1.vii Discipline Formation in the Academic Context

Ball, John Clement. 2010. “Definite Article: Graduate Student Publishing, Pedagogy, and the Journal as Training Ground.” Canadian Literature 204: 160–62.

Ball speaks from his position as editor of the journal Studies in Canadian Literature on the social and pedagogical role of journals in graduate training and, thus, discipline formation. He suggests that academics view themselves as a part of a three-way pedagogical continuum that includes journals and graduate students. Although journals should not replace supervisors, they can play a significant role in the professionalization of graduate students by reviewing, critiquing, and disseminating graduate work. In this way, graduate students are better prepared to face the post-convocation job market.

*Bazerman, Charles. 1991. “How Natural Philosophers Can Cooperate: The Literary Technology of Coordinated Investigation in Joseph Priestley’s History and Present State of Electricity (1767).” In Textual Dynamics of the Professions: Historical and Contemporary Studies of Writing in Professional Communities, edited by Charles Bazerman and James Paradis, 13–44. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Bazerman studies the role of early literature reviews through a thorough discussion and analysis of Joseph Priestley’s The History and Present State of Electricity (1767). If, as Bazerman argues, literature reviews constitute potent sites of knowledge-sharing and dissemination in a community, then Priestley’s volume represents the first literature review, since it details the history of electricity research and experiments. Priestley created a comprehensive, open-ended document that summarized the accepted state of the field as well as anomalies, discrepancies, and failures. Bazerman applauds Priestley for his active service in democratizing and disseminating knowledge.

Berkenkotter, Carol, Thomas N. Huckin, and John Ackerman. 1991. “Social Context and Socially Constructed Texts: The Initiation of a Graduate Student into a Writing Research Community.” In Textual Dynamics of the Professions: Historical and Contemporary Studies of Writing in Professional Communities, edited by Charles Bazerman and James Paradis, 191–215. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Berkenkotter, Huckin, and Ackerman develop a case study of a first-year graduate student’s writing experience in order to discuss discipline formation via introduction to a discourse community. They argue that every shift into a new discursive, professional, or scholarly community requires a learning and application of discipline-specific rhetorical structures. Perhaps predictably, the authors conclude that previous relevant experience in a field better prepares a graduate student for rhetorical success. Although this conclusion appears initially obvious, it is pertinent when one considers current conversations surrounding graduate training reform. Overall, the authors present a unique study of graduate training and discipline formation through the lens of writing and rhetoric practices.

Berry, David M. 2011. “The Computational Turn: Thinking About the Digital Humanities.” Culture Machine 12: n.p. http://www.culturemachine.net/index.php/cm/article/view/440/470.

Berry narrates the formation of post-secondary education, traced back to Immanuel Kant’s notion of reason as the guiding force of the ideal university. Berry maintains that the digital should now be considered the unifying idea of the contemporary university. He argues that the disparate, multiple knowledges produced in the university can unify via digital practice and context; by taking up the digital as form and content for educational institutions, we can move toward a more networked and decentralized “digital intellect” (7). This new ethos need not rely on traditional academic ideals of learning an entire literary canon or memorizing multiple equations. The focus would thus shift from the individual student or researcher to the collective, from the sharply delineated university to the postdisciplinary university.

*Biagioli, Mario. 2002. “From Book Censorship to Academic Peer Review.” Emergences 12 (1): 11–45. doi:10.1080/1045722022000003435.

Biagioli details the historical and epistemological shifts that have led to the academic peer review system as it is now known. Contrary to its contemporary role, peer review began as an early modern disciplinary technique closely related to book censorship and required for social and scholarly certification of institutions and individuals alike. The rise of academic journals shifted this constrained and royally-mandated position; no longer a self-sustaining system of judgment and reputation dictated by a small group of identified and accredited professionals, (often blind) peer review now focuses on disseminating knowledge and scholarship to the wider community. Biagioli also states that journals have moved from officially representing specific academic institutions to being community owned and operated, as responsibilities, duties, and readership are now dispersed among a group of like-minded scholars.

Brant, Claire. 2011. “The Progress of Knowledge in the Regions of Air?: Divisions and Disciplines in Early Ballooning.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 45 (1): 71–86. doi:10.1353/ecs.2011.0050.

Brant studies discipline formation through the development and reception of balloons in the eighteenth century. She argues that, contrary to standard narratives about scientific discoveries and technological advances, discipline formation is in fact unruly and disorderly. In the case of balloons, it was this very disorder that drew a substantial amount of criticism from the “more serious” scientific community. Chaotic development also led to various “Eureka!” moments, and a thorough consideration of the possibilities and limitations of flight.

