cgbvb was honored last night, at the Awards banquet at Computers and Writing 2005, as the 2005 Kairos Best Academic Weblog. And as Mike notes in his announcement, not more than an hour later, Andrea Lunsford cited me in her keynote address. That qualifies as a doubleshot of academic goodness, guaranteed to perk up my day, and it does/did. Now, of course, I'm dying to hear/see what Andrea had to say about me...
I'm not looking to wax all "lifetime achievement" or anything, but I did want to thank the judges, both (obviously) for recognizing me but also for what must have been a great deal of reading and a difficult decision. Our little corner of the (academic) blogosphere has grown a lot in the last year, so don't think it false modesty if I say that part of doing this successfully is having people to talk with and ideas to work with. The claim, which still makes the rounds from time to time, that blogging is just self-indulgent, public diary-writing fails to take into account how important it is to each of us to have readers, fellow writers, comments, trackbacks, etc. So thanks also to the folks in my blogroll, and really to anyone who's taken to stopping by on a regular basis, whether you've left traces or not.
In my graduate course this summer, one of the issues that's emerged occasionally is the relationship between academic conversations and privilege, and one of the things that I'm slowly coming to realize is that this site has had a profound influence on the ways I think about academia and publication. It's hard not to be (sometimes more than) a little cynical about the economy that we academics find ourselves thrown into, and yet, for me, blogging operates outside of that system, and productively so. While the publication process can sometimes feel like an esoteric brand of hazing that rewards little more than raw persistence, whatever privilege and status I've earned here I've earned because of an ongoing commitment to writing and to the topics that interest me. And I like that there's a space where that's enough. I also appreciate those spaces where it takes more than that--I appreciate the quality of research and writing that occurs in those spaces. But I think that (for me, at least) blogging allows my writing a balance that I've only discovered in the past year or two, a balance between the event/performance and the dailyness that most of my writing embraces. I've said this before, but it bears repeating: we teach our students that their products should emerge from an ongoing process, but we're really bad at practicing what we preach.
And so that's maybe what I'm proudest of when it comes to being recognized as best academic weblog. It feels like I'm being rewarded specifically for practicing what we preach, for being both a teacher of writing and teacher who writes. Nothing wrong with that. Heh.