Voice

Blogs, public intellectuals and the academy

For the millions thousands close relatives who are interested in my musings on the state of public intellectuals in America, you can read a draft of "Public Intellectuals 2.0" which I'll be presenting at a conference later this week at Boston University's Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs. While the dominant trope about public intellectuals is that they ain't what they used to be, I'm relatively bullish. The thesis paragraph:
[T]he growth of online publication venues has stimulated rather than retarded the quality and diversity of public intellectuals. The criticisms levied against these new forms of publishing seem to mirror the flaws that plague the more general critique of current public intellectuals: hindsight bias and conceptual fuzziness. Rather, the growth of blogs and other forms of online writing have partially reversed a trend that many have lamented - what Russell Jacoby labeled the "professionalization and academization" of public intellectuals. In particular, the growth of the blogosphere breaks down - or at least lowers - the barriers erected by a professionalized academy.
Go check it out, and don't be afraid to e-mail me about what I got wrong! UPDATE:  See my follow-up to this post here, and my response to Barry Gewen here

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