ahorbinski: hulk smash male privilege! (hulk smash male privilege)
A month ago I headed across the Bay to San Francisco for the second San Francisco WikiWomen's Edit-a-Thon. I met a lot of awesome people there and had some really good conversations about Wikipedia, information, and gender, among other things. I also, over the course of about three hours, transformed approximately a semester's worth of research into a five-paragraph article on a pioneering Japanese feminist historian. (Along the way, I discovered that the earlier article stub had plagiarized a sentence wholesale from the article listed in the references.)

I know a lot of academics are highly suspicious of Wikipedia, not always for what I would consider the right reasons. But, especially after hearing Jimmy Wales speak at the Wikimania opening reception last week in Washington, DC, I do think that it's important that academics not shut what we know up in our ivory towers - not just for the sake of the knowledge that we create and love, or even for ourselves, but for everyone else in the world who could benefit from that knowledge, too.

ahorbinski: Tomoe Gozen is so badass she glued her OTW mug to her wrist.  (tomoe gozen would haved loved the OTW)
Anna Wilson, with whom I am tangentially acquainted, has a great post on where the first duty of the historian lies, RPF, Procopius, and me, over at The Society of the Friends of the Text:

I like the insistence on the tension between our felt responsibility to those we are writing about, and to those we are writing for. I like that poking at that tension forces self-scrutiny, forces me to ask myself who, or what, my work is for, after all: other postgraduate scholars? Undergraduate students? Myself? Where does my loyalty lie? Asking the same question of other historians can often generate surprising moments of understanding that help separate personal context from historiographical content, or at least come to a higher level of understanding about their interrelation (I felt a great “OH!” moment when I read, in Norman Cantor’s Inventing the Middle Ages, that Charles Homer Haskins, a historian of medieval government and university institutions, worked for the CIA).

I'm not sure what to say to this, other than that it's a crunchy post that bears repeated cogitation. Personally, while I find myself frequently sympathizing deeply with my research subjects, my first sense of responsibility always lies, fairly equally, with both the present and the future--everything I write, I hope will carry forward to posterity as well as speak to the present moment. It's a large ambition, but a true one, and for that I make no apology.
ahorbinski: a bridge in the fog (bridge to anywhere)
I wrote the following as part of my (successful) application to the school which I am attending. I wanted to post it here because it is still true, and I wanted to have it on hand to remind myself of that.

Personal history )


ahorbinski: shelves stuffed with books (Default)
Andrea J. Horbinski

August 2017

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