After attending the Humanities presentation Thursday, I made a few odd connections in my head between the discussion that ensued in the presentation and our discussion in class last Monday.
In class Monday, we discussed (in regards to the nature of authorship) the difficulty of identifying true authorship when a document was written by more than one author. How do you quantify participation in regards to recognition on a piece of scholarly writing? As Jason had pointed out in class, sometimes in a scholarly work a contributed is noted in the acknowledgments section, or something of the sort. However, in scholarship each individual is fighting for “dibbs” over ownership. Fitzpatrick points out that as scholars, we host a number of anxieties within ourselves, and highlights the notion of a “boundary” between one person’s ideas and the ideas of someone else.
I think a parallel can be made between this anxiety and certain anxieties felt within the humanities. One of the biggest concerns about the humanities that was brought up on Thursday was the notion of the humanities not functioning like a cohesive group due to the many different faculties that lie within the realm of “The Humanities”. As each faculty fights for its own levels of respect and recognition, a tendency for competition arises. This relates to our discussion on authorship, as we discover a desire for a kind of singularity in scholarly works.
The suggestion made in the Humanities presentation was to change the view of singularity within the faculties, as each faculty contributes to one another. This same notion was discussed in class, with regards to the peer editing process and the switch to digital publications such as blogs which could connect individuals and incorporate ideas in order to give strength to a piece of scholarship. We need to rethink the structure of authorship in the digital age to generate the most complete and coherent ideas possible. http://www.ryerson.ca/english/news-and-events/events/humanities-panel.html