Monday, August 2, 2010

Mostly Foxy with Shades of Hedgehog

Notorious PhD has two posts up (and a third brewing) about academic identities -- Fox vs. Hedgehog -- and what it means when you aren't anymore (Part 1 and Part 2).

Foxes, in this dichotomy, know a little about a lot of things; hedgehogs know a lot about a few things. I've tended to be more foxy than hedgehog-y (except in the mornings, just after a haircut, when I really do LOOK like a hedgehog...). In fact, the deep knowledge hedgehogs have of their subject matter has intimidated me. And I've fretted that I don't have such a topic that I want to dive into and commit myself totally to, for the rest of my career. It was very cool to find out that I'm not alone in being a fox, and that it is not necessarily a detriment! There are some broad common themes I'm interested in, but the specifics of addressing them are very varied (and their are more than one...).

In addition to being mostly foxy with shades of hedgehog (which I shall embrace and no longer decry!), I am also a splitter.* So there.

* Splitter: in archaeology, there are lumpers and splitters. These traits are deeply coded into our very beings. Splitters are always splitters, unless forced to lump; lumpers are always lumpers unless forced to split. As a splitter, I tend to put things in several smaller groupings; lumpers tend to put things into fewer, larger groupings. These "things" can be soil layers, artifact types, fill deposits, etc.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Verrrrry interesting.

I am pondering the lumper and splitters...think I'm a splitter, too! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Ooh! I love your Library Thing box, too!

Clio Bluestocking said...

Foxy here! There is just so much to know in the world. Of course, others would say I've become a myopic hedgehog on Douglass; but, really, biography is just an excuse to appear hedgehoggy while indulging the fox.

Not sure on the lumping and splitting.

JaneB said...

Interesting - in my field foxes tend to be lumpers not splitters!