Brooks, Kevin. 2002. “National Culture and the First-Year English Curriculum: A Historical Study of ‘Composition’ in Canadian Universities.” American Review of Canadian Studies 32 (4): 673–94. doi:10.1080/02722010209481679.

Brooks details the institutional, political, and economic history of composition courses at Canadian university English departments. Although first-year composition is a prominent fixture at American universities, it is not typically taught at their Canadian counterparts, something that surprises U.S. academics. Brooks discusses this notable curricular absence in the context of larger mid-twentieth-century fears concerning Canadian national identity and anti-Americanism. He suggests that the tension between Canadian and American views on composition “can function as a barometer for understanding the relationship between national cultures and higher education” (689).

Buehl, Jonathan, Tamar Chute, and Anne Fields. 2012. “Training in the Archives: Archival Research as Professional Development.” College Composition and Communication 64 (2): 274–305.

Buehl, Chute, and Field discuss the possibilities for graduate training via archival research. The authors suggest that archival research is an appropriate avenue for professionalization, since it trains students to think and research methodically as well as to practise information literacy and management skills. Furthermore, archival research provokes a more nuanced understanding of historiography, preservation, and research practices. Through a case study, the authors prove the efficacy and benefits of training humanities scholars through archival methods.

Carlton, Susan Brown. 1995. “Composition as a Postdisciplinary Formation.” Rhetoric Review 14 (1): 78–87. doi:10.1080/07350199509389053.

Carlton focuses on a specific moment of disciplinary formation in the field of composition. She outlines the arguments for and against composition becoming formally and nationally established as an academic discipline. Although many abhor the tenure-based credential system implicit in contemporary academic discipline formation, others argue that composition will not be taken seriously as a field until it is legitimized as a discipline. Carlton concludes in favour of composition as a discipline, but with a caveat of maintaining an enlightened, “postdiscipline” attitude.

*Eagleton, Terry. 2010. “The Rise of English.” In The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, edited by Vincent B. Leitch, 2140–46. New York: W.W. Norton.

Eagleton argues that the development of English literature was an ideological strategy used, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, as a form of suppression and control to educate lower classes only “enough” to keep them subservient. English literature, moreover, was actually scorned and primarily directed at women when first introduced as a field of university study. Eagleton concludes that literature “is an ideology” (2140) due to its historical role in social development and nation-building in England and elsewhere.

Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. 2012. “The Humanities, Done Digitally.” In Debates in the Digital Humanities, edited by Matthew K. Gold, 12–15. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/30.

Fitzpatrick addresses the long-standing debate of what should be considered the digital humanities, and addresses how the term has evolved over time to shift the focus from resting chiefly on the digital aspect. She tackles the existing tension between those who argue for digital humanities as the creation of knowledge and tools through digitized means, and those who believe it should be expanded to include interpretation. Through a set of examples, Fitzpatrick points to how this has been a long-standing issue in other aspects of the humanities. She concludes that the most productive outcome of such an argument is to bridge the opposing positions by considering the digital humanities as inherently interdisciplinary. Fitzpatrick adds that a distinctive aspect of the field is its investigation of the ways in which the digital changes traditional humanities research and scholarly communication.

*Fjällbrant, Nancy. 1997. “Scholarly Communication—Historical Development and New Possibilities.” In Proceedings of the IATUL Conferences. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Libraries e-Pubs. http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1389&context=iatul.

In order to study the widespread transition of scholarly communication from print to electronic formats, Fjällbrant details the history of the scientific journal. Academic journals had emerged in seventeenth-century Europe, and the first of these, the Journal des Sçavans, was published in 1665 in Paris. The first learned societies formed at this time—the Royal Society in London and the Académie des Sciences in Paris—were primarily concerned with the dissemination of knowledge, and the scholarly journal developed out of a desire by researchers to share their findings with others in a cooperative forum. Following the lead of the Royal Society, some of whose members had read the Journal des Sçavans, other societies established similar serial publications. Although there were other contemporaneous forms of scholarly communication, including the letter, the scientific book, the newspaper, and the cryptic anagram system, the journal emerged as a primary source of scholarly communication. It met the needs of various stakeholders: the general public, booksellers and publishers, libraries, authors who wished to make their work public and claim ownership, the scientific community invested in reading and applying other scientists’ findings, and academic institutions that required metrics for evaluating faculty.

