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September 1999, Week 3


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 16 Sep 1999 12:33:11 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (49 lines)
As a side issue to the specific question of electronic texts, I wanted
to note Jeremy's interesting point:

> It's highly unlikely there will ever be substantial diss. review sections
> in film/TV journals such as CINEMA JOURNAL, JOURNAL OF FILM AND VIDEO and
> SCREEN.  As you've probably noticed, these publications can hardly sustain
> an ongoing (published) book review section.  Aside from the annual review
> of film books in FILM QUARTERLY, our field(s) is remarkably, and
> shamefully, bereft of a review system for published work.  And thus, it
> seems hard to imagine a system could ever evolve to handle UNpublished
> material.
> One major reason for this gap is that reviews count so little toward the
> reviewer's own promotion/tenure/merit-pay-raise record.  A thoughtful
> review can take almost as much time to write as a conventional journal
> article and yet it counts almost nothing in this regard.
> To get around the problem of lack of academic compensation for reviewing,
> book publishers PAY reviewers of manuscripts for their evaluation--usually
> US$100-200.

I wonder if there are some possibilities for development along these
lines with the recent calls by leaders in the MLA and elsewhere for a
need to foster "public intellectuals" who could return at least some of
what university professors do to public discourse.  They have
identified such discourse as a crying need at a time when a strictly
job-oriented curriculum seems to engulf more and more of the attention
of legislators, regents and trustees in their funding priorities.  In
public policy areas, people still seem to pay some attention to what
gets said in non-academic venues ranging from talk shows to HARPER'S,
THE ATLANTIC, NY REVIEW OF BOOKS, and so on.  Only occasionally does
film-related discussion get similar public airing, and then quite often
from sources who are not entrenched in academe themselves.  If MLA,
SCS, the NEH, or other humanities organizations really want to
publicize and popularize what they are doing, it would seem logical to
turn to those kinds of forums.

Don Larsson

Donald Larsson
Minnesota State U, Mankato
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