237 Academic Writing for Digital Spaces: A Roundtable

Friday, July 14, 2017: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 134 (University of Glasgow)
This panel will explore how digital platforms shape the writing and work that academics and other intellectuals do.

Online academic writing is no longer so new. The personal blog and the listserv, for example, have been part of academic life online for a generation. However, there has recently been an increase in the number and kind of platforms for online academic writing, and scholars are producing an increasing amount of research-based writing specifically for the Internet. The question is no longer whether to digitize, but in what ways and to what extent. Most scholars agree that reaching a broader audience is a critical part of reaffirming the value of their field or the humanities more generally for a skeptical public. Departments in all fields now regularly offer training in digital tools as part of graduate training, or even undergraduate training. Journals and other networks are increasingly incorporating digital publishing platforms as part of their mission.

The four panelists will consider these developments from the perspective of the publisher. How does one carve out a niche for a new platform, and then create active, engaged audiences? Is the goal to reproduce scholarly conversations on a faster-moving scale, or is the dissemination of information enough? Is there anything distinctive about academic, online writing? What do writers want from these experiences? Readers? How can publishers design digitals spaces that do not just reproduce existing networks? Finally, how do the answers to these questions vary across the arts, humanities, and social sciences?

Katrine Jensen , Emily Rutherford , Stephen Khan and Stephen Vass
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