There’s a weird thing of being a (humanities, maybe social sciences) academic in the world of impact and public engagement which is that people get utterly, derangedly furious at your work because they approach it outside an academic context
And I’m not being snotty about people not *understanding* academic work (although why would they? I don’t understand much academic work outside my field). I just mean they fundamentally are encountering it as non(humanities) academics
It happened when @annehelen wrote about Armie Hammer and when Richard Dawkins went bananas about Anna Hickey-Moody’s paper on carbon masculinity. It’s happened with @reproutopia’s thread about queerness and octopuses just now too.
I feel like some of the times I’ve got a lot of shit on here it’s been for stuff I could say in a seminar with absolutely no eyebrows raised. Or sometimes when I talk about Labour history being told I’m not being *helpful*. And like: no! That’s not why I write about Labour!
And it’s just a thing of like... people don’t understand that some of the time when we are talking and writing, we are doing so in an academic framework and for — if not an academic audience — certainly for an audience that has that context.
And it’s related to the idea that all humanities academic writing that is difficult to understand is bad writing whereas science gets to use jargon and be impenetrable to lay people with basically no criticism — the refusal to accept we have technical terms
But it’s also just a function of the idea that the internet squashes audiences up together. And sometimes stuff is written without you in mind as the audience (again not in an elitist way, but in a specialist or even just... targeted way) and that is okay!
I am not expressing this very well, I don’t think (is that ironic? Maybe? I’m also very tired?) and it hasn’t escaped my notice either that all my examples where this has happened in the past are women (also: they might not agree with this thread!)
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