Social Media & the Politics of Collegiality: An Interview with Steven Salaita

By Karrieann Soto Vega and Vani Kannan

Abstract:

This article considers the rhetorical affordances and constraints of translating scholarly work for social media platforms. Drawing from an interview with Steven Salaita conducted on Syracuse University’s campus during the fall of 2014, we consider the public-private sphere tensions at play in his case, the temporal and contextual nature of writing for social media, and the larger context of US media reporting. The rhetorical affordances and constraints of writing for social media as an extension of academic work suggest that temporality and context could play a more central role in assessing “collegiality” on online platforms. Collegiality should not be confused with expressions that adhere to hegemonic views on controversial geopolitical subject matter, whether these views are publicized through academic venues or in social media communication.

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