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Can't sleep with this rattling around my head (or with heartburn) so welcome to Night Tweets with Jon:

On Humanities Scholarship and Not Being Fandom
For people outside the Humanities, their last contact with our work and process is high school, where the big questions are "What was the author trying to achieve? What do you think the author was thinking here?"
By the time you hit original research, a lot of what we do is asking "How does the text - almost irrespective of what the author says about it - fit into wider contexts, cultural trends and paradigms of which the author may only be aware in hindsight, or deny altogether?"
Good Humanities work troubles the claims and attitudes of the author about their work, and discusses the work with a degree of distance and detachment. And it needs space to talk through that troubling to conclusion, and to reach its conclusion, without resistance.
What good Humanities work does not need is the author sitting there in the front row, bristling at being misinterpreted, taking this critique of their work personally, thinking it's about them AS a person. Most of the time it's not.
And to be fair here: good Humanities work also does not usually seek to get up in the author's grill and say, for ex., "you're a racist and I hope you get bum cancer"; that's a particular form of activism, a direct action, which might be informed by Humanities work but isn't it.
What this means, in sum, is that it's usually a bad idea to involve the author - who is a person, and wants to defend their selfhood and their work from perceived attack - in the work while it's in progress. The conversation needs to be slow, measured, and seen through.
If you're a STEM person: you have safety protocols and processes that make sure your work is able to conclude safely, and enable you to draw conclusions from it, yeah? This is our equivalent of that. Never attempt anything without the gloves.
And to add another layer: sometimes we ARE fans of the work and we don't WANT to offend the author personally, and we're already having trouble working around our own fannishness without having to have senpai in the room, noticing us.
And to add another other layer: sometimes the author is engaged in, ahem, "aggressive brand protection", and anxious to control the conversation about their text in ways which hinder our work and even threaten us as people. (And, yes, expose the author to threats from Bad Work.)
So it's not always useful or beneficial to have the author involved, personally, at every (according to some of us, ANY) stage of the work. Ours is a paced and measured conversation with and through the text, not with and at the author.
There are times - factual confirmation, practical craft discussion, biographical methodology - when that closer and quicker discourse with the author is great, and useful, and valid.

But those times ain't all the time. This isn't fandom. Or high school class.
It was great meeting Kieron Gillen and talking through Gillen's Gothic this weekend. But you'll notice that none of us were PRESENTING on Gillen or his Gothic. And it would have been bloody awkward, and bad practice, if we had been. Even though he'd probably be chill about it.
Imagine if it had been someone Not Chill. We all know a creator who's like that. Nobody's work benefits from a flashpoint where work in progress, from people on different scripts and with different kinds of work in hand, can cause interpersonal strife.
There's quite enough muddling of our fandom, our praxis, and our perspectives in the room already, without having the author in there too, muddling in theirs. Let's make things clearer when we can.

Your challenge: tell me all the hashtags I should have used if it wasn't hard enough to think all this out without adding "how to build a social media brand" on top of it.
I know why Twitter shouldn't have an edit feature, I just wish it DID; for these moments when composition and promotion are separate efforts. #humanities #fandom #academia I suppose?
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