Today I attended, A Blog of Her Own: Scholarly Women on the Web, a round-table discussion held at Columbia University. Jenny Davidson, an English professor at Columbia and a novelist, chaired the session. The panelists were Eva Amsen, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Toronto and blogs at easternblot; Tedra Osell who has a Ph.D in English literature from the University of Washington, was an assistant professor at the University of Guelph, Ontario, and blogs at BitchPh.D., Claire Potter, who is a professor of history and American Studies at Wesleyan University and blogs at Tenured Radical, and Alexandra T. Vazquez, who is an assistant professor at the Center for African American Studies and in the Department of English at Princeton University and is one of three bloggers at Oh! Industry.
Eva began blogging to talk more about science. Her experiences blogging have made her want to do more with science writing rather than using her Ph.D. to do lab research.
Tedra started blogging while she was on the job market. Her initial posts were about motherhood. She then gravitated to writing more about the process of job searches and other issues in academia. Her Ph.D. was on 18th Century English Essay Periodicals and issues of authorship. She co-blogs with other people.
Claire believes that blogging is about writing; blogging has changed both her and her writing. Blogging puts”play” in the forefront and is different from more serious academic writing. Blogging also enables her to think about contemporary history.
Alexandra and her colleagues blog about music and other aspects of popular culture. They are three assistant (nontenured) professors from Filipino and Cuban backgrounds. They do not follow a strict schedule of blogging; posts can sometimes be a month apart. She sees blogging as part of having a life outside of academia.
Tomorrow: The discussion