoting myself mainly to "literature" while the field around me shifts to cultural studies. Maybe I'm mostly an old Comparative Literature Guy who happens to be in a Spanish department.

Or I could be a poet/translator who just happens to have a day job as someone teaching Spanish in a University.

You know me mostly as a blogger--a poet by default given the topics discussed on the blog.

My status might vary depending on which identity is given precedence at any given moment. Not that my self-image depends on status...

Well, it does in a way. What is more stratified and status-obsessed than a university, the place where I work? It is hard not to be invested in this.

It's funny that others don't see me as "interdisciplinary." Others with far fewer interdisciplinary chops get access to that title, by dropping a few names into their articles. I wouldn't call myself interdisciplinary unless I really had the same level of expertise in some second field, that I have in my original "discipline." I don't count "Cultural Studies" as a separate discipline. It's mostly just an eclectic body of knowledge about the relevant culture that anyone should have anyway. I know a little history, a little film, know the general intellectual background, a little theory in the mix. With this, and knowing how to do research, so I could do Spanish Cultural Studies as well as the next bloke. I don't have much discipline anyway.