La Genèse des Places Scoles: Co-Producing Scholarly Places and Scholarly Habitus

By Gregory Bringman

"Places" originate mysteriously and remain as mysterious as the agents who inhabit them, although places are not simply environments for human agents. In fact, "place" is an inchoate concept that as much as notions of "hybridity" is poised between agent and environment, subject and society/nature. Not only is the notion of "place" hybrid, but also when we look at the discursive contributions of scholars and their texts to this notion, we find that "place" follows self-reflexive attempts by these scholars to locate themselves within the disciplinary fields that in turn reproduce them.

In describing any model of "place" in education, we must use both ontology and epistemology to develop an historicist picture of our past. In order to manifest what are spatial and metaphorical instances of places, we must see these as not only spatial and metaphorical however, but rather deposited by co-dependent and co-producing interactions between intellectuals and worlds. Scholarly places, then, dynamically record and are recorded by these intersections of spatial and metaphorical places, as a third type of place. Scholarly work may show us not just simply that of the subject of which it literally speaks, but may
allow us to participate in the reflexivity of scholars, reflecting in turn on our own production and location in historical, local, and disciplinary fields.

The impetus for examining, reflexively, scholarly "places", follows three interventions in the history of ideas that may be applied to more than simply the scholar and his or her texts; yet in so applying them one can evaluate one's own or others' scholarly, productive acts. With an ultimate championing of reflexivity in intellectual practice - any intellectual practice - these three provisions lay the ground for understanding how scholarly place is a product of scholarly habitus and scholarly fields ("habitus" being Pierre Bourdieu's term for transposable, durable, and historical, bodily dispositions). "Places" in the field shaping and shaped by the scholar develop through models of historical method and change: Braudel's and De Landa's models of "intensifications" juxtaposed to strictly forward progress, the model of generative structuralism after Bourdieu (part of his notion of habitus and field), and the contemporary understanding of the importance of strategies of "particulars" in idea construction.

All three models for looking at scholarly place and co-producing scholarly habitus are themselves possible to see as co-producing each other, in the sense that when one throws out the attainment of a singular goal for history,
one is much more interested in the particular qualities of historical periods. While the ultimate meaning of scholarly place is found in the relations between artifact and action, between overarching principles and particular details (the objects of history) this does not mean that it is impossible to anchor one's historical methodology in details, in objects, in artifacts--as a means rather than as an end. Qualitatively, details are important to the establishment of non-linear history in Fernand Braudel's and Manuel de Landa's senses of this construct, and the notions of habitus and field in turn glue both the particular and the period (historical) together.

Interventions in the Historical Context of Place

In Braudel's and de Landa's works, history may be understood to occur in non-linear fashion, seen as a series of intensified milieus or paradigms, but not necessarily creating direct lines of upward development. In his monumental three-volume work, Civilization and Capitalism 15th-18th Centuries, Fernand Braudel sets the tone for a new kind of history, one that proceeds from micro practices embedded in larger fabrics of history1. These micro practices are an alternative history made from the sometimes "bottoms-up" approach of locating, within historical perspectives, material objects, in turn creating patterns which are recognizable from macro perspectives.
One should not say that larger structures move or orchestrate the material objects, objects such as maize, rice, meats and delicacies, but that they take on patterns, "flows" of material culture. While not purely informational, these "flows" are rich in information or in particular qualities that put their qualitativeness into the production of cultural/economic value, and therefore disturb tendencies to read history as merely an accumulation, a perfunctory execution of "mute" events for only upward progress.

From the notion of "flowing" historical and economic processes (for instance the occurrence of rice in the diets of Chinese from 2000 BC to the present2), a leap can be made to what are called "intensified" histories. According to Manuel de Landa, agents acting simultaneously (yet independently) create either for their own experiencing selves or for others' recording of patterns in historical processes, ways of thinking about how histories fulfill their own short-term trajectories, analogous to chemical elements reaching a state of solidity or gaseousness (with the potential to re-transition)3. This transition to state provides a metaphorical way of looking at patterns found in historical and economic processes. Instead of each successive period of history leading to an an ultimate good (as in early Darwinian evolution) or to the best of all possible worlds (in Voltaire's reading of Leibniz's ontology), small pockets of history swell and intensify,
making subjects of history act on the material relations they structure and by which they are structured.

