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02/01/2015

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Rohan Maitzen

I think you're right that literary blogging has done more good (and flourished, including with its offshoots) in literary culture generally than it has in academia. I don't really agree that political and other questions are "ancillary" to literature, but I do feel some recognition at your suggestion that there's not that much interest in "discussing literature" among academics, if by that we mean simply talking (as well as we can) about books. In my post I speculated that perhaps my own colleagues would be more interested in my blog if it were more academic and less bookish -- but that in itself is kind of suggestive, isn't it, though admittedly it's a very small sample?

I do think academics are getting used to quantifying things they can't hold in their hands -- who gets "offprints" of journal articles any more? though I suppose for tenure and promotion files it is still typical to print out hard copies. Still, I think the single most important disqualifying factor for blogs to "count" continues to be that they aren't peer reviewed, or at least not in the usual way (e.g. by external gate-keepers before going public).

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