It seems that universities’ humanities programs are being marginalized now more than ever. Well, that’s at least what Ian Bogost argues but, doesn’t find that it’s quite the universities faults. “The problem is not the humanities as a discipline… The problem is its members. We are insufferable. We do not want change. We do not want centrality. We do not want to speak to nor interact with the world” (Bogost). I wonder though, isn’t this why the Digital Humanities became something big and real? By incorporating the digital, professors can allow their work to be shown in public formats.
Nicolas Kristoff says academics are walling themselves off from the rest of the world and pleads to professors to not “cloister yourselves like medieval monks.” So, is not publicizing a choice made by professors? Do they not want to move in the direction of the Digital Humanities? I’m sure the response cannot be answered with simultaneous agreement.
Could academic writing be too academic in a publicized environment? Joshua Rothmam finds “There are more writers than ever before, writing for more outlets, including on their own blogs, Web sites, and Twitter streams. The pressure on established journalists is to generate traffic.” Since pop-culture media seems to generate the most traffic, maybe academic writing just needs to find a different outlet rather than journals that only the universities library has a subscription to.
I find issue with this need for professors to be more public and accessible than “before.” Academic writing is indeed quite academic and I worry that issues and ideas could be misconstrued if presented on an outlet like say, Twitter. I don’t find that professor’s work should be accessible for “free.” Their research is time consuming, intricate, and involved. Of course, certain aspects of work could be presented on pop-media as a marketing tool but, I find that the benefits of free publicized information to be detrimental and worth less than it should be.
Bogost, Ian. “The Turtlenecked Hairshirt.” Debates in the Digital Humanities. Ed. Matthew Gold. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press, 2012. Web.
Kristof, Nicholas. “Professors, We Need You!” The New York Times. 15 Feb. 2014. Web.
Rothman, Joshua. “Why is Academic Writing So Academic?” The New Yorker. 20 Feb. 2014. Web.
*Image courtesy of 3D Issue