PeerReviewTube
February 22, 2011 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Learning from YouTube. Ms. Juhasz, a professor of media studies, felt that her students needed to participate in this new medium in order to critique it. The same was true of her work: Academic writing on YouTube demands videos, not just words. That idea got a major boost this month when the MIT Press released Learning From YouTube, a free "video book" that was written by Ms. Juhasz and grew out of her class. It's the first time the press has published an online-only book, and it helped developers build a new platform for authorship that they hope will be used for more such works. It's also a test of academic waters: Will similar publications, backed by established presses, count toward tenure?
posted by Horace Rumpole (19 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
This isn't going to improve the comments at all, though, is it?
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:58 AM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Will similar publications, backed by established presses, count toward tenure?"

Does participation in professional documentaries count towards tenure? Generally not. I'd have to say that if I was on the panel I would also judge this as insufficiently complex work to justify a tenure decision, quite aside from the medium.

Something tells me that this piece in particular will be counted towards tenure though, partly because it has recieved press.
posted by jaduncan at 10:01 AM on February 22, 2011


"Texteo", hmm? Well, I never.

> This isn't going to improve the comments at all, though, is it?

Ever since YouTube has been putting the top ranked comments at the top of the list (with the ordinary comments stacking below where you have to scroll down to see them) the issue has been somewhat mitigated.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:02 AM on February 22, 2011


Yes, the top comment on YT videos is now always a "37 people didn't like this video, lol" with 1100 thumbs up. And all the threads are impossible to follow. Great work on improving communication!
posted by DU at 10:09 AM on February 22, 2011


Derail, etc.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:11 AM on February 22, 2011


Something tells me that this piece in particular will be counted towards tenure though, partly because it has recieved press.*

And partly because of the imprimatur of the press that put their name on it. The article notes the book was peer reviewed, but how, and who reviewed the video content? Did she get two thumbs up so MIT decided to publish?

"✩✩✩✩"— Michael Wesch

"The feel-good monograph of the year!"—Clay Shirky
posted by Toekneesan at 10:31 AM on February 22, 2011


And the dumbing-down of even academia continues apace.

If it's video, it's not a book. Full stop. As jaduncan says, this has been done many times... it's called "documentary filmmaking". But I'm not sure this even rates that sophisticated a name. Me, I'd call it filming a lecture, perhaps editing in some slides.
posted by Malor at 10:39 AM on February 22, 2011


Okay, how about "multimedia presentation"? That works for me.
posted by Malor at 10:41 AM on February 22, 2011


Even academia has its moments. I'm waiting for the day when the quality of the snark is what gets counted.
posted by infini at 10:57 AM on February 22, 2011


In traditional writing, film scholars like Ms. Juhasz have been trained to spend a paragraph describing a movie and then to make their argument. But why describe a video when you can show it?

Because you can draw focus to the nuances of interest? But it's easier to link to the video, even the exact moment of interest, than trying to describe what a particular actor does in a split-second, or how the camera perspective forces the audience in one direction, while the action goes in another.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video clip is worth 100 pictures. Why look at pictures of how to tie a tie when you could watch someone tie a tie? (Possible answer: good god, that is the slowest tying of a tie EVER. 1 minute and 30 seconds? It could be done in a third that time and still be sufficient to detail the process!)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:09 AM on February 22, 2011


"Does participation in professional documentaries count towards tenure? "

I've used a couple zillion academics in various TV shows/DVD extras, and so on, and to be honest--I'm not always picking them by their stature in their field. If a prof is a great talker, is enthusiastic and available, works for me! Additional bonus if they don't ask for honoraria.

And I've almost never seen a film by a film scholar that was very good. Are there really students who need to be taught "what YouTube is"?
posted by Ideefixe at 11:18 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The (completely un-copypastable) "Glossary" says:

video-book: Large-scale online writing that depends upon video, text, design, and architecture for its meaning-making.

Isn't this basically a snow-job in place of a rationale? First of all, because "book" usually still just means "codex," so calling a multimedia presentation a "book" doesn't make obvious sense and isn't justified; second because the definition's "online" is nowhere implied by the phrase; third because "design" and "architecture" seem like completely empty puffery; fourth because "meaning-making" is more like an anthropologist's description of a cultural practice than a description of what a book is or does (and if it's a "writing" or a "book," then how does its meaning depend on those other things?).

This is the worst kind of neologistic bafflegab; the project isn't without merit, but the author(s?) don't seem even to be trying to make a real argument that it's equivalent to a scholarly book in terms of the quantity of serious thinking it contains. "Multimedia presentation" is exactly right.
posted by RogerB at 12:05 PM on February 22, 2011


from the above link: http://chronicle.com/article/Free-Video-Book-From/126427/
The YouTube book was peer-reviewed and comes with an ISBN number, but beyond that it has little in common with the books we're used to seeing. Users get to it by visiting a Web site that consists of about 250 "texteos," pages that combine text and video. The videos, many of them produced by Ms. Juhasz's students, encourage readers to reflect on YouTube by learning inside it. The closest thing to chapters are "YouTours," which guide viewers through related pages. That format also makes the book a test of staying power: Since much of the content isn't owned by Ms. Juhasz, its owners could take it down, leaving holes in her book.
Christ on a crutch, is this woman purposefully trying to make my Bachelors of Arts in Media Studies even more worthless?
posted by wcfields at 12:17 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I met Alexandra Juhasz once.
She was nice.
posted by Dr. Wu at 12:25 PM on February 22, 2011


"Texteos"--I'd buy those. If I could pour milk on them.
posted by LucretiusJones at 12:44 PM on February 22, 2011


But Ms. Juhasz, a professor of media studies, felt that her students needed to participate in this new medium in order to critique it. The same was true of her work: Academic writing on YouTube demands videos, not just words.

Can't wait for the course about chatroulette.
posted by Kabanos at 12:53 PM on February 22, 2011


It is perhaps a different kind of learning, but I find Khan Academy to be a wonderful teaching tool and much more than a novelty. Are any of you familiar with it?
posted by beisny at 1:54 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are any of you familiar with it?

I only heard the energetic, ringing endorsement of it in the second Star Trek movie.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:38 PM on February 22, 2011


Will similar publications, backed by established presses, count toward tenure?

Yes. or even not backed by "established presses". Things change, academics are not completely hidebound.
posted by cogneuro at 4:40 PM on February 22, 2011


« Older Cheese sandwiches required.   |   IMSLP copyright clashes Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments