Last fall I was struck by a piece in Wired Campus on buzzfeed-style scholarship: — to Marino’s list of ten reasons we should do this I have some of my own. After all, I regularly ask my students to explain their research or that of others to a general audience. We hear all too frequently about congress holding up titles of NEH-funded projects for ridicule — if there were more general understanding of the sorts of questions humanists investigate and what the stakes are in answering them, perhaps these things couldn’t be made to seem so trivial and useless.
So my goal is to read through the current journals that I most enjoy: Helios, Arethusa, Classical Journal and AJP, and blog the contents here (under the category “article blogging”). I’m hoping to get through one or two articles a week, but that of course will vary depending on what’s going on in the rest of my life. I might mix in the odd piece here or there that I’m reading for my own research. These are NOT intended to be “reviews” — occasionally I’ll mention whether or not I’m convinced by the article, but most will be outside my area of expertise. If you’re doing research in the area of course you will want to read the article yourself. I’m only offering the postings to give a quick sense of what’s going on in the field and a guide to what might be appropriate to assign undergrads, or share with non-Classicist friends interested in the ancient world.
The form of these is going to be somewhat experimental. So far I haven’t succeeded in doing any in listcicle form, but I am shooting for short (500 words). That’s going to be kind of tough; perhaps I’ll get better as I do more. For each of them I’ll post at the top a tl;dr version, to give people a sense of whether they want to go on; then I’ll give my sense of a) whether undergraduates (proxy for educated general audience, but with motivation to read classics articles!) could understand/ benefit from the piece and b) what the stakes are in answering the question the article sets.
If anyone out there is interested in joining the project, let me know — I think the more postings the better. Or if you have articles you think I should blog, I’m happy to take suggestions.