'Very inflated rhetoric polysyllables and so on': the public intellectual and jargon in the academy
journal contributionposted on 2015-08-01, 00:00 authored by Cassandra AthertonCassandra Atherton
The public intellectual, by their very definition, aims to reach a large sector of the public or publics. This requires proficiency, or at least the capacity to communicate in a variety of forms. As a large proportion of the public, to which the public intellectual appeals, is an online or cyber public, the importance of blogs in a computer-literate public cannot be under-estimated. The immediacy of the blog and the way in which an online presence facilitates immediate communication between the public and the public intellectual through the posting of comments online allow for a broad recognition of the intellectual in the public arena. My arguments will hinge on my interviews with contemporary American public intellectuals (Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Todd Gitlin, Camille Paglia and Stephen Greenblatt) and their views on communication in a society experiencing a decline in the publication of print media.