[-empyre-] soft _skinned space and lurking vs.participating

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Dec 1 20:40:34 EST 2011

dear Yannis and Helene, dear all,  

i believe the critique, offered very modestly by last month's discussion moderators, concerns us all, and is addressed to the those who make  or partake or belong to such a soft_skinned community or, to use a less optimistic term, 'space', -and perhaps the critique needs to be discussed, unless others feel there is no need to.  I very much agree with Iannis,  that "a lot of translation has to happen behind the stage screen,"  but man of these translations, or the work involved,  might get lost, and so the assumption of sharing perhaps also?

with regards
Johannes Birringer

>>   Iannis Zannos schreibt

your "summary review of the project" post is formulated with a sensitivity and thoughtfulness which touches some deep strings at least for me. I particularly appreciate your empathy with the "non-western academic" situation, to which I belong at least partly. I wish to confirm that I felt exactly that while trying to participate in the discussion. It is difficult to adapt to the highly specialised tone, it feels like entering a world (to avoid using the word 'discourse') that one does not entirely belong to. A lot of translation has to happen behind the stage screen. It is partly stimulating, partly disorienting. But your post actually reinstates the meaningfulness and value of the undertaking, by exposing that situation behind the stage, and thus indirectly affirming that we do have things to share in these issues.  

>>>   Renate schreibt

Yiannis and Helene while you may not have heard directly from many of our subscribers in the most distant places of the world,
I know verifiably that many lurk, reading the conversations from day to day without actively participating.  The task of reading long, and detailed posts multiple times a day is sometimes a daunting task. The ebb and flow of empyre discussions are rhythmical.
I am an optimist and I can say whole-heartedly that Tim and I try to actively engage a diverse group of participants, discussants and subscribers.  Our base continues to grow. Ten years worth of archives are available online to anyone at
One of the things that I have been committed to is to engage more non-academic artists to participate in our discussions.  I would like to encourage our guests not to copy long posts of pre-published scholarly writing and instead use a more conversational style that encourages an informal, inclusive style of discourse.


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