POST: Johannes Factotum and the Ends of Expertise

Bethany Nowviskie has shared the text of her keynote address at the 2014 Digital Library Federation Forum, in which she examines the changing nature of expertise in the academy. Nowviskie lauds the DLF community and the Forum in particular for bringing together a unique mix of experts and generalists:

The ability (actually, I think, the requirement) that the people in this room inhabit and embody that particular mix—that combination of our serious, zeroed-in, individualistic, obsessive, and rare specialization on the one hand, and our expansive, jack-of-all-trades pragmatism and service-orientation and social consciousness and breadth of vision (on the other) is—I think—one of the most profoundly attractive things about a career in and around libraries.

Deftly moving from personal history to broad concerns about doctoral training and the future of higher education, Nowviskie declares:

We in libraries and DH centers should be asking ourselves, more publicly and with greater regularity than we presently do, to what degree we are resisting or contributing to the establishment of a damaging new administrative world order.


dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Jennie Burroughs, ​Joseph Grobelny, Arianne Hartsell-Gundy,​ Erica Hayes, Jennifer Millen, Chella Vaidyanathan, Krista White, Amy Wickner (Editors-at-large for the week), Roxanne Shirazi (Editor for the week), Sarah Potvin (Site Editor), and Zach Coble and Caro Pinto (dh+lib Review Editors).