Welcome to ScholarShape’s Academic Writing Month! I’m sharing a new writing reflection question each day all month, in short videos on this blog. For background on this exercise and a full listing of all videos posted so far, check out this page. To turn on subtitles: On a computer, hover at the bottom of the video window to make the row of icons appear; click on the “settings” icon (which looks like a cog), and select “Subtitles.” On a phone, the “subtitles” icon is in the bottom right corner of the screen. To invite friends: Anyone can join this exercise at any point in the 30 days by signing up at the bottom of this page!
How does your project build on foundational works of scholarship that established the assumptions, methodologies, driving questions, etc, that set the terms of the knowledge-building conversation you are now intervening in? The foundational works you think about in this reflection could be canonical texts published decades, centuries, or millennia ago, or the scholarship of superstars who are still alive and working today.
You can approach this question intellectually, hearkening back to our Day 2 question by focusing on the conceptual tool(s) you have inherited from those who came before you in your field, or you can approach the question relationally, using it as an opportunity to reflect on how you experience your relationship, real or imagined, with the foundational thinker(s) in whose tradition you are working.
For some of us, this question may invite a sense of gratitude toward predecessors with whom we see ourselves as being in a line of continuity, while for others of us, the question may evoke a sense of conflict or resistance if we see ourselves as iconoclasts ripping up our predecessors’ foundations in order to build something new. However we approach this question, it’s an opportunity to situate ourselves, as thinkers and as human beings, within a larger tradition of knowledge-building.