Discussion in a Faculty Office, Part II

It has been almost five years since I’ve written about Sam Stamper, the young Assistant Professor who was taken to task by one of the most senior full professors in his department following a classroom observation. We left Stamper as he ran off to teach.After class, he contacted his union representative and filed a grievance … Continue reading Discussion in a Faculty Office, Part II

The Return of the Public Intellectual?

One of the biggest frustrations for me, as a scholar, is continual denigration (by certain academics) of my work as addressing only a "general audience." I can't be a "real" intellectual, you see, unless I write so that only a few specialists can parse my sentences and unearth my meaning. [It's also frustrating that I … Continue reading The Return of the Public Intellectual?

Remodeling Academic Journals

As David Gosser's comment on my post yesterday indicates, there are already a number of possibilities online that can be used by and for new types of academic journals--and people are taking advantage of them. The problem lies in finding an audience, in getting the necessary eyes and necessary responses, the two things that make … Continue reading Remodeling Academic Journals

Why Keep Academic Journals As They Have Been?

Over the past decade, newspapers have learned that they need to change to survive. The deaths of papers all over the United States made that quite apparent, and the journalism industry, though hating to do it, learned to adapt. Today's newspapers aren't merely print, but are intertwined with other media, including television, radio, and websites … Continue reading Why Keep Academic Journals As They Have Been?

Boycott Elsevier? Yes, But the Real Solution Lies Elsewhere

One does not become an academic to get rich. Even the most successful, those who end up owning a patent or writing a best-selling book, earn paltry amounts when set against any real standard of wealth. The reasons one does become an academic are myriad, from passion for teaching and/or research to desire for a … Continue reading Boycott Elsevier? Yes, But the Real Solution Lies Elsewhere

The Myth of Peer Review–And Helping Make Academic Gatekeeping Work in Digital Environments

Peer review has long been something of an unexamined black box. Something is peer reviewed? We accept that it has been checked and re-checked, examined and tested. Just look at the way it is used in the popular media--"peer review" is accepted as reflecting a process of rigorous vetting. In situations of promotion, re-appointment and … Continue reading The Myth of Peer Review–And Helping Make Academic Gatekeeping Work in Digital Environments

The Bearable Light of Openness: Renovating Obsolete Peer-Review Bottlenecks

This is a talk I gave at the Modern Language Association annual conference in Seattle 1/5/2012:When I was opening my café in the early nineties, I redid the plumbing for the entire space. This meant, at the time, that a New York City plumbing inspector would have to sign off on the work before we … Continue reading The Bearable Light of Openness: Renovating Obsolete Peer-Review Bottlenecks

Academic Commons [Updated]

Via Blogging Brande, I discovered Nick Montfort’s post on Grand Text Auto concerning open access and academic journals.Let me start with a sober and analytic reaction: “Yippee!”That out of the way, the battle between those of us who believe that the “commons” benefits everyone (in part, through what I call “the Grateful Dead effect,” from … Continue reading Academic Commons [Updated]

An Old Plaint, Renewed

There's a real lack of professionalism alive in our academic departments, an atittude that cares more for the nicety of bureaucracy and its rewards than for our academic goals.So?What's so startling about that?Nothing.But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be fought, or that it doesn't deserve the pointing out.Two of the problem areas, release time and … Continue reading An Old Plaint, Renewed