2015 has been an exciting year for this blog. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. To put a cap on it, I'm happy to announce that an essay that was constructed out of posts that go as far back as 2005 has just been published in a special issue of Knowledge Cultures. I am grateful to Sharon Rider for her encouragement and editorship, which has yielded a text that I'm very happy to call my own and see in print. I am also happy to see it in the context of what looks like a very interesting issue, which I'm looking forward to reading and engaging with.
The essay is dedicated to Steve Fuller, for what I hope are obvious reasons to anyone who is familiar with his work. Here's the abstract:
AN EXISTENTIAL ERRAND: SCHOLARSHIP, AUTHORSHIP AND THE CRISIS OF REPRESENTATION
Since 1968, at least, academia has been subject to the “crisis of representation.” This essay explores the consequences of the “postmodern condition” for the identity formation of academics. It is informed by Foucault’s and Deleuze’s understanding of the pivotal intellectual developments in the late 20th century, which are taken to challenge Wittgenstein’s presumption that language is essentially about the assertion of facts. Instead of abandoning representation, however, it proposes to meet this challenge squarely, proposing a disciplined engagement with its particular difficulty. Facts are deployed in academic writing, it argues, through the act of scholarship. The ability to represent a fact is at the core of the knowledge that is implicit in the self-formation of the scholar.
Keywords: postmodernism; self-fashioning; representation; scholarship; writing; facticity
Readers of this blog will, hopefully, recognize some of the ideas and the general spirit of the thing. If I find time, I'll make a little index here of the posts that it draws from. Do feel free to use this post also a place to engage with the ideas in the essay, which I'm sure there's much to disagree with.