Posted By Roger Stritmatter on April 3, 2016
The graduate and Tower relatives at 2001 University of Massachusetts PhD dissertation defense on De Vere Geneva Bible. From left to right, Oz, Chris, Ellen, David, Charles and Nick Tower, myself in the middle.
During the 1990s, when I was writing my dissertation on the de Vere Bible as a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, the process of completing the dissertation was made much more dramatic by the academic flutterbug, Dr. David Kathman, a PhD in linguistics who works
as a stockbroker in financial services. [after writing this I was informed that Dr. Kathman objected to being called a stockbroker. According to his most recent Linked In profile, Kathman is a “Mutual Fund Analyst at Morningstar” – 4/18/16].
Here was a man who by his own declaration was practically born knowing it was his mission to destroy Shakespeare heresy!
Kathman took it upon himself, without ever meeting me and knowing almost nothing of my scholarship, real opinions on authorship, or plans for the future, without knowing the character or intent or progress of my research, and indeed almost without knowing anything at all, it might seem, about the subjects at issue, to make several phone calls to my committee members to dissuade them from supporting my inquiry.
There were many challenges in completing the dissertation, and after more ten years of work (which also involved writing drafts of several other major papers, most of which have since been published in venues like the University of Tennessee Law Review, Critical Survey, The New England Review, and other reasonably high impact journals in three different academic disciplines (literature, law, and psychology) I was by the end in danger of being labeled a perpetual student and sent home for non-completion of the PhD. But none of these obstacles was quite as obnoxious as Dr. Kathman’s meddlesome insinuations, which routinely illustrated former Folger Educations Direct Richmond Crinkley’s observation that authorship orthodoxy is characteristically perpetuated by “a bizarre form of mutant racism.”