General Discussion: Public Scholars Unite!

I’m working on a project to bring more scholars on Asia into social media and public discourse with the Association of Asian Studies. I’d like to start a discussion about what it takes for historians, anthropologists, political scientists — all kinds of scholars, really — to begin writing and communicating for mass consumption. I’m looking for ideas, good examples of what works and what doesn’t, and a deeper discussion about the role of scholars’ work in how the broader public thinks about the world.

A bit about me — I’m a journalist who keeps one foot in academia and one in mass media. I’ve co-edited a book about everyday lives in China with stories by journalists and scholars, and edited an online magazine published at UCLA that also helped get scholars writing for broader audiences. This is my first time at THATCamp and I’m really looking forward to the weekend.

(You can read more about the project, called Asia Beat, in a short proposal we wrote for the Knight News Challenge and more about me on my website.)

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About angshah

In June, I went to THATCamp at George Mason University -- my first one ever -- and learned so much that when I heard there is a SoCal THATCamp, I signed up. I'm working with the Association for Asian Studies and the Journal of Asian Studies to launch a news and features website about the region. I also co-edited a book of essays by journalists and scholars about everyday lives in China (to be published Sept. 13 by UC Press). Here's my bio: I am a freelance journalist and editor based in Los Angeles, but I've reported from across Asia, including China, Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka, and I was a South Asian Journalists Association Reporting Fellow in 2007–8. I am the former editor of the online magazine AsiaMedia, then published at the UCLA Asia Institute, and a consulting editor to the Journal of Asian Studies. I've taught in undergraduate global journalism internship programs, as an international fellows at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore, and have a particular fondness for barcamps in Southeast Asia. My writing has appeared in the LA Weekly, Far Eastern Economic Review, Mother Jones Online, Miller-McCune Magazine, TimeOut Singapore, and Global Voices. I've also co-edited a book of essays by scholars and journalists about everyday lives in China with historian Jeff Wasserstrom. It's called Chinese Characters and will be published this summer by UC Press.

2 thoughts on “General Discussion: Public Scholars Unite!

  1. Hi @angshah (Angilee?):

    I am very interested in talking with you about your Asia-related public scholars proposal. By way of background, I am working on a digital project involving an eleventh century Japanese text (Buddhist didactic tales) that will include text encoding and GIS elements, amongst others. Though there are some in Asia-related disciplines that are interested in digital humanities — and we can compare notes on what currently exists out there and who is or might be interested in this — my very strong sense is that digital humanities, at least in North American colleges and universities, is mostly focused on American and European data sets. I’d very much like this to change. So, I’ll leave it at that for now and will certainly attend your session if it flies. I am, by the way, also interested in contemporary East Asia.

    Best,

    Bill

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