19.216 collaboration

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 07:02:18 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 216.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

   [1] From: Lynda Williams <lynda_at_okalrel.org> (25)
         Subject: Re: 19.215 how far collaboration?

   [2] From: lachance_at_origin.chass.utoronto.ca (Francois (26)
         Subject: Re: 19.215 how far collaboration?

         Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 06:56:01 +0100
         From: Lynda Williams <lynda_at_okalrel.org>
         Subject: Re: 19.215 how far collaboration?

Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty
<willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>) wrote:

>Being to some degree care-less I've used Humanist for some time (as I
>suspect others have too) openly to aid not just my research but also
>the writing, trying out many half-formed ideas in order to engage the
>help of others in improving them. At times it's seemed almost like
>collaborative thinking and writing. But how promising is this
>practice? Why aren't more people doing it? Are there perils I have
>not spotted?

I think this question is a vital one and the answers have to do with
pre-existing assumptions in the academic process. Presuming it is
vital to your career to be credited with your ideas in a formal
publication, the fact "nothing counts" until you get to that final
product is the problem.

An academic process for collaboration in which incremental
contributions were somehow weighted and valued as they take place,
would make academic collaboration part of the business of faculty
rather than a somewhat risky think tank to chat in.

I believe evaluation of students suffers from a similiarly archaic
paradigm rooted in the technology of publishing and the communication
of ideas dating from the invention of the printing press.

Book #1 "The Courtesan Prince" (SciFi)
and related novellas "Kath" and "Mekan'stan"
http://www.okalrel.org lynda@okalrel.org
         Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 06:56:59 +0100
         From: lachance_at_origin.chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
         Subject: Re: 19.215 how far collaboration?
Is the question really "how far"? Is it not "how often"?
I ask because thre is one of your closing/exposing questions that
intrigues me. Forgive the creeping in of a hermeneutics of suspicion in
reformulating your question "Why aren't more people doing it?" into a
perhaps more pointed asking why aren't more people admitting to doing it?
Which brings me back to the question of temporality. There is the doing
and then there is the acknowledging of the doing.
Consider the advent and disappearance of the note of thanks to the typist
in many a preface. Our notions of collaboration and appreciation are in
some ways tied to the material practices shaped by the deployment of
technologies both of development and reproduction (who has what toys and
who knows how to play with them). It is sometimes interesting to read the
rhetoric of achnowledgements with an eye to power relations -- thanks to
the patron or power broker; a graceful gesture to shed the spotlight on
the acolyte. And just how darn difficult it is to acknowledge
collaboration outside the context of a co-signature or joint authorial
Perils not spotted? Pearls, perhaps.
See "The Wonderful Caddis Worm: Sculptural Work in Collaboration with
Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
Skill may be the capacity to manipulate perceptions of knowledge.
Magic is.
Received on Fri Aug 19 2005 - 02:07:52 EDT

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