Hi, Inkshedders, and listserv lurkers!
Whew! What a weekend at Inkshed XVI. I found it intellectually
stimulating, heartbreaking at times (the presentations on the residential
schools and Albanian massacre), socially awkward (the way people often
changed their speech or attitude when they saw me as ethnographer), and
incredibly fun at other times (eating, dancing, inkshedding, talent night).
Thanks to Ann and Jane and everyone else for making it possible.
And during those 4 days I think I shed more ink than ye all, doing my field
notes for the ethnographic study of Inkshed.
I came away with some questions I'd like to pose to all listserv members.
You can answer to the list to make it an open conversation, or you can
converse privately with me at [log in to unmask] I'm asking all listserv
lurkers, conference participants, long-time members, and co-founders.
Q: Is Inkshed (listserv, conference, newsletter, and website) a "culture" or
a "community"? If so, what are its defining characteristics? Its borders
Q: What does inkshed do for you, individually, as members (professionally,
AND Here's some questions for more seasoned Inkshedders:
Q: What are the future possibilities for Inkshed? Does it have a direction,
or does it desire to grow in size or scope?
Background to this question: On the last day of the conference, I was
thinking, Inkshed is very nurturing of its members, very intellectually
stimulating-- but does it have an outward face too? Do we as a group want to
"do" anything, to change anything in education or scholarship? When I posed
this question at a table, one person said, "I've never thought of Inkshed as
having a missionary function." Another person stressed the way that Inkshed
already supports its members with whatever struggles they are going through
in their home institutions. I went home reflecting upon the nature of
institutions... how might Inkshed suffer if it did grow too much, if it did
have some sort of outward "mission"? Would it lose its diversity? its
coziness and informality?
Q: On the last day of the conference, I and Janet found ourselves wondering
aloud, why doesn't Inkshed have a journal? You know, one of those things
that grants outward status to a field of study and its members, one of those
ways of building up a body of knowledge in "the Canadian study of Language
and Learning" ? The answer, from a few, was "it's too much work" and
"we're too small still" (and here I admit I'm utterly naive about what work
it entails, yet full of energy to want it to happen... I feel like a kid
begging her parents to go to Disneyland or something. Mary-Louise suggested
having a graduate-student edited journal. I suggested a web-based journal.
It looks like Russ is edging in that direction, collaboratively).