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Wednesday, 17 May 2006


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Rich Puchalsky

Sounds interesting and amusing, Scott ... but still a little bit blog-triumphial, doesn't it? Let me make a few additions to complete the unsanitized version:

Michael Bérubé's "Instantaneous Criticism Index" demonstrates that when you blog, you too can become the target of Horowitzian screeds labelling you a dangerous professor.

[Bitch Ph.D.]'s "I'm a Defendant! Who are You?" turns to the question of pseudonymous blogging and whether it is good enough to fend off lame libel suit threats.

John Holbo's "Follows the Squabble of the Little Magazine" argues that it is not a foregone conclusion that the academic publishing culture will fully embrace the possibilities for long-term flame war that technology brings.

Scott Eric Kaufman's "The New And Wholly Unselective Interdisciplinary" contends that the blogosphere offers new possibilities for both inter- and intradisciplinary work. Drawing from his own experience, Kaufman demonstrates how a blog chronicling an English graduate student's dissertation on evolutionary theory in fin de siecle American literature and anecdotes about office sex can be read and commented upon by insane trolls, failed bullies, dilettantes who do not work in academia at all, and "interdisciplinary" righteous defenders of something or other, in addition to more or less reasonable and informed people. Such feedback encourages the growth and development of chronic loss of sleep.

Kevin Andre Elliott

Congrats, Scott. I plan on attending this year. I'll be there.


Wow - someday I'll be able to say that I used to comment at Acephalous way back when it was cool...

The Little Womedievalist

Oh, yeah. (Yeah!)......... yes, indeed.

Whining Stranger

At the risk of being juvenile and flippant, I will say that I dread attending EVERY MLA panel. And the whole conference in general.

Make it stop!


Mental energy willing and your panel doesn't coincide with either of mine, I'll be sure to add your session to my list. Now, if only I'd receive my program in the mail...


"Kaufman will argue that the blogosphere affords scholars the opportunity to easily and enthusiastically cross heretofore closely guarded disciplinary boundaries."

Not just scholars, but anyone interested in the topic under discussion. Constructive criticism from interested outsiders may be as useful as anything contributed by scholars who are too deeply involved in the matter to spot some flaws. Academic publications are not a good forum for wide-ranging debate, as journals and other publications are generally unavailable to those without access to a university library, and the style in which articles are written usually excludes all but those already knowledgeable about the discipline. Mind you, as Puchalsky says, the very accessibility of blogs leaves them open to abuse.

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