Many academics now accept the important influence of social media, paying lip service to its power even when they don’t actively use it for communicating their own work. Assuming, for the moment, that we all believe in the value of communicating about our academic work, how do we do this effectively online?
Having an online presence arguably takes no effort: we leave virtual traces of our academic selves just by being students and employees of a major university. Having an effective online presence, however, can be considerably labor-intensive and time-consuming, and competes (or would seem to compete) with activities we’re already required and expected to do (e.g., publish articles in a peer-reviewed journal). Social media spaces, whether one’s personal blog or comment threads for an online journal article, challenge our notions of what counts as academic discourse. The informal nature of these spaces can be personally challenging as well, when it’s unclear how (or whether) to present one’s personal views alongside one’s professional persona.
How can we use social media in ways that complement our academic goals and enrich our research? And how is social media changing the nature of academic work, and what it means to be an academic?
In “Social Academics: Communicating Research and Ideas Online” (Wednesday, October 3, 12:00-2:00 PM in Perkins Library 217), a panel of Duke faculty will talk about their own use of social media, and what impact this has had on how they conduct and communicate their research:
- Marc Bellemare (Assistant Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy)
- Bill Chameides (Dean, Nicholas School of the Environment)
- Robin Kirk (Faculty Co-Chair, Duke Human Rights Center; Director of Undergraduate Studies, International Comparative Studies Program)
- Mark Anthony Neal (Professor, African & African American Studies)
Paolo Mangiafico, Director of Digital Information Strategy at Duke University Libraries, will guide the discussion. This is the first of a series of Libraries-based events in support of the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge. If you’re interested in attending, please register today, as seating is limited: http://library.duke.edu/events/digital-scholarship/event.do?id=6405&occur=13869