As some critics have pointed out, the academic pool is shrinking. Joshua Rothman argues that “Academic writing is the way it is because it’s a part of a system,” a system in which scholars and professors live in, but did not necessarily make themselves. He claims that this system peaked in the seventies, and has since changed, “making academic work more marginal.” Thus, the audience for academic work is shrinking as well.

Nicholas Kristof argues a similar point, but instead blames the academics themselves for such marginalization, instead of the “system.” While on the the farthest end of the spectrum, Ian Bogost claims that there is marginalization because people do not want centrality, to the extent that “We masticate on culture for the pleasure of praising our own steaming shit.” Thus, there is a wide debate in circulation on the actual cause behind academic marginalization. In this light, one might ask , shouldn’t our efforts be on fixing this marginalization, rather than trying to point blame?

A handful of critics attempt to find possible solutions to the situation. For example, Rothman concludes that only if we make academic writing more expansive can we then fix the problem. Kristof goes along the same lines and urges that professors become more accessible by using blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. Finally, Bogost only offers a handful of metaphors in which multiple interpretations can exist.Therefore, as it turns out, if we want to expand the academic members pool as well as it’s audience, we must expand as Rothman notes; however, one of the most efficient ways in expanding is through the digital world, as Kristof suggests. Professors, academics and scholars need to live in the present and take advantage of the tools they are given in the twenty-first century. This does not mean that we need to completely disregard the traditional methods; however, having both traditional and modern forms can be the difference between life and extinction. If we don’t, it could be the end of academic writing as we know it.

Works Cited:

Bogost, Ian. “The Turtlenecked Hairshirt”

Kristof, Nicholas. “Professors, We Need You!”

Rothman, Joshua. “Why is Academic Writing so Academic?”

 

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