Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some miscellany

I'm in the midst of a bunch of things right now. Here are a few of them:

1. I just heard about Yale's Modernism Lab. Very cool -- looks like a great teaching tool, and I love how well it cross-references.

Also, hopefully it will become a quick reference for undergraduates. I was dismayed recently to find some students citing Wikipedia chapter and verse on modernism -- dismayed because they seemed to have failed to note the big disclaimer that the Wikipedia nerds had very responsibly put at the top of the page:

"This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject."

So true.

2. Even cooler is Kathleen Fitzpatrick's new book Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy, which, as you might expect, is about the prospects of academic writing in the information age. Refreshingly, it's not a mournful elegy for a lost golden age of print, nor a hopped-up celebration of all things internetz, but rather a smart and critical look at the current state of print and online publishing.

Particularly intriguing are Fitzpatrick's thoughts about how to implement meaningful open peer review and open access academic publishing. Although the book is forthcoming, in print, from NYU Press, Fitzpatrick is also trying out open commenting using CommentPress and as part of her ongoing open access/open peer review project Media Commons. I highly recommend checking the book out, and commenting.

3. I'm also reading seminar papers for the upcoming MSA.

4. I'm reading some work by Moon Duchin on the role of repugnance in analytic philosophy. Very interesting stuff.

5. As usual, I'll keep mum about my ongoing research, but let me just say that Margaret Mead is fascinating.

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