A literary aside

I was reading material about the role of certification played by higher education

Zombie literature?
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institutions.  It’s part of the background that I’m doing for a piece on badging for a local website with my colleague and linguist, aka word guru, Roly Sussex O.A.E.  But you know how these things happen.

A reference in the paper I was reading pointed to an article in Inside Higher Education. The link was about scholarly publication and the role of peer review, at least in part. Steve Kolowich, the author of the piece in IHE was describing some ideas of  Kathleen Fitzpatrick, director of scholarly communication at the Modern Language Association and a professor of media studies at Pomona College.  Her point was that the scholarly book is no longer the primary mode of communication in the digital age.  Yet it remains entrenched in the hallways of some disciplines as the only means by which one can jump through the tenure hoop.  She described the scholarly monograph not as dead, but as undead.

I realise I spend little time in the literary world. I don’t re-read Jane Austin or despite the recent anniversary I haven’t picked up The Pickwick Papers or A Tale of Two Cities (despite the New York Times poster that leveraged the opening lines to great effect many years ago – by the way, if anyone knows where one can get a reprint of that classic NYT advertising poster, let me know. I had one once and didn’t keep it. 😦  What got me intrigued was the reference to “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!”.  Huh?

Seth Grahame-Smith wrote a novel re-imagining the classic Pride and Prejudice but with zombies!  From the Amazon book description:

 a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? (Amazon.com)

Ok. So much for the draft of our column.  Where’s my Kindle???

— pdl —

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/09/30/planned_obsolescence_by_kathleen_fitzpatrick_proposes_alternatives_to_outmoded_academic_journals#ixzz1pLgAhMjA
Inside Higher Ed

About longpd

I'm a senior scholar at Georgetown University, in CNDLS, a technologist and lapsed evolutionary biologist with an incandescent passion for new modes of seeing and learning.
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