Re: Re[2]: Grading, Plagiarism, Webbed Writing and ...

janet cross (hceng028@DEWEY.CSUN.EDU)
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 00:53:48 -0700

On Mon, 5 Aug 1996, Kenneth Robert Wright wrote:
> alone, and they produce dissertations that are works of individual
> scholarship which each of them defends alone. At least that's how
> English departments appear to me to operate.

That appearance is as misty as those shadows on the cave. And it's hard
to shadow box. I cannot see how any of us do not make meaning through
collaborative processes.Erg, but that was twisted. let me restate. How
are any of us off in a wilderness with nothing to read, no one to talk
to, making meaning on our own individual lonely selves? Every time I
pick up a book, read some email, talk to people online and offline, I am
collaborating. I really don't thik I am stretching a point here. Even in
those classes where the teacher stood up and lectured, I was part of the
process. The teacher might have thought I was a dried up little sponge,
just soaking up eir lecture without question, but that was never the
case. Sure, we can go off to the library and live among the
of my favorite pasttimes. But even traditional "individual" scholarship
needs a dialogue to take place between the reader and the writer at
least. So, the problem as I see it is not so much the the "individual"
but the "authorities" we are to listen to and dialogue with.

So if we want, as has been
> discussed on this list many times, computer assisted communication to be
> accepted by the academy as a full-blown discipline, we should perhaps
> look for ways of doing at the graduate level what we do when teaching
> undergraduates.

Who says we are not? If I link to your docs, or my colleagues, or my
students, I *am* including their work as part of mine. If then I also
provide ways for them to comment on my thesis, as I have done, they can
include my voice with theirs. What's the differnce? We are citing/siting
each other instead of the grand wizzars of the canon. And I happen to
adore many of those grand wizzars. I ust also believe that insight can
come from anywhere and anyone.

How about a virtual dissertation that is produced by
> more than one grad student, and which consists of texts produced by those
> students with links to theorists and to groups of students working on
> similar projects? Actually, the idea of the virtual dissertation scares
> me more than the traditional one.

Been there, done that. It's called scholarship, and it's too bad the "system"
can't recognize it yet. I share my "byline" on my thesis with every person I
cite. Too bad I can't cite/site *all* the voices i collaborated with over my
lifetime that went into that "final culminating" experience. Yee gads, I wish
I could find my 5th grade teacher. He woulda been so happy to see that I
still care about history and writing and art and music and poetry and silk
worms all the other wonderful things we collaborated on many many years ago.
The ivory tower is so high up in the mists I can't really see it. Was it ever
REALLY there?


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Janet Cross | |
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