Web can capture true RAE story

June 2, 2000

I think this RAE thing should stay as it is ("That's one for me, 14 for you", Soapbox, THES, May 26), mainly because the forthcoming round is driving my lecturers crazy. I know one who keeps talking about his four things. This is either some kind of strange academic machismo or something for The X Files.

The head of English is going off on maternity leave and will avoid the whole thing. So I guess it has a positive effect on middle-age sexual energy or something; or at least helps produce more high-IQ kids, if genetics is anything to count on.

It has also had a great effect on the departmental glass cabinet, too. Just this month about eight new books have appeared in it, on everything from Virginia Woolf's taste in clothes to Henry James's burlesque. Something like 12 more are promised by the end of the year.

One lecturer has actually produced three books at once, two of them by presses with great names like "Modernia Modernia" and "Spire Books", which keep up the projectile thrust of the whole thing. So yes, yes, I'm all for it. And everyone seems pretty happy about it anyway.

All the lecturers are saying the department here is really likely to get a "5", except maybe for the problem of its small size, which apparently does count in this exercise (as in the movie Godzilla, I guess, which is one of my favs). I do hope so. I would hate to be around here if they only get a 3a or something. It really would be quiet along the corridors then. They would probably all end up over in the library stack, sulking or something, I guess.

Terra Deaz

PhD student

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