My university recently convened an emergency “summit” for librarians, tutors, and concerned faculty members to solve a citation crisis. Our library help desks reportedly cannot complete their core mission of assisting students with information literacy (finding, choosing, and using sources) because students keep pestering them with questions about how to format obscure citations: “I’m analyzing poetry for my ‘Punk Literature’ seminar. Using MLA style, how do I cite a limerick scribbled in the third-floor toilet?”
Meanwhile, the writing center stinks of fear as students struggle to decipher APA, MLA, AP, and Chicago (or is it Turabian?) documentation styles, which seem as alien and absurd to them as using a typewriter. Academic departments and even whole colleges consistently beg the library and writing center for workshops to rehabilitate their worst citation transgressors. Bibliographic citation has apparently eclipsed perfect grammar and the five-paragraph theme as the preoccupation of persnickety professors.
What a colossal waste. Citation style remains the most arbitrary, formulaic, and prescriptive element of academic writing taught in American high schools and colleges. Now a sacred academic shibboleth, citation persists despite the incredibly high cost-benefit ratio of trying to teach students something they (and we should also) recognize as relatively useless to them as developing writers.
Agree or disagree?
via Citation Obsession? Get Over It! [The Chronicle of Higher Education].
You’re a 16-year-old Muslim kid in America. Say your name is Mohammad Abdullah. Your schoolmates are convinced that you’re a terrorist. They keep typing in Google queries likes “is Mohammad Abdullah a terrorist?” and “Mohammad Abdullah al Qaeda.” Google’s search engine learns. All of a sudden, auto-complete starts suggesting terms like “Al Qaeda” as the next term in relation to your name. You know that colleges are looking up your name and you’re afraid of the impression that they might get based on that auto-complete. You are already getting hostile comments in your hometown, a decidedly anti-Muslim environment. You know that you have nothing to do with Al Qaeda, but Google gives the impression that you do. And people are drawing that conclusion. You write to Google but nothing comes of it. What do you do?
This is guilt through algorithmic association…
via danah boyd | apophenia
The 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury announced its longlist on Tuesday, September 6. This is the 18th year of the prize and a record-breaking number of books were submitted by publishers across the country, a total of 143. This year’s jury is made up of: award-winning Canadian writer and 2009 Giller finalist Annabel Lyon; American author, memoirist and Guggenheim fellow Howard Norman; and acclaimed UK playwright and prize-winning novelist Andrew O’Hagan.
For the first time ever, the Scotiabank Giller Prize invited the public to choose a book for the longlist. The Readers’ Choice contest received more than 4,000 entries from passionate readers arguing their case for a favourite book. The Readers’ Choice selection was Extensions by Myrna Day, a debut novel published by Newest Press.
Bezmozgis, David | The Free World
Blaise, Clark | The Meagre Tarmac
Christie, Michael | The Beggar’s Garden
Coady, Lynn | The Antagonist
deWitt, Patrick | The Sisters Brothers
Dey, Myrna | Extensions
Edugyan, Esi | Half-Blood Blues
Endicott, Marina | The Little Shadows
Gartner, Zsuzsi | Better Living Through Plastic Explosives
Gunn, Genni | Solitaria
Holdstock, Pauline | Into the Heart of the Country
Johnston, Wayne | A World Elsewhere
Laferrière, Dany (trans. David Homel) | The Return
Mayr, Suzette | Monoceros
Ondaatje, Michael | The Cat’s Table
Vanderhaeghe, Guy | A Good Man
Zentner, Alexi | Touch
2011 Giller Prize Longlist – Scotiabank Giller Prize.
The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2011 shortlist was announced on Tuesday 6th September 2011.
Julian Barnes – The Sense of an Ending
Carol Birch – Jamrach’s Menagerie
Patrick deWitt – The Sisters Brothers
Esi Edugyan – Half Blood Blues
Stephen Kelman – Pigeon English
A D Miller – Snowdrops
via Man Booker Prize
James Salter Wins the 2010 Rea Award…
Rea Award for the Short Story is a lifetime-achievement prize bestowed annually on “a living American or Canadian writer whose published work has made a significant contribution in the discipline of the short story as an art form.”
This year ’s jurors praised Salter as “the most stylish and grave and exact of writers.”
via Paris Review