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Thursday, November 24, 2005

More thoughts on SBL and blogging

Reading Rafael's paper was a weird experience. There was no pressure given that it wasn't mine and it is unusual not being able to raise your head with enough regularity and speak freely (don't worry Rafael I didn't mention dating of gospels, neo-con imperialism, Man United etc.: I stuck absolutely to the script). My impression was that it went well and two people came up to me praising Rafael's paper.

The highlight of the papers for remains the session on Iraq: I have never been involved in such a high standard debate on the subject. I haven't got the notes on me so that blogging will have to wait.

Again it was unfortunate for me to miss the blogging session, particularly as I'm currently writing a paper on blogging for the Sheffield seminar on blogging which I intend to publish. On the female bloggers, I'm still thinking this over. I've not been very successful yet although I may have one possible solution which I'll mention once they are properly thought through.

It cannot be denied that it is clearly an issue. It is absolutely true that there male scholars participate in higher numbers than female scholars in university education despite there being high numbers of female students. That's undoubetdly one factor but it doesn't explain everything because the numbers are even more staggeringly lower in the blog world. Moreover, there are plenty of other female bloggers in other fields (e.g. politics). So there can be no denying that it is a genuine problem. Clearly the freedom of the blogging world is something that ought to be thought about and presumably there are some underlying structural reasons why there is a lack of female bloggers. That needs to be explained because, like Sherlock Holmes, I don't believe in coincidences.

I'm not concentrating on this issue for my paper (just as well it would seem) though I may include it if I think I can provide a plausible solution. As I said previously I think there is something in what Paul Nikkel and Yasmin Finch (more here) say (largely because its well documented that identity issues do play a role in exclusion) but I think I'll wait to see what they say after the Sheffield seminar on blogging. Between them they may well produce a plausible answer.

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