A few days ago (yes, I'm slowly catching up on all my blogreading) BitchPhd posted this call for papers for this year's MLA, on women writing about academe. The organizer of the proposed special session was requesting submissions from bloggers who might be interested.
I agree with her comment that some of the most interesting writing about academe is happening on blogs -- I read so many insightful pieces every week which are far more useful and interesting than most of the so-called advice manuals and Chronicle columns that get published.
So, on the one hand, I was immediately imagining how great it would be if BitchPhD did write a paper for that panel, and I would get to see the panel at next year's convention, etc. But part of me wants to keep the academic blogosphere small & cozy. It's already grown tremendously over the year or so that I've been blogging. Sure, there's room for more people to get on board, and smaller sub-groups to form, as they already inevitably do. But I sort of like feeling like I'm in on something that not everyone does. Not everyone reads blogs, and I like it that way. Is that wrong? I don't want to be like one of those pretentious kids in college who would always wind up arguing something like "well, REM (U2, the Cure, the Dead Kennedys, whoever) were so much better before they sold so many records." It's not that I think I'm cool for reading blogs. Certainly I wasn't in on this from the beginning, because it wasn't appealing to me until there were more of my sort of people on board (i.e., humanities-type academics) . It's more that I don't want it to get messed up, diluted. And it's felt really nice to have this quasi-academic space that is separate from my department. No one comes up to me in the hallway and says "did you see what New Kid wrote today?" And I like it like that. I don't really want to share this world with the whole frickin' MLA.