Links: Job Interviews, Being Literal, Scholarly Reportage

Writing in Inside Higher Ed, this blogger suggests replacing face-to-face job interviews with video conferencing. I am not sure whether this is, in fact, a coming trend, but I did wonder what such a shift in practice might mean for how both sides of the equation assess the interaction. Communicative cues are so complex; what would we need to learn to present ourselves successfully via this new medium? Also writing in Inside Higher Ed, Dean Dad makes one particularly important suggestion: all interviews in a given round would have to be conducted via the same technology. It would not be fair for some to have face-to-face meetings while others had to engage in the more complex task of presenting themselves remotely.

This post from Motivated Grammar addresses the difference between prescriptivism and preference. In this case, the author dislikes ‘literally’ when it is used as a general intensifier (and thus not in the literal sense of literally) not because such usage deviates from some rule but because it is hyperbolic. Although most of us rarely need to take a position on the prescriptivism debate, we do need to think about how we make writing decisions. When we argue against a particular usage on the grounds of its actual strengths or weaknesses, we do more for the overall health of our writing than when we protest against its deviance from some imagined norm.

This article from Inside Higher Ed considers whether scholarly reportage–a method of inquiry that combines social theory with accessible narrative–is a passing trend or a credible option for scholarly work. I am curious what a method that blends ‘scholarship, memoir, and journalism’ might mean for writing. Working in multiple genres for a multifaceted audience would demand impressive writing skills. For more on this type of writing, here is an article from Dissent about Andrew Ross and the last twenty-odd years of cultural studies.

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