Monthly Archives: December 2008

Tangled in WordPress templates

Well, slowly getting the blog sorted, but it’s more time-consuming than I thought. Also more interesting. I can see how tinkering with this stuff could become a real time-sink! Plus, importing from Blogger changed all the tags into categories, so I have to go through and decide which should go back to being tags (most of them) and which should stay categories. And then I have to put images into the front page, and add the tags back to all the posts…. yeah, this is going to take awhile.

Hello again…

Just migrated to this WordPress blog at my new website.  Took two tries to get it installed the way I wanted it, and I’m still not totally happy with the theme, but it will do for now.  Regular posting should resume soon, I hope!

Wow, long timelines

Sometimes I am amazed at how long journals still take to get articles and reviews into print. Given how quickly things get posted online, I would have thought they would all be changing their practices in order to not get left behind entirely. I mention this by way of introducing the following review. i wrote it for the European Journal of cultural studies and have just learned they expect to publish it in 2010. It’s a book review, not a 20 page article requiring peers to read it. But anyway, I don’t care that much, except I think the book really deserved more attention sooner, so I’m re-posting the link to my review (which I blogged a couple of months ago) here.

I also just learned that a chapter I proposed on the FB stuff has been accepted for publication in the Handbook of Digital Research (at least the proposal has been accepted meaning, I can send a full chapter, which I think will be also be reviewed), so that’s cool.

On the downside, My NEH grant proposal has been rejected. I asked for the feedback, but haven’t yet received it. I was approved for an internal grant of a few thousand dollars, but our school is so broke at the moment, there is no money to actually fund that grant program. Unless they find money somewhere in the next 2 weeks, it seems I will not be able to make the trip I had planned to the Netherlands in late January. I’m pretty discouraged about that because it will delay my work on my book projects by at least 6 months and they have already been held back by the fact that I can only visit each time for 1-3 weeks, have only been able to afford 3 visits in the last 2 years, and have such a heavy workload the rest of the time that (like almost all of my colleagues) I have almost no time for research anyway.

Lack of funding and too much work would be problems for any academic, but when you actually love your research like I do (as opposed to just doing it because your school requires some amount, and I personally know several people who take that approach) this is especially awful. If all I cared about was meeting a requirement, I could argue that the requirement was unreasonable under these conditions and have a powerful case, but I love the research. So much so that I’ve been doing it on my own time and out of my own pocket. –My school doesn’t have a really good internal grant program to support junior faculty, nor are any time or money allotted to everyone just to support research.

So it boils down to my work being accepted by my peers for publications and presentations, but if I want to do the work and travel to present it, I have to pay for it myself because academic research is not sufficiently valued by the public to support it (not just mine, but most scholars’) generally. Maybe I need to just leave the country. 😛

Bastard Culture!

My good friend, Mirko Tobias Schäfer is defending his dissertation today. In fact, by the time many of you read this, he may already be finished and recognized as Dr. Schäfer. 🙂

It has been my pleasure for the last 15 months or so to read Mirko’s manuscript, Bastard Culture! User participation and the extension of cultural industries, and I am pleased to report that he has posted a pdf online. –Particularly since I need to cite his work in some of mine, and have been waiting on this! It’s a solid piece of scholarship. Briefly, it

steps beyond the usual framework and analyzes user participation in the context of accompanying popular and scholarly discourse, as well as the material aspects of design, and their relation to the practices of design and appropriation…

The availability of computers and Internet expand the traditional culture industry into the domain of users, who actively participate in cultural production, either by appropriating products from the commercial domain or by creating their owns. But while user activities constitute a significant loss of control for certain sectors of traditional media industries, especially in the area of distribution, the larger culture industry benefits from user driven innovation through the appropriation of corporate design.

Go and download it immediately.

So congratulations, Mirko. I’m proud of all your hard work and perseverance.