All fall I’ve been reading the thoughts of HASTAC Scholars (and others) who have insisted that academic scholarship, production, and activity move, echoing bell hooks, “from the margin to the center.” Many would agree that our work as beginning scholars would lend itself beyond the confines of academic journals and the narrowness implied therein—we want to have an impact beyond our impact factor; we are hopeful that our work may cause others to have hope, etc. In one of my Educational Technology classes, we’ve been reading Hypertext 3.0 by George Landow, and many of his ideas about how hypertext implies a shifting nature of authorship, writing/reading, and context—away from a static notion of what knowledge is (one that is rooted in authorial intention, greatness, etc) to one that incorporates different reading paths while allowing for the potential of many texts to be incorporated into that which is being reading.
It’s fascinating because while I generally don’t get excited about the “standing on a mountaintop” sort of proclamations—if education embraced initiative X, we might be ____ (fill in the blank)—I think there is something to Landow’s argument, especially in the light of social media. Why isn’t there some sort of Facebook for the Academy, that retained the social, linked nature of that social network, that allows scholars to share their work with their public. In my mind, the articles/writing/work wouldn’t take the form of 20-30 page articles, but would be shorter (5-10 pgs, more probably) that invited participation (co-writing) alongside/on top of/next to the “original” writing—or with links (videos, photos, etc) referencing the ideas “within” the text.
The idea would be to share academic work in a way that invites deep, rich participation (and echoing @KFitz ‘s idea of shifting the mode of academic production to one that values collaboration and various forms of coproduction) in an authentic, social way.