Essay on (humanities) peer-review, interdisciplinarity, junior scholars

Benjamin Fraser, Malcolm Alan Compitello and Eva Karene Romero have just authored an editorial titled “A Modest Proposal Regarding Peer-Review” that can be found on Project Muse here.

While this essay has appeared in a Hispanic Studies journal–the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies–it is pitched/positioned much more generally to speak to shifts in the humanities in particular but perhaps also to interdisciplinary scholarship outside of the humanities as well. Some insights may be particular to Hispanic Studies, while others may be more broadly applicable, take a look and let us know what you think,

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The Two Cultures: C. P. Snow and the State of Interdisciplinary Collaboration

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This is an obligatory reference for contemporary academics working across more than one discipline–there should be a kind of ‘required freshman reading’ (ours for freshmen next year is Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer–which I think Chapel Hill used previously if I got the right information) in which new faculty members have to read C.P. Snow’s book The Two Cultures as part of their orientation.

Snow was a scientist/physicist who also thought of himself as a writer/novelist, and gave a lecture in 1959 that was later turned into a book. In the lecture he discussed the gap between the humanities and the hard sciences–the mutual lack of understanding in general terms. This is the kind of thing that Continue reading

What is Urban Studies? What is Urban Cultural Studies?

One reason for this blog:

In a recently published essay titled “What is ‘Urban Studies’: Context, Internal Structure and Content,” authors William M. Bowen, Ronnie A. Dunn and David O. Kasdan discuss the primary ‘elements of the corpus of knowledge in the field’:

1) Urban Sociology

2) Urban Geography

3) Urban Economics

4) Housing and Neighborhood Development

5) Environmental Studies

6) Urban Governance, Politics and Administration

7) Urban Planning, Design, and Architecture

(Bowen et al. 2010: 200)

Clearly what is left out of this assessment is the importance and relevance of cultural studies / humanities fields–there are a lot of people out there arguing that “culture” (if not also specific cultural products themselves such as film, literature, videogames, photography, music, graphic novels…) is an essential part of the urban studies puzzle…

More later…