Academic blogging: minority scholars cannot afford to be silent

Blogging is a vital tool to make visible work that has been ignored or undervalued. Minority academics must become aware of how important blogging is to articulate their ideas, The Guardian reports.

On 30 April 2012, Naomi Schaefer Riley, a blogger for the Brainstorm blog on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s website, argued (and poorly so) that black studies as a discipline should disappear. Her argument was based solely on brief descriptions of three dissertations by three PhD candidates from Northwestern University’s first cohort of black studies doctoral program, as seen in an earlier article in The Chronicle.

On May 7, Brainstorm editor, Liz McMillen, posted a note to readers stating that Schaefer Riley had been fired. I am not going to comment on Schaefer Riley’s blog, others have already done so better than I ever could (see, for example, Tressie MC’s guest post on Lee Skallerup’s Inside Higher Education blog, College Ready Writing). However, the kerfuffle that ensued hit close to home and made me think about my role as an academic who blogs. Schaefer Riley is not an academic blogger, but many of the people blogging at The Chronicle are, and more importantly, see blogging as a worthwhile endeavor.

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