Monday, December 16, 2013

Lost in Translations: The Academic as Public Intellectual



"There are two necessary characteristics of a public intellectual: that the person's work is engaged with substantive social questions; and that the person actively attempts to communicate with a public"
 (Judith Brett)

Tasks of the Academic as Public Intellectual

• Learn the complex and highly specialized language of one's discipline; learn to communicate in this language both orally and in writing.

• Unlearn the complex and highly specialized language of one's discipline; learn to translate this language for the educated public in an accessible and appealing language, both orally and in writing.

• Learn the complex and highly specialized language of teaching pedagogies; learn to perform this language both orally and in writing.

• Unlearn the complex and highly specialized language of teaching pedagogies; learn to translate this language for your students in an accessible and appealing performance, both orally and in writing.

• Learn the assumptions of one's discipline

• Unlearn the assumptions of one's discipline for the the purpose of interdisciplinary work.

• Learn to translate interdisciplinary work for the educated public without indicating that you perform this translation 


Multiply the volume of the above tasks by several factors in the case of the 
Immigrant Academic as Public Intellectual



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