Deaf geographies, and other worlds.

A new academic’s quandry

Post submission, I’m in a bit of a quandry.

Essentially, the problem lies in how to disseminate the material that I’ve written for the PhD, in particular, how best to explore the concept of DEAF space. There’s a basic tension.

In the world of academia, it’s not a good idea to start talking about something that you’ve formulated unless you know that you’ve got ownership of the concept… ie: that you’ve published something peer reviewed (etc.) that explains it and that people will refer back to as the ‘first paper’ on the subject, you’ve got recognition from your academic peers for your work and so on…

However, not only is DEAF space not simply an academic concept, it’s not my academic concept, but one that belongs to the DEAF community. It’s an attempt to describe the very real, everyday life experience of DEAF people all over the world. So I don’t want to hold onto it and pretend that it’s mine, mine, mine… it’s not.

If there is a concept that’s mine… it’s probably the concept of a geography of (cap)ability… but even that’s a combination of several other people’s work… Lefebvre’s, Rob Imrie’s, Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, Ben Bahan amongst others with a good dose of Paddy Ladd and others in there too…

So, on the one hand, for my academic future, I need to publish before really being able to openly exploring… And, on the other hand, I want to get the information out there as soon as I can so that DEAF people can start using it, thinking about it, taking ownership of it… and then I can work with them to explore it better and understand what it means to them.

Publishing for academic purposes is not an easy task… particularly since what you’re aiming to do is get as many papers out there as possible on different aspects of the concept. There’s no point writing one paper that skims the entire thing and having nothing left. So, ideally, you want to carve up the thesis and publish lots of detailed, but discrete papers.

However, that’s exactly what you want to avoid when you’re providing a guide for those who either want to start at a more basic level, or who aren’t (yet) interested in the theoretical academic background…

So, for better or worse, what I’m going to do is to blog bits and pieces up here at the same time as writing academic papers and also try to get as much of it out there in BSL as I can too…

Ideally I’m looking for a place to host a website without all the marketing that comes with freesites… anyone have space they can spare?


This entry was posted on September 17, 2009 by in Uncategorized and tagged .
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