Looking at the actual functioning of academic tenure, as someone outside the academy might, fills me with wonder. It also made me more aware of the soft tissue of the academy, its culture of expectations that make tenure work. And that awareness helped me better understand the thirteenth-century bishops and their clerks who obsess me; it made the thirteenth century seem less strange. How? You can find out more in an essay in my essay in the most recent issue of Historically Speaking . . . .
Michael Burger is professor of history and dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Auburn University at Montgomery. His most recent publication is Bishops, Clerks, and Diocesan Governance in Thirteenth-Century England: Reward and Punishment (Cambridge University Press, 2012). He is also the author of The Shaping of the West: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment (University of Toronto Press, 2008), with a second volume taking the story to the present in preparation, and editor of Sources for the History of Western Civilization (University of Toronto Press, 2004).
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