Archive for January 25th, 2012

January 25, 2012

what is beyond the academy and citations?

I read this the other day:

How do you properly credit people for inspiring you? I mostly use Tumblr to signal boost and to learn, however, I do write my own shit elsewhere. Of course, I link and cite as necessary…

But that isn’t enough, I don’t think. Because, when it comes to certain things I don’t think academic standards go far enough. Especially not when I’ve seen many instances of people using and relying on the work of PoC (especially Black women and/or trans* folk) without ever truly acknowledging how much they are not only relying on the particular content of whatever post/book/essay/poem they are citing but on methods of analysis, of a certain kind of perspective that would be unavailable to them if not expressed by creative PoC willing to share their lived experiences, their debates, their struggles, their successes, etc…

So, the question I have is: how can I go beyond links/citations and thank you notes? What is beyond? What is the best way to acknowledge the contribution that other people have made to your perspective/world view/life?

And I’m very curious about getting an answer to these questions. Anyone who has been to university will know that your duty is basically finished once you’ve given appropriate credit via a citation/link. But it seems so damn inadequate for trying to credit people with inspiring you and changing your life. Seriously.

So… how do we do this? How do you properly credit someone with opening your eyes and giving you a new way to see the world? Just citing/linking isn’t enough. It really isn’t. I just found this interesting. Because how to do we do this in places beyond academics?

Moreover, why should academia be the gold standard for how to cite things? It is readily apparent that the ivory tower exists within the same system that privileges some and oppresses the Other. How do we shake ourselves free of this trap and move beyond this notion that mere recognition is enough, especially when it comes to the labour of marginalized people.

Because it isn’t enough. Especially when so many of these voices (and others besides) contribute so much to the world but are outside of the normal distribution channels for ideas, such that they cannot profit or even benefit in a substantive way from their labour. And any benefits they get are ephemeral and fleeting. So, how do we credit people for inspiring us? Really?


(a great example is another person in the collective, who has changed my life and inspired me so damn much…)