Roger: introduction, takeaway from MLA2012

January 17, 2012

Hello world, I’m Roger Travis. I do games, and classics, and everything digital in between that looks the slightest bit ludic.

My plan for this blog, which Anke and I are hoping to use to spark conversation about what digital culture and media studies will look like at UConn, is to do quick-hit posts, one step above tweets and social media status-updates, and one fuse short of bombs. I’d rather ignite than explode.

At any rate, my first quick-hit: the two things that struck me while watching the Twitter feed on the #mla12 hashtag were the prominence of e-lit and the anguished debate about the future of scholarship. Since e-lit is one of Anke’s specialties, and because that topic struck me as a “had to be there” kind of thing, and because Anke was there (about which I’m incredibly envious), I’m going to talk briefly about the latter.

I agree that peer-review as we knew it is moribund, not only because of the inherent corruption of the system, but also and more importantly because given the subject of this blog, and of our shiny new program at UConn, the scarcity of publishing resources upon which it was founded no longer exists. The amount of exciting inter-disciplinary stuff going on on blogs and social media has already made the journals in which I was trained to publish relics, full of things that could be much better and more efficiently said in a different, digital model.

I think that model might be “forking,” a model that comes from the world of computer code. More on that next time.


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