| | Comments (0)

There's an interesting discussion going on over on about the appropriateness of blogging public lectures, and by interesting, I mean both thoughtful and thought-provoking.

One of that site's contributors blogged a talk delivered by a guest lecturer at the MIT-Harvard Economic Sociology Seminar, and both the guest in question and the person in charge of organizing the Seminar have responded in a discussion about whether or not talks like this should be blogged. It's an interesting question that ends up becoming more complicated once one considers the range of activities that are gathered together under the umbrella of "talk," from paid keynotes by academic celebrities to job talks by graduate students.

Complicating it even further are the range of approaches that a given academic community might take to a particular venue. One could argue that CCCC is an opportunity to present in-progress work and to receive feedback, and in fact, that's how it's often portrayed. At the same time, it's one of the most recognizable "official" indices of scholarly activity that appear on our cv's, and is peer-reviewed (of a sort) and public. My own sense is that we overuse (and rarely adhere to) the idea that something is a "safe space" to get feedback on one's work. A bad impression in a conference presentation is not likely to be mitigated by disclaimers of in-progress.

I tend to agree with Jeremy Freese, who offers up the CV test for bloggability: if you can list it on your vita, I can discuss it on my blog. And that seems fair to me. I think it's likewise fair, though, to ask ourselves what we're looking to accomplish in such discussions. Most of the blogging of public talks that I've done has been summary-response, and heavy on the summary. I think there's value in making our work more public, but I think it raises additional issues of accountability when the original object of blogging isn't available, and so I tend to err on the side of accuracy rather than opinion. Or rather, I try.

Anyhow, go check it out.

Leave a comment



Powered by Movable Type 4.1

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on September 22, 2007 5:55 PM.

You Gotta Be In It to Win It was the previous entry in this blog.

Why they play the game is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.