Can an algorithm edit a journal? Can a library exist without books?
Can students build and manage their own learning management
platforms? Can a conference be held without a program? Can Twitter
replace a scholarly society?
As recently as the mid-2000s, questions like these would have been
unthinkable. But today serious scholars are asking whether the
institutions of the academy as they have existed for decades, even
centuries, aren't becoming obsolete. Every aspect of scholarly
infrastructure is being questioned, and even more importantly,
being hacked. Sympathetic scholars of traditionally disparate
disciplines are canceling their association memberships and
building their own networks on Facebook and Twitter. Journals are
being compiled automatically from self-published blog posts. Newly
minted PhDs are forgoing the tenure track for alternative academic
careers that blur the lines between research, teaching, and
service. Graduate students are looking beyond the categories of the
traditional CV and building expansive professional identities and
popular followings through social media. Educational technologists
are 'punking' established technology vendors by rolling out their
own open source infrastructure.
Here, in Hacking the Academy, Daniel J. Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt
have gathered a sampling of the answers to their initial questions
from scores of engaged academics who care deeply about higher
education. These are the responses from a wide array of scholars,
presenting their thoughts and approaches with a vibrant intensity,
as they explore and contribute to ongoing efforts to rebuild
scholarly infrastructure for a new millennium.