Garson, Marjorie. 2008. “ACUTE: The First Twenty-Five Years, 1957– 1982.” English Studies in Canada 34 (4): 21–43. https://ejournals. library.ualberta.ca/index.php/ESC/article/view/19771/15285.

In this reprint of a pamphlet originally published in 1982, Garson discusses the two and a half decades of ACUTE, now known as ACCUTE: the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers in English. While Garson comprehensively details the history of the association—the fi conference, the development of the member base, the initial aims—she simultaneously notes the political and economic status of post-secondary English departments in Canada. Needless to say, this status has been tenuous and fraught almost from the inception of humanities departments in Canada. Overall, Garson provides an informative view into how the study of English literature has developed institutionally and socially, as well as a more specifi  glimpse into the trajectory of one of the major learned societies in Canada.

Graff, Gerald. 2003. “Introduction: In the Dark All Eggheads Are Gray.” In Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind, 1–16. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Graff argues that contemporary mores in academia constrict, rather than foster, social knowledge creation. A false intellectual divide exists that is heavily predicated on purposeful incomprehensibility in academic writing and practice. For Graff, academics render their communication more obscure than necessary because of underlying anxieties concerning irrelevancy, or worse, so-called vulgarity. Graff argues that academics, and perhaps most especially teachers, must avoid the trap of pretentious hyperintellectual rhetoric in order to actually inspire knowledge and to work together with students in the realm of higher education.

* —. 1987. Professing Literature: An Institutional History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Graff thoroughly details the history of twentieth-century English literature studies in America. He argues that many of the issues in contemporary academia can be traced to an overall method of patterned isolationism in a department. Due to intellectual or discipline-based conflicts, various isolated fields of thought and practitioners prevail. Conflicts are neither acknowledged nor attended to, but rather overlooked by a general attitude of inclusion and comprehensiveness. As a result, divergent schools of thought never engage in conversation or debate, and all practitioners are endowed with silos in which they can effectively ignore their intellectual opponents. The self-perpetuating lack of interconnectedness and collaboration in English departments has negatively affected their overall scholarship and success. Furthermore, Graff contends that the confl between schools of thought (classicism, New Criticism, critical theory, and now, perhaps, digital humanities) should be taught to students in order to contextualize and lend meaning to their literary education. Graff presents the above arguments as an introduction to a comprehensive historical explanation of how literary studies evolved as a discipline.

Hayles, N. Katherine. 2008. Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

Hayles surveys the field known as electronic literature. She suggests that while electronic literature acknowledges the expectations formed by the print medium, it also builds on and transforms them. In addition, electronic literature is informed by other traditions in contemporary digital culture, including computer games. In this way, electronic literature embodies a hybrid of various forms and traditions that may not usually fit together. Hayles outlines a wide variety of electronic literature examples, and comments that new approaches of analysis are required—in particular, the ability to “think digital” and to recognize the aspects of networked and programmable media that do not exist in print literature. In electronic literature, neither the body nor the machine should be given theoretical priority. Instead, Hayles argues for interconnections that “mediate between human and machine cognition” (x). She sees this intermediation as a more playful form of engaging with the complex mix of possibilities offered by contemporary electronic literature.

Ittersum, Martine J. van. 2011. “Knowledge Production in the Dutch Republic: The Household Academy of Hugo Grotius.” Journal of the History of Ideas 72 (4): 523–44. doi:10.1353/jhi.2011.0033.

Ittersum approaches early modern knowledge production through the lens of a seventeenthcentury Dutch scholar, Hugo Grotius, and his family. She argues that scholarly families prevailed as units of knowledge production or household academies in the early modern period. Household academies were built upon a familial infrastructure of research, support, editing, and promotion. Signifi tly, Ittersum asserts that Grotius’s success, in particular, depended largely on the diligent writerly and readerly efforts of his family.

*Jagodzinski, Cecile M. 2008. “The University Press in North America: A Brief History.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing 40 (1): 1–20. doi:10.1353/scp.0.0022.

Jagodzinski describes the history of the North American university press, beginning with the fi presses at Cornell and Johns Hopkins Universities, which debuted in the nineteenth century. From the beginning, the primary function of the university press was considered to be the dissemination of knowledge. Twentieth-century growth in the number of colleges and universities led to a corresponding growth in the number of university presses, and the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) was formally established in the mid-1930s. As is well known, the last quarter of the twentieth century heralded major systemic changes and obstacles, and the university press was not immune to these challenges. Jagodzinski discusses in detail how university presses have responded, pragmatically and creatively, to the (largely fi ancial) issues burdening contemporary scholarly communication.

