Do you ever pick up a text and after about three sentences, flee from it as fast as you can because the author has strung together an impossible mass of long words that do not seem to mean anything? Ahhhh!!!!! I have expanded my (passive) vocabularly to take on such words as "hegemony" ( even when not discussing French food) and "hermenutical", which appears to simply mean interpretive???? So if I were to say that I had located the liminal geospacial hermenutics of hegemony, what would I have actually said? (if anything)( or would I be ordering starters and wine at a French eatery in Provance?)
i hate those sentences too - they make me feel dumb.
located the liminal geospacial hermenutics of hegemony
located: found out where they are
liminal: refers to boundaries, borders
geospacial: referring to space, but not just any, rather, geographical space
hermeneutics - roughly, interpretations
so: you have found out where the geographical boundaries of interpretations of hegemony are? or something like that
Are those sentences good academic writing, or just mushed up gobbedlygook? Myself, I think it refects a lack of good clear writing skills--good academic writing does not have to be incomprehensible--in fact it should be comprehensible! That does not mean dumbing stuff down, but the use of so much trendy jargon is a bit...
Now I am reading some article where the author has randomly made up Latin phrases that are not translated to describe concepts that are basic to other disciplines real accepted names, and do not require made up Latin.
aiming swift iconoclastic kick at Ivory Tower Latin
This thread is a stupendously egregious assault upon the vernacular terminology of the modern lay-scientist. Prithee, I beg suggest that once more we conjoin our deepest emotive thoughts, gaze forthwith to the future and speaketh with one voice: "bollocks to the bollocks!"
I have read one chapter and 4 articles on the same rather narrow topic, many of them relying heavily upon one book that is a seminal work...only one of the articles is comprehensible, the book chapter was very difficult to get through, and this is NOT because I am unfamiliar with the subject area...I have read the seminal book, and IT is very understandable. Its just an example, I think, that somehow bizarre dense jargon is substituted for a clear analysis and good writing.
I do not long to find my geospatial liminality---if what you write cannot be understood, what is the point, after all?
I really hate the use of unnecessary jargon. OK some may be needed to save loads of words, so if you can call a double handled sproket adjuster a DHSA and everyone can understand what is meant, thats fine, but it does limit the audience somewhat. sometimes I do wonder for whom these people are writing. Being acclaimed by peers is not always - if ever - going to get work into the public domain, which is probably where a lot of it needs to be if the work is going to produce results. I also hate the words because for some of them I have a kind of goldfish mentalty and have to keep on looking the things up, also sometimes by the time I get to the end of the paragra[h I have forgotten what was said at the beginning
One of the best academic writers I have read is Anthony D Smith that writes on issues of nationalism and national identity--which is not my discipline, but something I am looking at across disciplines. His writing is very conscise, interesting, easy to read. He uses technical terms, but not without adequate explanation, and without melting down into a pile of jargon gibberish. I think he sets the standard for solid, good, clear academic writing in any field.
Post colonialism--no doubt you have read Homi Bhaba and Edward Said, sort of the staples for that area. Smith has a brand new book I just pre-ordered, it should ship out early next week. Connor Walker is another nationalism ( as in nation building, the nation state) writer, that is a staple in the field, though I have not read much of him. Have you read Alex de Tocqueville---not a post colonialist, but did some writing on the American frontier and the formation of the state and its interaction with the frontier, its still relevant reading today, I think. Are you interested in nationalism in particuar or more generally in post colonialism?
Other great post colonialist stuff, albeit a bit legal, is in some anthologies of "Critical Race Feminism Theory", which is a branch of critical race theory, which branches off from critical legal studies, which branches off from critical studies... if you google Critical Race Feminism you will come across some different references--all interesting stuff, though its largely Americans who seem to use and apply it.
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