I started this note this afternoon, before Tania's messages came through.
At the end of the conference on Sunday, Tania and Janet walked around
asking a number of people why there isn't a refereed journal associated
with Inkshed. I found the discussions interesting; I heard a couple of
them, and from what I gathered, Tania and Janet were meeting considerable
resistance to that idea. I'm curious to know where that resistance came
from, or if it was really there.
For my own part, I think of Inkshed as an "evaluation-free zone" -- a
place where I come to learn from and be silly with people who I respect
in the fields of language and literacy. I think a large part of its
value, for me, lies in the fact that it is a sort of pedagogical
playground; I can risk making a fool of myself (either on Talent Nite or
in a session or on an inkshed) without worrying that I am ruining my
career, or something. I don't think I'd play nearly so well if I felt
like I wasn't -- for this weekend at least -- peers with everyone at the
conference. I know that the people at the conference might referee my
work in other contexts, and that's fine -- they won't in this one, though,
and that's fine, too.
I'm speaking strictly for myself, and I hope others will do the same . . .
I hope this really does open up a conversation and not lead to a
reaffirmation of dogma -- maybe others will feel, as Tania and Janet do,
that it's high time Inkshed had a journal. Maybe I was imagining the
resistance I thought I saw. What do others think?
Writing Program, University of Michigan-Dearborn
4901 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128
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