deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
It's odd to pull up your blogs in the morning and see your own name, you introducing yourself, at the top of the list.

Gender and Fan Culture, Round 16, Part One: Deborah Kaplan and Alan McKee, over at Henry Jenkins' place.

The generosity of Henry for making these conversations possible, the drive of Kristina Busse for rounding us all up and making this happen, and Alan McKee's all-around wonderfully funny smarts have made this entire experience a thoroughgoing pleasure. As an independent scholar, I get far too little opportunity to interact with others in media and fan studies outside of the sometimes stultifying atmosphere of conferences; this has been really a great experience for me.
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
Now I follow up that librarianship entry with one on scholarship, just to keep the readers of my infrequent posts hopping.

You may remember that recently I blogged about the gender issues which were raised after Media in Transition. I've been invited to participate in Henry Jenkins' fanboy/fangirl détente. I'm very pleased by the opportunity to contribute to the conversation. In the original version of this post I was also going to say how honored I am that as an independent scholar at been asked to contribute, but the thought-provoking first installment of the conversation in Henry's blog, this one between Karen Hellekson and Jason Mittell, has raised some interesting questions about the gender divide in the academic hierarchy. As Jason said,

I would hope that within media studies, the gender divides would be less structuring than in older & grayer fields, but there's no doubt that divisions between tenure-track and adjunct, affiliated and independent scholars are gendered across the board. Even perusing the lists of Henry's invitees for this forum suggests that more women are in less traditional academic roles.


Anyway, I' be writing in September with Alan McKee from the Queensland University of Technology. Right now I'm delving into his work to learn more about it. I have to admit that one of the very nice side benefit of this whole conversation is that it's giving me the impetus to read the work of some scholars that I have sadly neglected. Of course, to a certain extent, that's not a side benefit, that's the point of the entire exercise: encouraging communication across whatever gender boundary may or may not exist.

(Although Karen and Jason have started the first round of official conversation, I suspect that side conversations will be springing up all over the place as this project heats up. Kristina Busse and Will Brooker have already started a preliminary conversation online).
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
I'd really like to say something intelligent about the conversation which started after Media in Transition 5 about acafen and gender, but for two things: First of all, I only attended one panel at the conference, so I'm not sure I can speak informatively about anything other than my greater experiences as a scholar and as an acafan. And secondly, I just took another look at the pile of books I need to review tonight, and that is genuine professional obligations, to which blogging will have to take a backseat. So for now, I am going to link to some of the blogs which are making really fascinating points in this discussion. It's worth reading not only the blog posts but the comment threads, in which people who fundamentally disagree are having really worthwhile conversations with some valuable give and take.

So go take a look at Kristina Busse, especially her MiT5 Review, which has some fascinating discussions in the comment section. Karen Hellekson doesn't delve as much into the issues which concern Kristina, but she gives a good conference report of the panels about which Kristina is concerned with their gender makeup. Louisa Stein, who was unable to attend the conference, speculates that the paper she was intending to present would have spoken to many of these issues.

Also, as I've chosen to keep my professional and scholarly blog identity within livejournal, I should certainly not neglect those others who have done the same thing. [livejournal.com profile] heyiya responded to Kristina with her post Fandom, gender, and knowledge. [livejournal.com profile] robin_anne_reid asks people to discuss their experiences in fan scholarship as pertain to gender, and also links to Ron Robinson's comment in Henry Jenkins' blog about the absence of scholars of color at MiT5.

The only thing I have to add to the conversation that won't take more thought than I have time for right now is that fan scholarship has far and away been the most supportive scholarly community I have ever been a part of. Never before has the editor of a volume spent uncountable hours on long-distance calls with me fine-tuning my contributed paper far beyond the requests and suggestions made by the anonymous peer reviewers. Never before I entered fan scholarship have a number of other scholars called or e-mailed me to say "that point you made last week was excellent; you have to come to this conference and join a panel with me." I don't know if I would call that gendered -- children's literature scholarship is heavily female, and I certainly never felt so encouraged and mentored by that community -- but it is certainly an overwhelmingly positive experience for me.
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
Via [livejournal.com profile] forodwaith here, I find this lovely post on Language Log in which Marc Liberman shows how access to publicly funded research can help an informed reader decimate a single point made in Louann Brizendine's The Female Brain. With open access to the research, Liberman points out, it's harder for authors summarizing the results of scientific research to completely make shit up as Brizendine does here.
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
This is a repost of some thoughts I once put elsewhere which I'm reframing because of recent discussions about women in libraries and technology at Dorothea's and Bess's and Karen's and Rachel's. I'm also posting this because after spending the weekend with multiple generations of Haverford and Bryn Mawr alumni, I got to thinking about computer science education for women.

cut for length (1800 words of frustration) )
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
I'm on the last day of my third conference in three weeks, and tonight I go home and stay home. I'm only here at JCDL for two days -- I'm missing the third day of presentations and all the great looking workshops and tutorials -- but after three consecutive conferences (and two all-day NELINET classes, and an all-day DigiTool training I'm hosting on Friday) , I only have a few brain cells left.

I've already blogged on Console-ing Passions, bu I didn't say anything about ELUNA. Mostly that's because I don't find user group meetings to be all that interesting to the blogging community at large. How much can I say about a vendor's glowing statements about its own product? And I found that my colleagues who were perfectly willing to complain (quietly and polietly; they are librarians, after all) in private wouldn't call Ex Libris on any of the claims they made about their software. Some of what Ex Libris chose to showcase was itself worthy of negative comment; their method for creating and editing METS objects, for example, is a massive kludge.

Coming to JCDL a week after ELUNA is illuminating. They're very different in intent: one is a user group meeting for a product used by acting librarians; the other is a theoretical conference co-sponsored by the ACM and the IEEE, with ASIS&T added on as an afterthought. But it's very noticeable to me that ELUNA was mostly female attendees (though the DigiTool track was about 50% male) listening passively to mostly male presenters, and JCDL is a slight majority of men with attendees actively participating in a way I didn't see at ELUNA, at least in the DigiTool track. That follows naturally from the librarians vs. programmers balance, I suspect. At JCDL, I'm enjoying the balance of theory, science, and practice -- it works for me.

Oh, also met Dorothea, which was great, and ran into Mark Anderson from the University of Iowa again. Everyone's been great; people in this sector are interesting and smart.

I'm going to put the detailed paper commentary in a second post, just to keep this from being overwhelming.
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