Just who should we--academics, that is--be talking to? Be writing for?Sometimes, admittedly, our conversations assume a great deal of background. Sometimes, that's even necessary. In too many of these cases, however, that background itself narrows consideration of possibilities and angles outside of the "wisdom" passed down in graduate school or in conferences of narrow focus … Continue reading Academic Audiences
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?
One of the best known "historians" in the United States is a fellow named David Barton. His wallbuilders.com describes him:His exhaustive research has rendered him an expert in historical and constitutional issues and he serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators, has participated in several cases at the Supreme Court, was involved in the … Continue reading The Professors and Public Policy
Perhaps one of the side benefits of the blogs will be the re-emergence of the public intellectual. Such people, usually specialists in one field but writing much more generally, once provided a great deal of the context for public debate. You might say that they provided the parameters for the public sphere (if you can … Continue reading Let Me Put That in Context