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Why blogging?

I love blogging. I’ve even given talks on the virtues of academic blogging. It’s a thing for which I’m known.

There are two personal reasons I like blogging so much. The first is the contrast with academic writing generally. I started my academic life studying journalism and the pace of publishing in philosophy, my home discipline, has always seemed painfully slow to me.  I write a draft of a research thing. I give talks. I rewrite. It goes out for review. I revise. I resubmit. Years go by. And then finally it’s published, sometimes a very long time after the first draft. With blogging, I have some thoughts, I write them down, I reread, and hit “publish.” Bam! (Confession: I do go back and fix typos, etc.) The second reason that blogging is so satisfying is that it lets me continue to be an introvert in the real world while being an extrovert in the digital one. It’s a great way for people to get to know me and I like having control and being able to shape my story.

There are also professional reasons. Blogging allows me to keep in touch with researchers all over the world. It also makes my work accessible to the non-academic world. It’s an exercise in public humanities. I get a great charge out of the number of people who read and discuss some of my blog posts (thousands!) compared to the relatively small number of people who read and discuss my academic publishing. I think it’s also especially important for minority scholars or those who work in undervalued, marginalized fields.

Last but not least, you can get terrific feedback on your work. Blogs often have very generous readers.

Oh, and some of my most fun publishing and conference opportunities have come from blog posts that people have read. See Miss Piggy’s Feminism: Redefining Human Relationships through Martial Arts.

I started blogging way back when, in 2007 at PEA Soup. I blogged personally for a time at Friendster. (Do you remember Friendster, pre-Facebook social networking?) The Feminist philosophers blog was my home for a long time. Now the bulk of my blogging goes on at Fit is a Feminist Issue, a blog I co-founded with my Western colleague and fellow feminist philosopher, Tracy Isaacs. I like to use blogging as a teaching tool too. These days I know blogs are bit out of date. A young person recently referred to the Fit is a Feminist Issue blog as a”good old-fashioned WordPress blog.” Yet here I am starting another old-fashioned WordPress blog.

Why? Well, I know that on social media these days (you can follow me on Twitter at @SamJaneB) I’m often tweeting in my role as Dean. But there’s also some feminist politics, ethics, and bike advocacy there too. I’m looking forward to writing on behalf of the College, with my Dean’s hat firmly and deliberately on. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Here’s some other College of Arts blogs:

History PhD student Kesia Kvill, Hands-on History https://potatoesrhubarbandox.wordpress.com/

DH@Guelph has a Medium account here

John Walsh in the School of Languages and Literature blogs at The Digital Classical Tradition

Also, in SOLAL, Dawn Cornelio blogs here in French about the author Chloé Delaume (on whom she has published quite a bit and for whom she is the English-language translator)

Diane Borsato in the School of Fine Art and Music blogs here.

Dean Samantha Brennan in 1987, writing news at CKDU radio, Dalhousie University., in her pre-internet (indeed pre-computer) days.