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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Weber: Universities, disciplinarity - academic publishing

As I read through the latest book I have received for review, I came across this interesting quote from Samuel Weber:

The university, itself divided into more or less isolated, self-contained departments, was that embodiment of that kind of limited universality that characterised the cognitive model of professionalism. It instituted areas of training and research which, once established, could increasingly ignore the founding limits and limitations of individual disciplines. Indeed, the very notion of academic "seriousness" came increasingly to exclude reflection upon the relation of one "field" to another, and concomitantly, reflection upon the historical process by which individual disciplines established their boundaries. Or the historical dimension was regarded as extrinsic to the actual practice of research and scholarship: history itself became one discipline among others. (1987, 32)
Weber, Samuel. 1987. Institution and Interpretation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Revised and reprinted as Samuel Weber, 2001. Institution and Interpretation (Expanded Edition). Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
Cited in Hall, Gary 2008. Digitize This Book!: The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access Now. University of Minnesota Press. Chapter 2, Judgement and Responsibility in the Wikipedia Era, p. 74.
(My review of Hall's book to follow).

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