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FYI: Changing Missions of a Learned Society

Author: alan harris

FYI Body: right or wrong, I find this fascinating. . .
FYI ("for your information")// cheers, ach
Alan C. Harris, Ph. D. TELNOS: main off: 818-677-2853
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Subject: ACLS paper

Humanists will likely be interested in the latest Occasional Paper of
the American Council of Learned Societies, Douglas C. Bennett,
"New Connections for Scholars: The Changing Missions of a Learned
Society in an Era of Digital Networks".

ACLS publications are handsomely designed, but if you are impatien
you can get this one via the Web, a
<>. (Yes, I know, that's not the only
reason on e might have for using the Web....) Some of you will know
that Doug Bennett i s Vice President of the ACLS but is shortly to
assume the duties of President at Earlham College (Richmond, Indiana),

In his paper Bennett briefly sketches the history and roles of learned
societies in the U.S. and the culture of "disconnection" that has been
in part responsible for the benefits of academe. Isolation from a
society that respected academic work was, as I recall, not a problem
- this was the cas e as recently as my own childhood. Now, however,
this isolation poses a very large problem. Bennett's argumen
primarily has to do with how the increase d connectedness of the
digital age can be used, particularly by scholarly societies, to help
solve this problem.

Read it tonight, as a friend of mine used to say (even, once, abou
Clarissa, or was it merely Pamela?).

I note in passing Bennett's statement that, "none of the learned
societies that belong to ACLS has yet begun publishing an electronic
journal". (This requires a stage direction, such as "long pause"!)
Right. Time to roll up the sleeves and get to work, I'd say.


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Dr. Willard McCarty, Senior Lecturer, King's College London
voice: +44 (0)171 873 2784 fax: +44 (0)171 873 5801

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