Jones, Steven E. 2013a. The Emergence of the Digital Humanities. London and New York: Routledge.

Jones studies the emergence of digital humanities in response to changes in culture. He uses William Gibson’s concept of the eversion of cyberspace (that is, the boundary crossing, flipping, and erasure between cyberspace and non-cyberspace) as a way to describe the cultural change that has led to the current incarnation of digital humanities. Jones frames the emergence of digital humanities as a blending of textual studies and game studies. He provides readings of popular games such as Fez and Spore, as well as a number of indie games, to analyze the relation between digital humanities and game studies. Jones concludes with an overview of practices (such as desktop fabrication) that are relevant to both gaming and digital humanities. For a snapshot of Jones’s stated views on scholarly communication, please see the annotation of the “Publication” chapter from The Emergence of the Digital Humanities elsewhere in this bibliography collection.

Kaufer, David S., and Kathleen M. Carley. 1993. “Academia.” In Communication at a Distance: The Influence of Print on Sociocultural Organization and Change, 341–93. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.

Through sociological methods, Kaufer and Carley explore the relationship between academia and print culture. The authors concede that shared, participatory textual conventions enforce stability in academic professions, as one of the significant and most obvious effects of print is to enhance the speed and efficiency of information travelling to and through communities. Kaufer and Carley run a set of simulations in order to explore the dissemination of ideas in an academic discipline; they concur that rapid advances, social knowledge creation, and a growing community all depend on the efficacy of print dissemination. As such, a disciplinary familiarity with the form and allowances of print proves desirable for academic writers. Notably, the authors briefly touch on the interrelations between the Royal Societies, scientific journals, and print.

Kirschenbaum, Matthew. 2012. “What is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?” In Debates in the Digital Humanities, edited by Matthew K. Gold, 3–11. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota  Press.  http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/38.

Kirschenbaum discusses the origins, evolution, and distinctive features of the digital humanities as a field. He draws attention to the strong feelings of community, common purposefulness, and valued openness in the digital humanities, which he believes can resist the present crisis the humanities face. Kirschenbaum defends the position of digital humanities in English departments, and portrays how digital humanities embraces modern scholarship. He also claims that digital humanities are the first “new big thing” in the humanities in a long time. For Kirschenbaum, digital humanities practices of scholarship and pedagogy are based on transparency, a deep sense of engagement, and a strong network of scholars and researchers.

Lightman, Harriet, and Ruth N. Reingold. 2005. “A Collaborative Model for Teaching E-Resources: Northwestern University’s Graduate Training Day.” Libraries and the Academy 5 (1): 23–32. doi:10.1353/ pla.2005.0008.

Lightman and Reingold expand on the annual Graduate Training Day held by the library at Northwestern University. This program aims to increase the information literacy of incoming graduate students. Ideally, Graduate Training Day will better prepare students for their upcoming scholarly practices as well as their professional lives after graduate school. Lightman and Reingold argue that information literacy is necessary training for graduate students, as it introduces bibliographic, research, digital humanities, and project management tools students may not be familiar with prior to their graduate education. (At the time of writing, it is unclear whether Graduate Training Day continues.)

Lorimer, Rowland. 2013. “Libraries, Scholars, and Publishers in Digital Journal and Monograph Publishing.” Scholarly and Research Communication 4 (1): n.p. File/43/117.

Lorimer briefly details the last forty years of scholarly publishing to explicate the current state of affairs. He asserts that a reorganization of the academic publishing infrastructure would greatly encourage forthright contributions to knowledge, especially concerning academic journals and monographs. The splitting of the university press from the university (except in name), coupled with funding cuts and consequent entrepreneurial publishing projects, has hampered the possibilities of academic publishing. If all of the actors of digital scholarly communication—libraries, librarians, scholars on editorial boards, technologically-inclined researchers, programmers, digital humanists, and publishing professionals—were brought together in an inclusive collaboration, digital technology could yield significant benefits for the future of scholarship and knowledge creation.

*Moretti, Franco. 1998. Atlas of the European Novel, 1800–1900. London: Verso.