To foreground the way in which these interventions in historical method and perception make their way into collectives of humans and non-humans (as Bruno Latour has phrased contemporary commonwealths), it should be said that these intensified histories are in fact written in "certain ways" by scholars and historians. Not only do persons of commonwealths (another kind of state) act on some form of material culture, so too do historians in the tradition of Braudel create histories from intensifications anchored across time but taken as sets of facts, disjunctively and non-linearly orchestrated to critique the forward movement of progress. In fact, historical writers choose purposely and disproportionately from the record of human events and objects to create arguments akin to "meta-narratives" of these intensified histories or "intensifications." The notion of meta-narratives, in Post-Modern philosophy of the last century, Jean Francois Lyotard significantly demonstrated by arguing for a similar consideration of historical processes to that of Braudel and de Landa: instances of scientific, technical, and moral progress that often redeem themselves only in the poignancy of the stories we tell about their place in human development4.
A meta-narrative could be, for instance, a story about a Hegelian methodology for philosophically transcending rough points in the course of expository, philosophical arguments, arguments which provide a basis for the Western philosophical tradition. Hegelian dialectic allows us to narrate the history of Western philosophy with an archetype for thought and ideas. It leads to the Marxian dialectic (another story or meta-narrative) of Capitalism and Communism, in the inversion of its procedural order. Instead of having consciousness go from spirit to matter, Marxian synthesis and the instances of consciousness that it analyzed proceeded from matter to ideology. Yet with time, the Marxian way of looking at the world redeemed or redeems itself only in the narrative content that it has provided5.

The historian or scholar is therefore involved in the construction of these meta-narratives and may choose events across great spans of time to create stories which are anti-stories in their non-linearity: the use of facts and objects from history anchor the historian's application of an historical procession of events. These events may be composed of (for instance) stagnant moral progress mixed with events that embody Western moral rectitude, events and artifacts of history from ancient Greece (i.e Lucretius's atomism) with contemporary Russian histories of science (Ilya Prigogine's contemporary physics)6, or a seemingly infinite number of combinations. Seldom is a history
created to simply be a mechanical recapitulation of events, except where this serves to illuminate the history of "what?". The events of history, abstracted from a time that moves in one direction, are separately composed into, not only meta-narratives, but into micro-narratives of particular readings of topical subjects. While pulled in a non-linear fashion from time's arrow, they are reconstructed as partially linear arguments, which duplicate the effect of very particular contents in historical events and objects, in these initially linear arguments (the methodology is non-linear; the exposition, written linearly).

In coming from the appearance of written history from a macro viewpoint or the view of flows, we must proceed to locate the embodied history and places of the scholar or agent who creates these patterned histories. The French social theorist's, Pierre Bourdieu's concept of habitus, or an agent's embodied history is an adhesive agent for the preceding two macro-artifacts of place-based historical methodology offered by Braudel and de Landa. A historian's arguments allow the historian to locate himself or herself within a disciplinary field in which he or she acts to produce texts, acts on texts and is set into "place" by others acting to "place" him or her into similar disciplinary fields. According to Bourdieu, writers, philosophers, scientists, artists and others act according to habitus, a principle organizing a person's histories "installed"
within their bodies by their experiences 7. Physical bodies of scientists and artists create "durable dispositions" 8, relatively stable ways of carrying oneself or acting within society that follow from years of inculcation and transformative experiences. Being made by and making society, these durable dispositions overcome the dualistic natures of orthodox sociological and historical systems. Not only this, but when a scientist or writer is conscious of how his or her disposition makes meaning within a discipline--or across disciplines--he or she may structure his or her behavior to reflect on that very position in the field of production through which he or she puts forth and articulates ideas.

The very reflexivity of an artist, scientist or writer acting in a field allows scholarly place to articulate scholarly activity as so many "flows" and short-term intensifications/ trajectories as are common to histories such as Braudel's. The after effect of these micro/macro patterns is a sense of location or environment that is part material and part immaterial. Because of its location in non-visible structures (What is a disciplinary field made of? Many things, but not one or two material objects in particular), the concept of place is partially formed, inchoate, hybrid.Not only do philosophical categories have to incorporate both "body" and "environment," but all the binary oppositions of Western philosophical discourse restructure and deposit
these artifacts of the intensifications of history into places neither actual nor metaphorical.

