Tom Shippey

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Thomas Alan Shippey, 2015

Tom Shippey (9 September 1943 –) is a British scholar and retired professor of Middle and Old English literature, as well as medievalism and modern fantasy and science fiction.


  • The academic life has become far more bureaucratic, and is increasingly dominated by people with the habits of bureaucrats. You have to either do the bureaucratic stuff on autopilot, and try to keep some section of your brain free for thinking, or find a place where there are friendly bureaucrats to shield you. I'd say this. Managerial programs work best where there is a clear and quantifiable outcome and an easy way of checking what the work-force is doing. Neither of these apply to teaching, or research. Really productive researchers are often staring at the wall, or going for walks -- and their product tends to turn up ten years later. Good teaching is not measured by the number of degrees you turn out, or even how highly the students rate you at the time. But unsophisticated management systems (and those are the ones we have) insist on counting something

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