Standard

If the curriculum is a process and a path, then the platform is arguably an even more material rendering of that concept.   So what does that platform look like?  Or rather how does it make possible the expressions of a curriculum that itself secures generative things?

Again, to use Peale’s exhumation as a guide to structure—the platform should allow for the dissertator to envision his or her own workflow.  At a glance, the expressive platform ought to capture the lineations of the research process, in all their complexities and irresolution.  And as such it will necessitate various safe places for critique and assistance, which will take the form of visible networks.  As the MLA’s Kathleen Fitzpatrick (surely among others) has suggested, the new dissertation will privilege the shapes and depth of these networks as a measure of the impact of the unfolding knowledges and arguments.

One of the hopes I would have for such a platform is that, rather than elongating times to degree and endangering what even embargoing cannot secure, this would hasten the often unnecessarily long process of finishing by making for a better piece of scholarship.  And while the process would more fully be both means and end, the goal would still be publication of some sort.  Because finishing in this case would be determined not by the closing of the last leaf of the bound object, but by the speedy responsiveness to an editorial environment that is supercharged.  Ideally, the dissertation would not be a mid-point to a book–punctuated by the granting of a degree–but the book itself, or the applied project (website, portfolio, engineered object, etc.).  It would, in this prototype, eliminate the need to embargo anything.

This platform does not call into question the standards by which faculty credential dissertations, at least not yet. It would allow, rather, the work itself to meet those standards more efficiently, through a recognition of the difficulties of scholarly production, and then surmounting them in shorter order.

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