We’ve been emphasizing the affordances of focusing on syllabi, which are many, as you suggest, jasonrhody, but we should also continue to identify the limitations of this approach. You gesture to one limitation in talking about the possibility that people could game the system by flooding syllabi with references to texts.

Another issue to consider is that the focus of the syllabus is largely (but importantly not exclusively) undergraduate students. An undergraduate audience is importantly different from an audience of scholarly peers. We’ll need to keep this in mind as we think about what it means for something to be included on a syllabus, recognizing that syllabi differ considerably from one another depending on the levels of the students (intro., upper level undergraduates, graduate students, etc.) to whom they they are oriented.

Written by

Dean, College of Arts & Letters, Michigan State University; Professor of @MSUPhilosophy; Co-Founder of @PubPhilJ; Co-PI of @HuMetricsHSS.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store