Loose Connections

To be upfront up front, this isn't quite the super soaraway blockbuster Bulletin its incoming editor originally planned. The survey on ab initio language teaching had already expanded during the course of collation to fill every available crevice in the contents, when the arrival on 4 November of Georgia Kathleen Welbank Lowe (8lb 4oz) threw an infinitely delightful but not altogether timely final spanner into the preparation of copy. For frantic reasons of space and time, therefore, some items planned for this issue have been squeezed out from this edition.

But there's still something left in the other urn: some of the missing items are now likely to make their bow instead in the Bulletin 's electronic avatar on the World Wide Web, which should be up and online by the time this paper edition hits the streets of Bloomsbury. While the print edition of the Bulletin will remain its defining incarnation for whatever part of the future can be called foreseeable, the hope is that an electronic edition can be a touch more responsive and flexible than a once-a-year print run of 450 can aspire to.

It will also, I hope, be seen by more eyes. Though the Bulletin 's role and identity will continue to be defined by its status as the professional organ of University teachers in classical subjects in the UK, its contents have always been (potentially, at least) of interest far beyond its limited circulation to full-time classical teachers in British Universities. First, as the papers on postgraduate training by Judy Hallett, Emma Stafford and Susanna Morton Braund underline, the shadow community of part-time and postgraduate teachers have an appreciable interest in issues affecting the profession, not least because their own position in it is often so ambiguous or precarious. Second, consumers as well as producers of the service have a right to an interest too. Thus (a little alarmingly for an ingenu editor to contemplate) the Bulletin is already itself a prescribed text for undergraduate study in Cambridge's Part II course "Classics". And finally, British classicists are increasingly conscious of our own position in a global professional community: until recently, perhaps, primarily as net exporters of staff to Universities abroad, but colleagues particularly those involved in appointments over the last three or four years will be aware of a greater willingness to shortlist, and often to appoint, candidates (at all levels) from Europe or the US. Putting the Bulletin on-line allows all those wider communities a chance to eavesdrop on our deliberations. That seems both proper and inevitable.

Meanwhile, it's 5 in the morning, the printers need copy at dawn, and our firstborn has well-defined other ideas about how she'd like to spend her first night home. I'll have to get back to you next year. © Council of University Classics Departments 1995

Nick Lowe

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