The Valve has just passed along an announcement from the Chronicle of Higher Ed (sorry, link’s not working) about the appearance of a Humanities Research Network modeled on the successful Social Science Research Network, with papers posted in PDF form for others to download and/or comment upon. The new Humanities network will initally include papers in Philosophy, Classics, and English and American literature, broken down into sub-categories. For detailed information, see the Valve post or click here.
Networks like these have the potential to minimize humanities scholars’ dependence upon a journal, research library, and academic press arrangement that has received steadily decreasing support over the past 20 years. In response, our colleagues in the sciences have been turning to these networks because of the extortionate increases in the cost of journals in their disciplines; perhaps humanities scholars should follow their lead in setting up and supporting these networks.
Kristine at Serendipities (now featured on our blogroll) has a terrific new group of Carnivalesque offerings here, centered around the topic of commonplace books. Plenty of thoughtful connections here for those interested in the early modern end of the longish eighteenth.
From my point of view, some of the most interesting stuff here was the gathered material about the historical resemblances between blogs and early modern practices of interactive reading. I was interested to see that our own Miriam Jones (Miriam, are you still there?) did her own NEASECS talk (subsequently posted to the Valve) about scholarly blogging and technology in 2005, and talked about the competing metaphors of blogs as commonplace books vs. blogs as coffeehouses. I was also relieved to find that, although there was some overlap, that we didn’t simply replicate the discussion from 2005 (though it would be interesting to hear whether there has been much change in audience experience/interest/receptivity since 2005).
Since at least one part of the audience is still wondering whether to make the technological plunge, while the other part merrily joins in the conversation, I’m curious about how this kind of discussion could move forward. Any ideas?
And it seems to me that these kinds of rolling scholarly conversations/compilations, particularly events like Carnivalesque or Teaching Carnival, make some of the best arguments we could find for the value of scholarly blogging.