I toss this post out because I'm curious about how we tell the history of the discipline. Autobiography certainly has its drawbacks as an approach; it can for instance exacerbate the "noise" of cliques, it can be unrepresentative, or it can be less efficient as an exposition. But while disciplines are abstract, aggregate terrains, they only work as embodied in its practitioners. As the plenary roundtable at the last SCMS conference showed, practitioner history can be illuminating. It leaves me wondering whose disciplinary biography I would most want to read.
4 days ago