Assembling Academic Persona and Personhood in a Digital World
Digital automedia have become a standard mechanism for academics seeking to construct and promote their professional profiles. Through a range of autobiographical forms enabled by the digital age, on-line platforms, including blogs, Facebook groups, and Twitter, have become something of a business card for academics. But what about the self-authored personnel narratives that are not shared publicly and serve, nonetheless, as self-portraits of academic life?. Even tenure and promotion applications, employment letters, and CVs, the most often required documents to gain and maintain access to professional opportunity in academia, are going digital. And they are evolving with the digital age. In some stages of personnel review, those requests are made and via digital methods. Software used for standardization and efficiency, mediates representation of academic subjectivity by restricting users to entering details according the parameters set not only by the standards of the profession, the institutional subscriber, but also by the operating system. Increasing reliance on such systems further reduces academic personhood to chartfields and biodigital data entry that is counter-intuitive to the syncretic processes of making meaning by which individuals experience, remember, and recount their lives inclusive of their careers. My essay turns to narrative theory to assess the impact of digital tools and methods of personnel review on the assemblage and portraiture of academic subjectivity.
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