It sounds like a crazy idea, and of cause it was and is: Initiated by Abdul Al Lily, 99 PhDs in the field of technology enhanced learning from all over the world wrote a common article: „Academic domains as political battlegrounds: A global enquiry by 99 academics in the fields of education and technology„. Abdul calls this authoring process „crowd authoring“ and I am really impressed by his hard work on organising, structuring, interpreting, moderating the whole process.
This article theorizes the functional relationship between the human components (i.e., scholars) and non- human components (i.e., structural configurations) of academic domains. It is organized around the following question: in what ways have scholars formed and been formed by the structural configurations of their academic domain? The article uses as a case study the academic domain of education and technology to examine this question. Its authorship approach is innovative, with a worldwide collection of academics (99 authors) collaborating to address the proposed question based on their reflections on daily social and academic practices. This collaboration followed a three-round process of contributions via email. Analysis of these scholars’ reflective accounts was carried out, and a theoretical proposition was established from this analysis. The proposition is of a mutual (yet not necessarily balanced) power (and therefore political) relationship between the human and non-human constituents of an academic realm, with the two shaping one another. One implication of this proposition is that these non-human elements exist as political ‘actors’, just like their human counterparts, having ‘agency’ – which they exercise over humans. This turns academic domains into political (functional or dysfunctional) ‘battlefields’ wherein both humans and non-humans engage in political activities and actions that form the identity of the academic domain.
For more information about the authorship approach, please see Al Lily AEA (2015) A crowd-authoring project on the scholarship of educational technology. Information Development. doi: 10.1177/0266666915622044.
Reference: Al Lily, A., Foland, J., Stoloff, D., Gogus, A., Erguvan, I., Awshar, M., Tondeur, J., Hammond, M., Venter, I., Jerry, P., Vlachopoulos, D., Oni, A., Liu, Y., Badosek, R., López de la Madrid, M., Mazzoni, E., Lee, H., Kinley, K., Kalz, M., Sambuu, U., Bushnaq, T., Pinkwart, N., Adedokun-Shittu, N., Zander, P., Oliver, K., Pombo, L., Sali, J., Gregory, S., Tobgay, S., Joy, M., Elen, J., Jwaifell, M., Said, M., Al-Saggaf, Y., Naaji, A., White, J., Jordan, K., Gerstein, J., Yapici, İ., Sanga, C., Nleya, P., Sbihi, B., Lucas, M., Mbarika, V., Reiners, T., Schön, S., Sujo-Montes, L., Santally, M., Häkkinen, P., Al Saif, A., Gegenfurtner, A., Schatz, S., Vigil, V., Tannahill, C., Partida, S., Zhang, Z., Charalambous, K., Moreira, A., Coto, M., Laxman, K., Farley, H., Gumbo, M., Simsek, A., Ramganesh, E., Birzina, R., Player-Koro, C., Dumbraveanu, R., Ziphorah, M., Mohamudally, N., Thomas, S., Romero, M., Nirmala, M., Cifuentes, L., Osaily, R., Omoogun, A., Seferoglu, S., Elçi, A., Edyburn, D., Moudgalya, K., Ebner, M., Bottino , R., Khoo, E., Pedro, L., Buarki, H., Román-Odio, C., Qureshi, I., Khan, M., Thornthwaite, C., Kerimkulova, S., Downes, T., Malmi, L., Bardakci, S., Itmazi, J., Rogers, J., Rughooputh, S., Akour, M., Henderson, J., de Freitas, S. and Schrader, P. (2016). Academic domains as political battlegrounds: A global enquiry by 99 academics in the fields of education and technology. Information Development. doi:10.1177/0266666916646415.