I met with my committee on Tuesday and went over the first draft of the reading list. As I anticipated, my framing paragraphs were not up to snuff. Then again, no guidelines currently exist for said framing paragraphs, so I probably couldn’t have done much better coming in cold.
More cheerful, however, is that I probably don’t have to worry too much about readings related to the dissertation for now; this means replacing a good third of the list with contemprary works on authorship and plagiarism, but I’m not distressed by this at all.
It comes down to selling the concept, I think. It may be better to come off as an expert in plagiarism and authorship issues rather than an expert in the history of ancient citation systems that still co-exist with modern ones, even though I think those two hats ought to be worn concurrently. In the sense of giving off a contemprary vibe, however, perhaps the first of those hats should be worn on top. I’ve been thinking of myself as a jack-of-all-trades with the bonus of two specialities (is that a contradiction in terms?), – one being aspects of style (paragraphs, rhythm, metaphor) and the other being history of rhetoric/comp with a further emphasis on early Christians. But perhaps a more thorough grounding in the plagiarism debate would not hurt, either.