Session Description

PAGE: Expanding Forms of Scholarly Inquiry within the Academy
721 Broadway, Lower Level, Room 006

The increasing movement away from traditional print journals to new forms of distribution comes with opportunities to rethink the form of research. And yet the traditional journal article or codex, with its pagination, headings, and 12-point font, is still the dominant form of scholarly expression. Yet this format is often divorced from the actual work in question and fails to take advantage of the visual and multimedia communication available to scholars. Thanks in part to a movement within the digital humanities community to recognize scholarship outside of traditional print forms, new approaches to scholarly communication are gaining recognition and distribution networks.

Building on Imagining America’s mission to incorporate the arts as an important means of making meaning, this session takes up the works of scholars looking to explore alternative forms of presenting scholarship, and expand the very form of scholarly inquiry within the academy. Such works unite theory and practice as they seek to disrupt and redefine what scholarship looks like. Furthermore, they redefine the reader’s interaction with a scholarly text by asking the reader to think outside the box (or panel).

There are many ways artistic form and scholarly intent can be meaningfully integrated, particularly when concepts and objections under study are themselves not confined to print. Such experimentation also encourages recognition of the arts as themselves intertwined with research and scholarly questions, as projects like Art Spiegelman’s Meta Maus reveal.

Participants for this session include a doctoral student doing dissertation entirely in the comic book medium, a digital narratives scholar working with interactive forms in her scholarship and pedagogy, and a collective seeking to start a conversation about how the doctoral dissertation can be made visible, relevant, and impactful both inside the world of academia and communities outside its walls.

Session Format:

After brief introductory talks from participants sharing concrete examples of what these alternative forms of scholarship look like in their own works, we will invite conversation and participation from attendees, taking up some of the following questions:

  • What should the future of scholarship look like?
  • How can you incorporate new forms of scholarship into your current research?
  • What impacts can new forms of scholarship have within the academy and in the world outside it?
  • What ideas do you have for pushing your own scholarship, or that of your colleagues in new directions – in both form and content? Consider how new scholarly forms impact the questions we ask and are able to answer, and to what extent can new forms help us address the timeless questions of the humanities?
  • How can we support new forms of scholarship within and outside the academy? And promote the value and visibility of this type of work?
  • What obstacles have you faced or do you anticipate in trying to change the way you conduct and present your research?
  • With new scholarly forms come new means for evaluation as traditional criteria no longer stand up – what might some of these look like?

We also envision the session serving as a workshopping opportunity for scholars to bring their current projects for discussion and feedback.