Not precluding particulars, notions of place may still, however, be modeled on the play between empirical and theoretical knowledge, a binary of Western philosophical discourse, structuring and structured by particular knowledge. An epistemic artifact of 17th century empirical science, then, scholarly place achieved its grand historical form as a product of the new emphasis in incorporating qualitative in addition to quantitative information into the production of knowledge. Empiricism along with mathematics laid the foundation for modern habitus and disciplinary fields to manufacture both material and immaterial places associated with scholarly activity.

The current essay seeks to reflect on scholarly activity somewhat rooted in the nascent empiricist tradition9. And in reflecting on its own structure in choosing subsequent examples for the construction of scholarly place, it seeks to create an argument that acts as a scholarly intensification showing the genesis of scholarly place in its examples as well as in repeating this motif for itself. Its meta-narrative is like much historical method, and in particular it seeks to illuminate celibate scholarly spaces, scholars of marginalia, scholars of contemporary politically infused discourse, and visual scholarship, in order to illuminate, reflexively, the processes by which scholarly place is created.
Puritans of the corps/e

The 1998-1999 research project and symposium on scientific personae at the Max Planck Institute, Berlin, Germany, explored a number of aspects of the personhood of scientists, the topic also having been under broad definition to include scholarly personae. Gadi Algazi's research/article on the waning celibacy of scholars and subsequent domestication of scholarly activity through marriage in the Western Renaissance and Reformation period suggests a framework for hybrid scholarly places located between subject and object formations in social contexts of habitus, field, and the shared historical ground of these concepts.

The coincidence of scholarship and male celibacy in the 1500s along with celibacy's subsequent demise in the professorial ranks in the mid-1500s thereafter provides a way to characterize a "place" of the scholar as an "intensification." This event most definitely should be read not as a fulfillment of progress, "for who's progress is this?" may have been the conceit of the Universities of Cologne and Freiburg, institutions of Western Christendom that required their rectors to be celibate10. And in fact, Algazi suggests that even in the mid 1500s when the rectors of the universities were frequently married, this practice (marriage) was "still considered a problem"11. The very fact that the institution of celibacy is present in some
capacity in the 21st Century with Catholicism having the same requirement for its pastors, shows how, dropping the number of celibate men with the domestication of scholarly activity, "intensified" the living arrangements of scholars formerly of solitude (even though Algazi remarks this was a slow-going transformation12).The potential for previously celibate scholars now participating in human reproduction also lends itself to an intensification of previous social norms of the celibate. Because of the connection of this shift to all three interventions discussed above: non-linear history, habitus and field, and details or artifacts as anchors, one begins to see a metaphorical/actual place (inchoate and hybrid) emerge from the set of relations linked to history and to the bodies that have created the patterns or flows seen from macro-perspectives.

This "place" may be richly imbued with other narratives, more overarching and that elevate this intensification to a grand but not master narrative, while keeping it rooted in the qualities of scholarly "place". While the waning of celibacy intensifies as the Protestant Reformation progresses, Algazi takes some space to show that domestication did not follow simply with a "breach from Rome", as Catholic scholars as well as Protestant ones became concerned with the relationship between marriage and scholarly life13. Additionally, some of the misogynist habits of previously celibate men persisted in marriage even to the point of misogynist tracts against "Wyves"
as with Chaucer's Jankyn, a literary character who delights in these books aimed to uplift male "self-sufficiency" and independence within the domesticated unit14. Evident here then are two grand narratives that because of the historical investigation into the context of these stories, leads to a recognition of traits, not seemingly within these stories in orthodox historical accounts. The grand narratives of Protestantism and masculine domination as these developed, distinct from the particular conditions of their genesis, therefore cannot be maintained as master narratives. The overarching sense of the "flow" of Protestantism and the "flow" of masculine domination in the period of waning celibacy can be seen then as simply a few more qualities that, with a multiplicity of other narratives, contribute to a sense of historical past. From a rich cross-section of historical qualities, the Protestant and misogynist tendencies in the shift to family scholarly households, appear as the agency of a non-linear history counter-posed to the forward movement of progress. It is this Braudelian form of history which produces a "place" between agency and structure and that has the effect of being one in a range of metaphorical, actual, and hybrid places.

