ASC’s WordPress Link

karen-dambrosi

As some of you might already have seen, this is the site I’ve been working on as a sounding board for new ideas for research and a sandbox for experimenting with WordPress in this class.  It’s still very basic at this point, but I’m looking forward to fleshing it out as the project evolves.

A World of Their Own: Starting a Bibliography Like a Dummy

Essays on Gender and Unpaid / Immaterial / Digital Labor – 2/20

Brooke E. Duffy, (Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love: Gender, Social Media, and Aspirational Work (2017), 12-44.

Other Great Essays:

Tiziana Terranova, “Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy,” Social Text (Summer 2000): 33-58.

Abigail De Kosnik, “Fandom as Free Labor” in Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory, ed. Trebor Scholz (2012), 98-111. Link:

Kylie Jarrett, “The Relevance of ‘Women’s Work’: Social Reproduction and Immaterial Labor in Digital Media,” Television & New Media 15.1 (2013): 14-29. Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1527476413487607

February 20, 2019 – Bosley

Dr. Ralph Luker’s article “Were There Blog Enough and Time” really stood out to me this week because of how he discussed the creation of the blogosphere in the early 20th century when easily adaptable software was created to assist the general public with making blogs. I found it quite interesting how the first historians who blogged were connected and also had a hand in structuring what academic blogs could look. I only wish that the first blog post had been archived and compared to a later post by other academic bloggers. However, Luker’s article is fascinating in how he engages with the blogs. Rather than reading them as if they are past time entertainments. He discusses the blogs as if they have the setting of a classroom and each blogger, whether older or younger than him, becomes his teacher allowing him to engage in learning from up and coming experts in their specific fields.
One important piece of this article to me was the point at which Luker discuss the reasoning behind historians writing blogs rather than journal articles or books. In my interpretation of Luker’s last paragraph, he asks the question of whether blogs can be viewed as respectable or academic. This question is answered in Alex Cummings and Jonathan Jarrett’s article “Only Typing? Informal Writing, Blogs, and the Academy.” In both of these written works, the idea of blogs becoming an academic and professional endeavor seem to be pushed aside to make room for work that is both freeing, and un-peer reviewed. However, I believe that both Blogs and the academic can coexist on the same platform. As an undergrad in my History department, several departments worked on a project that was called the Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon. For this project, the participating students were required to pick a person in their respective studies that they would then write, or update, a Wikipedia page for, with the intention that their writing would be cited with credible sources. Through this project, and many like this around the country, we combatted the notion that online content could not be academic if not peer-reviewed. At the same time, we also had the opportunity of extensively writing drafts of each of our Wikipedia articles that we offered passed to class members for critiques and comments.
I do agree that blogs are spaces for freedom of thought; however, in a world where the truth can so easily be misconstrued leading to retractions of statements, as mentioned in the article by Cummings and Jarett. I believe that it is vital for one to review content even if it is going on a blog. However, I guess this poses the question of whether the structure that is used to review books and journal articles should be used the same way for blogs and other digital projects. As far as this point I would say no. I don’t believe that it should take over two years to publish a one-page blog post, yet I fear that blogs that are not written by those who are experts in the blog topics field might run into the problem of having a blog that many people might not be able to distinguish from Wikipedia. I hope that as we move on in the use of media as a platform for academia, we come to a point where this work can be recognized as an extension of an Academics work rather than a pastime.
Article on Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon: https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/a-feminist-edit-a-thon-seeks-to-reshape-wikipedia

 

Luker and Fulton – Corey Couch 2/20

With the advent of pre-formatted blogging sites, the popularity of blogging on the Internet has remained a staple with various advances in the 21st century. Blogs have a wide range in both form and purpose, with everything from anonymous personal blogging to institutionally funded, collective works.

Blogging, as it pertains to historians, can be traced back to Kevin C. Murphy in 1999. Luker notes that in 2003, historian bloggers were only vaguely familiar with each other but, through the interconnectivity of blogging, they formed an informal Internet community that linked out to other blogs. Since this time, there is some infamy to be found as academics on blogging sites, but the low barrier to entry medium is also popular for undergraduates and graduate assistants to come together and learn.

Additionally, there are features available in blogging that are not available to academics through more traditional or formal means. The blog allows for more radical creativity and propositions in scholarship without the strictness or “domesticity” of institutional spaces. The blog is also a place where unfinished works, hypotheses, thoughts, ramblings, and shorter pieces can make its way to the public. Finally, blogging allows for international connectivity and education. It’s a place to set an example and make an impact in people and places usually out of reach.

Fulton’s article is one such example of historiography through blogging. She re-introduces the fact that the female abortionist was once thought to be recognizable through specific features and traits that has since been lost or overlooked within abortion discourse. Madame Restell, for example was known for public advertisements and frequent arrests in New York, but she was by no means the only one. “The Abortionist” preying on pure, innocent women became an archetypal villain to society. Instead of an institution like Planned Parenthood, villainous traits could be located inside an individual body and in physical traits like facial features or the skull shape.

Through pseudoscience, physiognomy became associated with moral character and caught on readily as urban spaces cropped up, and the idea of being able to pinpoint a criminal in the crowd was an appealing one. Like old myths, the popularity of such tales operated not only for entertainment but also as a form of social policing. The villainous traits of the abortionist drew from those of witchcraft– a violation of feminine purity, maternity, and sexuality.

While these characters have largely disappeared from the discourse today, the obsession with pinpointing purity and innocence through physiognomy has remained. The focus has simply shifted to the fetus, its fingernails and soft body parts, to glorify certain tactile parts as sacred ones. Fulton argues that this shift is no less misogynistic; it is simply less explicit to protect its proponents from responsibility for that rhetoric. Their discourse can appear to come from a caring place, and the “bad woman” of sexuality can be implied as the villain at the opposite end.