Bakhtin, digital scholarship and new publishing practices as carnival

Anna Mary Cooper, Jenna Condie

Abstract

Digital scholarship is causing disruptions to established academic practices that have long framed how we share knowledge and do research. The web is increasingly vital to all forms of academic scholarship. Using key theoretical concepts from the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, we question what it means in relation to social science when digital scholarship is considered by some to be ‘carnivalesque’ in relation to established academic practice. We draw upon our experiences of editing and curating a collection of works, commonly known as a Book of Blogs published online as Dialogues of sustainable urbanisation: Social Science Research and Transitions to Urban Contexts. The idea of the book was that it would encourage multivoicedness around the topic of sustainable urbanisation. We reflect upon how the Book of Blogs aims to foster a dialogical, unfinalised approach to social sciences research. Seventy chapters or ‘blogs’ from 83 researchers were included in the collection. Such engagement with the Book of Blogs format emphasised that this approach to scholarship spoke to many as a way to be heard. Therefore, we include our reflections on the implications of networked participatory scholarship in the digital sphere for our professional identities and academic careers, alongside example lessons and practicalities of curating and editing a Book of Blogs. We conclude with considering how social theory, particularly a dialogical epistemology, influences our digital scholarship and the ways in which we perform academia.

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ISSN: ISSN 2398-5836

Copyright (c) 2016 Anna Mary Cooper, Jenna Condie