And yet the particulars of places lend them their distinctiveness. A rich history has sprung up surrounding the domestic study or in Latin, "studiolo". The scholar's physical room for study, according to Algazi originated
with the transformation of celibate male scholars into married men, newly married men wanting to continue their research15. The spatial apparatus of the study for solitary work then became a mediating point between a husbandhood with older wives possessing large inheritance and support structures, and the philosophical desires of studentry and scholarly activity. There was, from 1405 on, a disconnect between family life and scholarly activity also shown by the place of solitude where the gendered subject (male) avoided household tasks16. Although, Algazi interestingly points out how the study could not in fact consecrate for itself a true space of purity, as in the case of the daughters of Philip Melanchthon whom were prohibited from urinating in his study, although only when he was there entertaining guests17.

It also is the case that non-traditional families in which the male scholars' position was occupied by women while the wives' position was occupied by the mothers of the women were seen in Renaissance and Reformation households. While it may be easy to point to psychological factors that articulate "place" such as bodily needs, women impersonating male scholars (only by the ingrained roles set forth historically), and misogynist tracts by previous celibates now isolated to pursue their higher faculties within the museum or studiolo, it is also possible to see the construction of an architectural space as a product of human relationships within disciplinary and cultural fields.
It is this set of relationships between humans and relationships between humans and disciplinary or cultural fields that tell us about the genesis of the immaterial senses (although not ultimately essences) of "place" that are comprised of neither solely its architectural structures nor solely institutions with use-value. Scholarly place in the Renaissance and Reformation therefore is lent several senses stemming from the institution of celibacy in those male subjects who chose a life of study, yet who, through economic transformations, found themselves in marriage. This intensification is all the more so intensified by the conflicted and (Algazi says) ambiguous18 nature of the domestic household when this transformation began to take place. The "starts and stops" of marriage life of scholars previously celibate, the emergence of middle class families concerned eventually, not with passing down scholarly habits, but only monetary stability19, and the rich set of particulars involved in the construction of actual spaces that are not only actual, all contribute to qualitative nature of what have become set pieces for non-linear histories, only rescued from non-linearity by their lower level construction of "place-based" meta-narratives.

The transformation of the celibate scholar in fact presents, in the Braudelian sense, a very interesting "story" associated with transformations that we see today in intellectual culture. As old as the printing press, which served
up an economized means of scholarly activities in technologized, portable documents of history, texts, this transformation is paralleled by a grand but not master narrative. In comparison with contemporary meta-narratives of a switch to visual literacies from so-called "logocentric" ones, the entire literary and scholarly field moves in the direction of a writing through technological dematerialization and rematerialization, and toward, at the same time, the theory of practice through the development of more material and necessary scholarly lifestyles. The intensification away from written erudition even in the very act of becoming more astute at this activity is a tendency that is repeated over time, primarily in the 18th Century when charlatan performers who were also experimentalists battled with the philosophes for the attention of the public, and for the soul of conceptual education (Was it visual? Was it textual? Or both?). The new innovations in ways of seeing common to art and science that produced, from constructed art and constructed science, complexity in visual education, resulted in both the intensification of this new way of communication and the intensification of the backlash against it20.

Thus the scholar who chose marriage in the Renaissance and Reformation periods, found himself at once carried away by everyday married life
independent of intellectual activity, and also interestingly situated to express the problems of superficiality of existence in lives of no intellectual activity-- in rebellion, in forming a private space for celibate times of yesteryear. This pattern interfaces with the larger "story" of the death of the scholar and the emergence of the artist as homo faber. The studiolo created from two non-mutually exclusive threads of scholarly activity and the distractions of everyday life, and the texts of the scholar, such as in the satirical dialogue by Erasmus, The Ciceronian, in which detached modes of the scholar first confronted those of family life and domestic living spaces, are just the sort of artifacts that neither posited nor posit but instead co-produce the field of cultural production in which intensified "place" forms from texts, spaces, practices and non-texts, non-spaces, and non-practices.

Protectors of the word

Another "intensified place" may be shown to result from Encyclopedist traditions, from Pierre Bayle and Diderot to historians such as Gibbon, all of whom used the footnote to situate themselves in relation to sources, primary and secondary. In the encyclopedia, not only did Diderot and d'Alembert want to encompass all human knowledge, but all types of knowledge regardless of genre, type, or high/low status could be publicized in their encyclopedia21. In fact, the enlightenment project for an
encyclopedia begins the project of Gustave Flaubert's political one aimed at a scathing critique of "received ideas"22. With each sentence demarcating the global knowledge of the encyclopedia, as well as with the many "hyper-linked" instances of cross referencing, the philosophes of the Eighteenth Century positioned themselves in relation to common knowledge, while turning common knowledge into a weapon for political subversion. The great interest today in the eighteenth century, stems from this very political positioning, in which writers (of dialogue, of the encyclopedia) reflexively positioned consciousness within Western modes of commenting about the world. The 18th Century habitus and the places into which it is connected, attempted to take a leap of faith dependent not upon the support of institutionalized religion, but the pursuit of truth in relation to all human peers of the philosophes.