Moretti proposes using maps as analytical tools for in-depth analysis of literature by adopting the concept of mapping as a way of reading. He argues that this approach reveals the rich and multilayered nature of literary works that may otherwise elude the reader, providing evidence for this claim by presenting and analyzing numerous digital maps of well-known works. Moretti is critical, however, of the fact that literary analysis focuses primarily on canonical work. He suggests that the focus ought to be expanded to include the immense body of marginalized literature, and that working with such a large corpus would require collaborative digital research. According to Moretti, these types of digital mapping projects should actively constitute the literary field and form part of its discourse, rather than simply acting as another method for studying it.

Nowviskie, Bethany. 2012a. “A Digital Boot Camp for Grad Students in the Humanities.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. Last modified April 29, 2012. for-Grad/131665.

Nowviskie discusses the Praxis program she directs out of the Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia. She demonstrates how a combined commitment to interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and tacit knowledge is used to effectively train graduate students in contemporary humanities (and especially digital humanities) work. Nowviskie acknowledges the challenges and benefits of blending radically new methods for graduate training with traditional humanities practices and credit systems. Overall, she reiterates the value of training graduate students in an open-ended, community-minded way; in this way, humanities programs can facilitate both graduate and postgraduate school careers.

*Siemens, Raymond G. 2002. “Scholarly Publishing at its Source, and at Present.” In The Credibility of Electronic Publishing: A Report to the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada, compiled by Raymond G. Siemens, Michael Best, Elizabeth Grove-White, Alan Burk, James Kerr, Andy Pope, Jean-Claude Guédon, Geoffrey Rockwell, and Lynne Siemens. TEXT Technology 11 (1): 1–128.

Siemens’s introduction to this report focuses on the rethinking of scholarly communication practices in light of new digital forms. He meditates on this topic through the framework of ad fontes—the act, or conception, of going to the source. As he argues, scholars should look at the source or genesis of scholarly communication. For Siemens, the source goes beyond the seventeenth-century inception of the academic print journal to include less formal ways of communicating and disseminating knowledge—i.e., verbal exchanges, epistolary correspondence, and manuscript circulation. In this way, scholars can look past the popular, standard academic journal and into a future of scholarly communication that productively involves varied scholarly traditions and social knowledge practices.

Svensson, Patrik. 2012. “Beyond the Big Tent.” In Debates in the Digital Humanities, edited by Matthew K. Gold, 36–49. Minneapolis: University of  Minnesota Press. http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/22.

Svensson explores the all-inclusive “big tent” notion of digital humanities by investigating its applicability in reality through concrete examples. He demonstrates that it is not always the case that digital humanities, as a field, is open to all. In some cases, the field may actually be disadvantageous to the people working within it. He argues that digital humanities should be seen instead as a trading zone and meeting place as it focuses more on interdisciplinary work and points to the intersection with many traditional disciplines. An emphasis is placed on the advantage of digital humanities remaining in a liminal position rather than becoming a discipline, since this makes it more inclusive and allows the digital humanities to play a positive role in shaping the humanities as a whole.

*Westphal,  Bertrand.  2011.  Geocriticism:  Real  and  Fictional  Spaces. Translated by Robert T. Tally, Jr. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Westphal introduces geocriticism as an interdisciplinary method in literary studies that encompasses the study of space from a multifocal, polysensoral, and intertextual perspective, with a stratigraphic vision in mind. He bases geocriticism on three main theoretical assumptions: spatiotemporality, transgressivity, and referentiality. Spatiotemporality is the aspect of the work delineating space-time. Transgressivity is described as recognition of the ever-shifting boundaries of real and fictional spaces, and referentiality as the relationship between the representation and the referent being in continuous oscillation or movement. Given the scope that Westphal envisions, and the attempt to include a large corpus of texts as a postmodern critique of grand narratives, the practice of geocriticism would have to be built on collaborative effort with reliance on technology. Westphal advocates geocritical analysis as a continuous exploration without a fixed end point, and as a new way of engaging with real and fictional spaces after the spatial turn.

Zacharias, Robert. 2011. “The Death of the Graduate Student (and the Birth of the HQP).” English Studies in Canada 37 (1): 4–8. https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/ESC/article/view/25197/18694.

Zacharias calls for increased attention to the changing role of humanities graduate students to that of “highly qualified personnel” (HQP). For the author, the shift represents a widespread aversion toward the humanities, and graduate studies (and students) in particular. Zacharias suggests that this reconsideration (and, in his view, corporatization) of graduate students be quelled, and that graduate education be considered just that: education, not training. He advocates for a more effective systematic introduction to the academic field by refocusing on comprehensive mentorship and humanities based professionalization.