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August 3, 2004

Literature Scholars and Weblogs

George has an interesting entry about public perceptions of scholars of language and literature. He begins with an anecdote from a recent conference in which someone (presumably another academic) spoke dismissively about academic blogs. Like George, I have several hundred hits on my blog per day, and while I recognize that blog entries and journal articles are much different, academic blogs are one of the few places where people are likely to encounter representations of our profession, other than newspaper articles by non-academics and movies which happen to feature professors (either as characters or as experts).

In an informal survey in Erin O'Connor's Critical Mass, George concludes that many people who have negative perceptions of the work being done by English professors don't really have a clear understanding of what we do. To that end, George plans to use his blog to better represent what scholars of literature and language do. To some extent, I hope that my blog and other blogs like it already convey a little more about what we're doing in the classroom and in our research, but navigating the boundary between academic and more public audiences can sometimes be difficult. Like George, I'm glad to see that so many people are invested in reading and writing, and I'm looking forward to contributing to that discussion and reading George's entries on our work.

Posted by chuck at August 3, 2004 3:48 PM

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Thanks for this post--I look forward to reading more of George's blog too. You know, for the last year and more of my near-constant reading of blogs, I have focused almost exclusively on political blogs (and a couple of blawgs my wife recommended and every once in a while a stay-at-home parent blog for a day or two). Before reading your blog, I was almost entirely unaware of these kinds of academic blogs where profs actually discussed their classes, their pedagogical issues, their scholarship. At the moment, I'm afraid that you've just opened up a whole world of blogging that I'm going to have to keep up with too, and I'm just barely staying on top of my own blog and the political blogs I check daily.

I mean, it's 1 am now and I'm still up blogging, and I spent a good chunk of today on my blog, and now there's a whole 'nother world that's completely germane to me that I need to explore. Where will I find the time?

So, thanks. No, seriously, thanks.

Posted by: David at August 4, 2004 12:59 AM

Glad you're enjoying/learning from the academic blogs and I hope they don't consume too much time....

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2004 12:15 PM

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