Tag Archives: wizard of oz

The value of academic blogging

9 Mar

This post on the value of academic blogs makes a lot of sense to me, particularly here:

To think about such matters from the perspective of assemblage theory, we should be able to see that the material and expressive segments of a journal serve a strong, territorializing function, reaffirming the boundaries of discipline and the identities of participants. Sitting behind a paywall, available primarily through academic libraries, one can be fairly certain that no one will even accidentally encounter the text (and even if they did, the discourse would likely turn them away). There are good reasons for doing this kind of writing, but I would suggest that it is not the only kind of writing humanists should do. On the other hand, the functionality of the blog has a strong, deterritorializing function. It is designed to carry the media away via RSS feeds, to go viral via Twitter and Facebook, and so on. It is public and available via Google. And while it’s discourse can be variable, and potentially as esoteric as any journal article, the culture of blogging in general invites participation and sharing.

I only skimmed the comments, but they seemed to contain a useful discussion of methods, and an intriguing anxiety about exposing humanistic approaches to the casual ethos of the net. As if paywalls and peer review were a sort of curtain behind which our wizardry were best conjured.

But everyone has seen the end of that movie, so it looks like we are looking at the world of discourse without emerald colored glasses for the foreseeable future.