Sunday, October 29, 2006

'PUBLISHING' IN 2006: Formal Blog Announcements

Academics live and die by publications. There is change afoot, however. The Internet and the publishing tools and opportunities that it represents and enables is certainly changing the nature of publication for poets and writers, but it also is changing for academics as well. The announcement below came to me through a listserv.

It is unusual in the world of blogging to receive such a formal announcement as someone commences a blog. Dr. Herek is a well-known psychologist, however, which may make his blog more newsworthy. Yet, the notion that beginning a blog is newsworthy is a new one. Bloggers “earn their stripes” in scrappy ways: building an audience through word of email, through informal, online networks. Bloggers become known, not necessarily because of some outside credentials, but because they build a corpus of posts that are interesting and meaningful so that people return to them on a regular basis. This announcement of a blog reverses that paradigm. Is that the trend for the future? Or will blogs continue to operate outside of the usual paradigm of what is newsworthy? Will blogs move from the smart and savvy individual without institutional affiliations or credentials to being the domain of traditional academics?

Time will tell, but I hope that the dynamics of the blogosphere will continue to privilege the outsiders and build space that is vibrant and multiplicitous.


For Immediate Release

Contact: Greg Herek

DAVIS, CA, September 27, 2006 -- Dr. Gregory Herek, one of the nation's
leading social science experts on sexual orientation, has launched a new
blog that focuses on the intersections of science, policy, and sexuality.
"Beyond Homophobia" is located at

The blog's title reflects Dr. Herek's efforts to encourage a more nuanced
understanding of prejudice against sexual minorities, moving beyond the
conceptual and linguistic limitations of "homophobia." Toward that end,
blog entries will address sexual prejudice and its relationship to cultural
events and public policy in a variety of ways. Critical summaries of new
research studies will be posted, as will discussions of how social science
research can inform efforts to fight prejudice and discrimination based
on sexual orientation.

All of the postings are intended to discuss research findings in a way
that nonresearchers will find informative and useful. Topics include:
* Sexual Prejudice
* Marriage Equality
* Sexual Minority Families
* Don't Ask, Don't Tell
* Hate Crimes

Dr. Herek is a Professor of Psychology at the University of California at
Davis, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on prejudice,
sexual orientation, and survey research methodology. A leading expert on
antigay prejudice, hate crimes, and AIDS-related stigma, he has published
more than 80 scholarly papers on these and related topics. He has
before Congress on antigay violence and on military personnel policy, and
has assisted the American Psychological Association in preparing amicus
briefs for numerous court cases related to sexual orientation including
recent challenges to state marriage laws.

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