Academic Obsolesence

I’m having some struggles understanding exactly what Fitzpatrick is trying to say (and this is also more of an update rather than my thoughts on the entire book).  Plus, I’m rather outside the world of academic publishing.

One thing that stood out to me the most, aside from her excellent zombie metaphor, was Fitzpatrick’s understanding of crisis surrounding “the valuation of humanities within the university, and of institutions of higher education within the culture at large” (13).  One of the biggest complaints that I experience about academia from both ends of the spectrum is that the brilliance of the ideas are lost not only because of the communication barrier, but because of the difficulties and politics that come with publishing of any sort.  I, and apparently Fitzpatrick, felt like this communication breakdown, as well as the internally policed system of academic publishing that she describes, is really just a self-perpetuating system that keeps  academia irrelevant to the greater population.

I’m sorry this isn’t more insightful or lengthy at the moment- I’ll  hopefully update with a bit more as I attempt to decipher what exactly Fitzpatrick is saying.



2 thoughts on “Academic Obsolesence”

  1. Nope–you’re spot-on. Also, I agree that the weird self-serving academic publishing industry is a big part of what keeps us cut off from the normal population, who see this system as (rightfully) arcane and generally more counter- than productive.

  2. I agree with your comments about academia but also want to connect it to some conflicting desires I think scholars have. For one, we want to be relevant and open and accessible to the general public–we want to feel as if the work we’re doing is justified and useful. But at the same time, we want to be able to protect ourselves and our expertise. It makes for strange conversations sometimes to try to explain your research in a way that makes sense but that also doesn’t diminish your position as researcher, an attempt to both invite in and exclude.

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