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When students only have read a few poems, in exclusively academic contexts, they often approach poetry with what the li...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Incommunication (ii)

I am aware that incommunication is not a word in English. I am using it as though it were the translation for incomunicación. Anyway, I am thinking that would be a good research project for the social epistemology of an academic field. I am fascinated by what gets cited and what doesn't in a large subfield like Lorca or Pound studies. Say, any author with more than 100 books about her. Study design would be tricky, involving both quantitative and qualitative measures. It would be a good appendix to a Lorca book by someone like me, though I'm not sure I'd do it.

Some factors:

--Geographical citation. Spaniards who don't cite American work? etc... Networks of people citing one another.

--Segregation by genre. Do we need to cite work on theatre when studying poetry, and vice-versa?

--Broadness or narrowness of topic. Distance among topics.

--Theoretical approach, diversity of.

--Recency. Tendency to cite more recent (or more established?) work.

--Importance. Tendency to recognize some work as more important than other work. Judgments of quality, reputation of scholar.

The implied contrast would be: an author with a limited bibliography, in which everyone cites (almost) everything of necessity.

--Functionality. Does the field "work" in this configuration?

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