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John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
Aaron Bady
Adam Roberts
Amardeep Singh
Andrew Seal
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Joseph Kugelmass
Lawrence LaRiviere White
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Miriam Burstein
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Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

Event Archive

cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I’ve got two posts in me … and I just wrote the third

Posted by John Holbo on 01/09/07 at 07:07 PM

Tim Burke:

I’ve also hit a point where I’m frustrated by the rigidity of discussions across the blogosphere. I honestly see a big difference between the kinds of conversations about academia that used to happen in the comments of the Invisible Adjunct’s site and the meta-conversations about academic and disciplinary issues that now roll across a range of blogs, from Erin O’Connor to the Valve to Long Sunday and so on. We’ve gone past the point where many conversations had the plasticity to go in unexpected directions. We’ve gotten instead to the point where many participants in the meta-discussion are defending fixed terrain, sometimes terrain that they’re paid to defend by institutions with a largely instrumental interest in blogs as extensions of some larger project.

I have to say: academic blogging is still a long way from seeing money become a deleterious factor - either in the form of actual currency or reputation capital. It’s still too uncertain whether blogging is worth it on your CV - worth the time it takes, for professional purposes. I’ve gone about as far in that direction as anyone, I suppose, what with this Parlor Press thing (memo to self: gotta get working on that again now that I’m home). But if my blog books turn out boring, I won’t be able to blame anyone but myself. I’m too small potatos for anyone to bother foisting an agenda or project on me. When and if institutional incentive structures start inducing people to blog, in the hopes of reward, rather than because they just feel like blogging, then we’ll get money problems. For now we’re stuck with the other problem Burke mentions: we repeat ourselves. I do feel that it might be a good idea for me, personally, to take a few months off - shut up and think new things; come back and stun people by posting things they’ve never heard me say before. Time for the Valve to serve its liquid mandate again, what hey? Take our blogroll, for example. Either we can just change the title to something like ‘spooky blog graveyard’ - visit Alphonse van Worden! See the zombie-like blankness of the “Thank you for not being a zombie” archive page! Or we can actually update the frackin thing? It’s like we’re college kids who expect mom to do our laundry once a semester, or something. Honestly.

To put it another way: are you a fresh new blogface that deserves to be in our freshly updated blogroll? Make yourselves known, new kids with something new to say! In comments, please. As Baudelaire writes: “the crush of minor literary men whom one sees at funerals, distributing handshakes and trying to catch the eye of the writer of the obituary notice.” Oh, wait. No, he was old when he wrote that and had nothing new to say. I was thinking about the stuff about how the dandy is half eternal, half new. As the blog should be - modern thing. If you don’t want to promote yourself like that, answer a question. What sort of pope would you be? Baudelaire writes: “When I was a child I wanted sometimes to be pope, but a military pope, and sometimes to be an actor.” I must say: martyr pope is more appealing, although I do think that there is something Dave Sim-like about late Baudelaire - and Pope Cerebus was a military pope. It all fits.


Oh, and there’s Confessions of a Community College Dean ("Foucault, plus lawn care").

By Amardeep Singh on 01/10/07 at 12:08 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Thanks, AS, for letting me not toot my own horn about CitizenSE, and for the kind words about it.  The longer it takes me to finish my Hawthorne book, the longer that blog will exist.  Although if I still like it when the book is out and reviews stop coming in, all bets are off for ending it.

I’ve also got a blog for fun called Mostly Harmless, but being who I am it can’t help but be academic.  That one I plan to update slightly more often than fafblog!, so it has potential for a longer bloggy life.

By The Constructivist on 01/10/07 at 12:33 PM | Permanent link to this comment

While I’m at it, we should also have Flavia.

By Amardeep Singh on 01/10/07 at 01:06 PM | Permanent link to this comment

One more: To Delight and Instruct.

By Amardeep Singh on 01/10/07 at 01:19 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Wow, Amardeep. I should just stand back and watch a master at work. What about Jodi Dean’s icite?

By on 01/10/07 at 03:44 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Oh, and btw my little bro did have our mom do his laundry in college (we lived within walking distance from it), but he’s grown up to be quite a responsible person (much more so than me)!  There’s hope for The Valve.

By The Constructivist on 01/10/07 at 06:50 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Thanks, Amardeep!

You guys should also definitely have Blogging the Renaissance, Oso Raro (of Slaves of Academe), and a very good new blog, Tenured Radical.

By Flavia on 01/11/07 at 11:00 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Flavia, my pleasure. And those seem like great suggestions. (BTW, I fixed your links. Remember to put “http://” in front of the URL..)

What I want to know is, where are the Victorian studies and Modernism group blogs? Anyone? Bueller?

By Amardeep Singh on 01/11/07 at 01:54 PM | Permanent link to this comment

One other new blogger: uncomplicatedly. The woman’s barely gotten started and already has a deserved community of fans and commenters.

By Joseph Kugelmass on 01/11/07 at 04:53 PM | Permanent link to this comment

[repost] Suggest adding
http://www.thegrue.org/tdaoc/ (Thumb Drives and Oven Clocks)

But how about adding some structure in the list? Like, group weblogs (Cliopatria, Long Sunday, The Weblog, Unfogged, et al ...). Or, Practition: in addition to Silliman,
http://uzwi.wordpress.com/ (M John Harrison)

And a little housekeeping couldn’t hurt. What’s linking to B&W’s “About” page all about? Then there’s stale links:
LNR Review http://www.themidnightbell.com/tmb/
Dr Crazy http://reassignedtime.blogspot.com

Department of Redundancy Department: The Weblog & Weblog, the

By nnyhav on 01/12/07 at 10:08 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Actually, should blogs not are not primarily literary in focus, like Cliopatria, be on the list?  Not that there’s anything wrong with Cliopatria, but it’s a long link list, and Crooked Timber seems to have the self-imposed task of listing all academic blogs of whatever field.  Is the purpose of the link list to direct human beings to other literary-focus blogs (which would indicate a shorter list), or is it to up the Google ranking of lots of blogs (which would indicate a larger list)?

I’m also a bit iffy about linking to every blogging writer with an academic position, because they are really a different kind of blog.  For instance, Silliman is a critic as well as a poet, and seems to primarily blog about criticism rather than his own work; John Crowley hasn’t written criticism that I know of, and blogs primarily about his work.  Maybe a seperate section?

By on 01/12/07 at 11:39 AM | Permanent link to this comment

There’s no need to overthink it—I think the list should be blogs we like to read, and think our readers will be interested in.

I’m also not a big fan of generic categorization, or limiting the length of the blogroll for aesthetic reasons. A good blogroll ought to have some surprises.

It’s not about Google, it’s about reciprocity and the interest in building community. One wants to recognize exising readers and encourage possible ones.

Two others I forgot to mention earlier:

Amitava Kumar, a critic and writer almost as prolific and ubiquitous as Michael Berube, if such a thing is possible.

Modal Minority (check out his stunning recent B&W photos of Brussels!)

By Amardeep Singh on 01/12/07 at 01:00 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Well, should categorization take hold, I aspire to be listed under (g) stray dogs, or (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, though (l-n) seem more likely (even though crookedtimber uses them). (Bérubé would be, alas, (b) embalmed.)

By nnyhav on 01/12/07 at 01:26 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Kugelmass, thanks for the nod. I’d be honored!

By uncomplicatedly on 01/12/07 at 09:38 PM | Permanent link to this comment

thanks for the nod. (re categorization--I personally like “those that tremble as if they were made.")

By carlos on 01/15/07 at 12:12 AM | Permanent link to this comment

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