The erudition of the 18th century crystallizes in the footnote and in the equivalent of the 21st century hypertext link, marginalia and cross referencing. For every statement made about a fact of the world, there is a set of historical concepts that explain this particular conceit. As an intensification, reading is a perceptual experience, where readers consistently, as they move through the encyclopedia, see greater and greater detail in marginalia.
Marginalia were previously conceptually "marginal" regions of texts that at the time were starting to express the actual "main content" through an inverted, idiosyncratic lens. The whole world or such as was the subject of the encyclopedists was inverted in the 18th century with the development of footnotes as an art, beginning in the late 17th with Bayle's Historical and Critical Dictionary23. The world as text was represented by voluminous erudition that put forth the relations behind "main content" as the inverted, more central content. "Meaning" for philosophes and encyclopedia contributers was in between "main content" and marginalia, although rooted in marginalia. Not only was this way of looking at the construction of the world through texts an inversion of reading and cognition, the footnote created dedicated and "interested" intellectuals more so than did rhetorical or superficially political writing based upon a "main argument".

As Anthony Grafton shows, these quixotic producers of marginalia were "defenders of the word" as well as textual poachers, transposing source material into their own texts and reinventing it transformatively24. Grafton shows how the invention of modern historiography in the figure of Ranke, needs to be historically peppered with "Laboratory Life" intimations of the construction of historical facts.
For according to Grafton, Ranke, in constructing modern rigorous methods of historical writing, often did not take the approach of a linear inputting of historical texts through reading to be followed by the simple execution of his historical script, but rather read all the material on his subject and wrote the text only to return to the written corpus to insert footnotes25. Additionally these footnotes were not always absolutely accurate in how they represented collective notions of the facts of history26. Grafton has taken lengths to dramatize (in Polyhistors...) the peculiar operating logic of writers of secular, "sacred" texts27. Reference material imbued with literary content by encyclopedists eclipses any modern incarnation of reference material in the Encyclopedia Britanica, for instance, with its writers committed to the pursuit of "truth" in spite of their immediate surroundings, although they are like the scholars that Algazi describes, who were no doubt constrained by social, economic, and cultural factors. While this is true, they attempted to transcend their own personae but for an interest in how material words could politically shape material actors or persons within 18th century society. The encyclopedists were "interested actors who engaged themselves in the texts of the collective to, through the inversion of "main content", proceed away from received notions and ideas.
Footnotes longer than the main argument signify the ways in which Bayle and others mounted textual defenses masking a hyper reflexivity and invention of details for these details themselves. Not only are the details put front and center in Pierre Bayle's Historical and Critical Dictionary, the addendum, the supplementary text emerge as both defenses of "real" historical processes and as political defenses of religious belief, as an intensification. The afterword of the Critical Dictionary takes pains to elaborate the ways in which there is no simple relationship between the presence of the morally bad, and the presence of morally bad actions28. Bayle remarks how, not only is his method of detail truer to the experience of history, but that censorship of his text is a failure to acknowledge the role of the vices of historical actors in establishing, conversely, their virtues. And in the notion that the Epicureans were as noble moral actors as some Christians, despite their supposed atheism29, Bayle focuses on the distortions of religious belief in order to invert moral centers, for, in his view, greater moral centers. The inversion of who's whom in moral activity is an intensification and an expression of how the mechanics of professed faith in contrast to actual historical, material conditions, leave the literary field conflated with the reference field, but most importantly, show how moral practices and cognitive perception swell from being pressed into inversion by the levers of erudition, by Bayle.
It may be interesting to look at the encyclopedists' inversion of bodily necessity, reading and cognition, and the centers of moral rectitude, as producing an artifact, a place that is at once ironic, yet targeted to put the common human in the place of the philosophe and vice versa. Political subversion through inversion of received orders, performs all the necessary mechanics of the 18th Century Encyclopedist project. Its "place" is formed from the denial of bodily necessities, the denial of truth in linearity (traditional arguments with little footnoted material), and a denial of the supposed logic behind cognition and perception through the Western Corpus. It is well documented that the modern concept of information emerges in the 18th century with the ordering of censuses of the people, and the mathematics of probability applied to smallpox and other "social phenomena"30. The structure of footnotes in the encyclopedia additionally show how the concept of information arose through the transposition of non-linear erudition onto reading and cognition. Therefore, if the Renaissance and Reformation place posited from scholarly habitus and text was the studiolo, the Enlightenment scholarly place is the particular construction of informational texts in light of the networks between them.
Protesters of the posts

