Academic Blogging Roundtable: Networks, Perspectives, and Trajectories

AHA Session 221
Saturday, January 5, 2019: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Wabash Room (Palmer House Hilton, Third Floor)
Nathan Dize, Vanderbilt University
Jacqueline Antonovich, University of Michigan
Bryan Banks, Columbus State University
Brandon R. Byrd, Vanderbilt University
Alex S Cummings, Georgia State University
Cindy Ermus, University of Lethbridge
Benjamin E. Park, Sam Houston State University

Session Abstract

In April 2017, the AHA newsletter, Perspectives on History, reported on the ascendant medium of academic blogging, and traced its development over the last couple of years, “From Personal to Professional.” Perceptions of blogging have become professionalized, historian Sadie Bergen argued, along with the structure of these blogs, whose editorial practices now resemble those of “small publications.” Despite this, many still view blogging as outside the normative metrics of academia. As an article in Inside Higher Ed found, publishing in the public sphere, whether in op-eds or in blog format, posed structural, professional constraints for many scholars, particularly for junior faculty attempting to secure tenure and contingent faculty members trying to win over hiring committees. For this roundtable, the participants – all members of collective academic blogs and/or their editors – will explore the utility of academic blogging, and its evolution from personal to professional, while considering the ways that academic blogging has influenced traditional editorial and publishing practices. More specifically, the roundtable will focus on three main themes — blogs as networks, perspectives in blogging, and the future of academic blogging.

Given the larger size of the proposed roundtable, the first hour of will be organized as a Q&A, wherein the chair will ask questions directed at the individual experiences each participant has with academic blogging. Banks and Ermus will answer questions related to their more collaborative experience editing their site. Cummings and Antonovich will focus on their efforts to place contemporary events in historical perspective. Byrd will focus on his role within the African American Intellectual History Society and their blog Black Perspectives. Park will explore how he helped create a truly group blog, which encourages many to write and edit content for the site. This structure will leave at least thirty minutes for open Q&A, when we hope people will ask questions relating to the structure of academic blogging and its future.

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