So what it was like to be a professor of Spanish literature, say, back in the 1920s or 1930s?
For one, teaching loads were higher than they are now. Leading research universities had their famous research superstars teach more than we do right now at most of the teaching institutions with non-existent research requirements. Everybody taught lower-level language courses. In a semester, a professor might teach two advanced literature courses and two Spanish 101 courses. Language courses required more hours per week than they do now. Nobody expected to teach only or mostly in their area of specialization.
I’m starting to think that maybe we are spoiled to bitch about workloads like mine. By “we” I mean myself. Hmm.