>I’ve mentioned before that I’m editing a couple of texts for inclusion in an anthology of literature. And I’ve mentioned that I’ve had fun doing it over the course of the semester, and that I’ve even discovered things about the texts I hadn’t noticed and that I can use in the classroom. So all in all it’s been a good experience. This is also one of those tasks where all those years in graduate school and one’s expertise in a particular area really matter, and where research and teaching are connected. I was asked to do this job because I’ve written a book on the texts I’m editing, and the anthology is a traditional, undergraduate-driven anthology of literature, so my expertise is being used in service of student learning. Unfortunately, at a lot of places editions don’t get one as much credit as original scholarly work does under the “professional activity” column of merit and promotion; but at my school it counts for something at least. And it’s also the first time I’ve ever been paid something other than my base salary for my work, so that definitely counts for something.
But that general sketch of what this project is for and what it gets me is not what my post title is about. No, what that title refers to is the part of the task I’m working on right now. I’ve finished the glossing and footnoting and I’ve finished writing and revising the introduction. Now I’m doing something that I should’ve done while I was working on other elements, but which somehow slipped my notice in the directions for formatting my submission. Since this is a late medieval text, it’s being presented somewhat in its original language, but the editors of this anthology have asked for modernized spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, where possible — in the mode of what we do to Shakespeare when he’s edited for students. And so I have to mark all the words that I’ve changed from the original. I have to highlight them on the photocopy of my base text, the scholarly edition, and bold them in my copy.
So right now here’s what I’m doing: I’m clicking on words and making them bold. One after another, through 600 lines of text. God, I’m so bored. Yup, this is why I spent 8 years getting a Ph.D.