The Gypsy Scholar and the Scholar Gypsy

Marjorie Garber

in Loaded Words

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242047
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823242085 | DOI:
The Gypsy Scholar and the Scholar Gypsy

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The term “academia” was first mentioned in William H. Whyte's 1956 classic work of sociology, The Organization Man. Contrast “academia” with the more traditional, and irenic sounding, “academe,” which dates in English as far back as William Shakespeare, and which, especially in the proverbial phrase “the groves of Academe,” has come to mean “the academic community, the world of university scholarship.” Academic as a substantive noun is used only by non-academics. The term, when wielded in the media (note -ia suffix) seems to conflate irrelevance with arrogance. No one has written more wittily about this than David Brooks, in his bestseller Bobos in Paradise. This chapter discusses the concepts of gypsy scholars and scholar gypsies, as well as nomad intellectuals and intellectual nomads. Fred Hechinger described “gypsy scholars” as “recent doctoral graduates in the humanities and social sciences who wander from job to transitory job with little prospect of a stable long-term career.” The story of the scholar-gypsy is taken from Jospeh Glanvill's book The Vanity of Dogmatizing, published in 1661.

Keywords: academia; academe; academic; David Brooks; gypsy scholars; scholar gypsies; nomad intellectuals; intellectual nomads; Fred Hechinger; Jospeh Glanvill

Chapter.  9358 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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