Shana Worthen

Visiting Lecturer, Middlesex University

Weblogs and the Academy: Internet Presence and Professional Discourse among Medievalists

In this session, we propose to enable an examination of the ways in which weblogs have uniquely added to and enabled new forms of discourse and networking among medievalists. Weblogs (or "blogs") are increasingly widespread venues for academic online presence, digital networking, and research discussions. Unlike most websites, their content is dynamic, updated regularly, and frequently includes a method for active reader response and participation.

Weblogs allow medievalists to promote themselves through either a thematic or multi-strand presentation which is often used to highlight recent news in the field (, to engender dialog around issues challenging both medievalists and academics at large (individuals like Michael Drout as well as the transdisciplinary group blog, Cliopatria, at History News Network), and to collate advice from their peers about institutions and conferences (LJ Medieval Studies community). Unlike mailing lists or discussion boards, weblogs promote individual authority.

With hundreds of medievalists currently engaged in using this medium to further their research, career, and networking, it is appropriate to begin a formal discussion as to the role of weblogging in medievalists' interactions.

This roundtable is co-organized by Lisa Carnell and myself. If you are interested in participating, please contact Lisa Carnell by September 15, 2005. She also keeps a weblog.

Update: This panel will be held at 3:30 pm on Saturday May 6th 2006 at the Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo. Please see the official congress website for the full program and details about attending.