Monday, July 27, 2009

Academic Email Lists

A recent article in the online Chronicle of Higher Education made me think about academic listservs and their uses. Some scholars believe they've ceased to be very useful, while others say they're indispensable.
The question here, however, is how to use these lists in our teaching. Most of our undergrad students probably don't need to be subscribing to academic lists such as H-ArtHist (especially since so much of the traffic is in German or announces conferences taking place in Europe in a couple of days' time). But the undergrads who are headed for grad school, and certainly students who are beginning graduate work, ought to be learning about these lists. H-ArtHist is a start, because it is purely art-historical, but it is extremely broad and will not immediately strike most students as useful--it is geared mainly to scholars who already have a PhD, and to some extent to the advanced grad student.
But since art history intersects with other history, our students should be encouraged to explore the other history and humanities lists that relate to their research interests. Many of these lists are lively, and have discussions of particular books or topics. H-Net is one of the best places to locate such lists, but many other lists also exist and are just a bit harder to find.

Comments, please?