Do we think that ideas only come in a limited number of sizes? Obviously not. And yet … it would be perfectly reasonable for someone from the outside to accuse us of so thinking. These are the constraints of the institution, and we reinforce them constantly: in, for instance, our evaluations of journal articles, including the ways we count them for tenure; but also, say, in the normal length of the normal end-of-term graduate seminar paper, which is merely a proxy for its potential future as a journal article. And so for historical periods, the graduate curriculum, and reports on the state of disciplines: we think very badly about institutions, when we do at all.

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