The third intensified, habitual, meta-narrated place returns us to the meta-narrative expressed in the eclipse of learning and erudition with a technology that strives towards a portability, interoperability and efficiency despite its effects on human use of knowledge. Seen from the macro perspective of historical and economic flows or trajectories, the introduction of proletarian forms of revolt into the established moral and political discourse shows how revolution--at least in its proletarian form-- disturbs master narratives, and intensifies social norms, transforming them to life and death ultimatums. We are reminded of figures such as Alexander Dumas debating the best place, when all hell broke loose in an 18th century insurrection, "to shoot from"31. We could describe the French Revolutionary movement as "protest" against master narratives. Yet in moving up to the 20th century and to the construction of the modern university, we can qualitatively point to how the secularized future of Renaissance and Reformation scholarship crystallizes in the protests in French academia in 1968, showing the political, social, and economic motivations of university faculty.
In 1968, the devaluation of diplomas and the influx of professors to the French University system, involving the inequalities in economic compensation for junior professors, culminated in the protests of 1968. Pierre Bourdieu was a young but senior faculty member who performed statistical and sociological analyses for his later, Homo Academicus (1988) which addresses how professors in academia receive their authority or do not receive it based upon the subjects they choose to research and teach (so-called soft versus hard sciences and arts and the extent to which they have a career based principally in academia as opposed to one in the outside world of freelance writers and other knowledge producers). The project of Bourdieu is to show the arbitrary ways in which established professors not only receive monetary and intellectual benefits from their positions within the university but how they encourage the symbolic domination of students pushed into to college, through what are just like the received ideas of the encyclopedists however, for academia--the correct ways to read, write, perform computations, and do science32. To Bourdieu, the system of dispositions and disciplinary constructs of the French university make it impossible for those coming from the outside to achieve credibility as writers or producers of knowledge33.
Senior professors, who are also hierarchically indoctrinated and organized, put forth their scholarly fruits within the academic hierarchies of proper writing and speech. The outside writing community approaches the subject and practice of writing production rhizomatically, as any number of points that, as ubiquitously as networks in online content and information systems, have the potential to disturb the steady cycle of academic production from greater social, economic, cultural, historical, and political influences on writerly habitus--from the whole world, and not just schools of scholarship and academic writing, localized and formed into niches. The intensification of political agencies, senior professors against assistant lecturers, in the placement of scholarly fruits proceeds in dichotomies of professor/proletarian, proprietor/protester. Scholarly fruits are, according to Bourdieu, arbitrarily and with an autonomy of the literary and professorial field able to produce similar texts of academia, while the outside authors, able to grasp more of the diversity of relations rooted in the world, fail to always use the proper ways of writing, speaking, and engaging in professional practices. Yet the outside writerly community has its own "correct" ways of writing and speaking, so much so that academia and outside of it co-produce any number of types of "correct" expository and novelistic erudition34.
Embodied historical agents of the French University and outside the French University mutually reproduce so-called correct ways of thinking and writing, through universalizing their scholarly fruits against particular cases that may alternatively function as solutions to research. Bourdieu describes the philosophical error, in other texts35 of "universalizing the particular case." Sartre commonly universalized the particular case of his own subjectivity into a supposedly universal philosophical system, for instance. In Distinction, Bourdieu argues that institutionalized artistic training is not a particular case to be universalized into an unchanging theory of beauty or aesthetics36, that such theories result from other practices (such as middle class interest in realistic photography), so much so that any non-naive consideration of taste will address this construct from all levels and divisions of social and cultural life. The particular case therefore is held in high regard as a way to unmask the falsities of received notions brought by young college students to academia, but also as a concrete way of supporting theory by putting factual infrastructures in place.The pursuit of particulars in experimentation begun in the 17th century culminates also in the particular interpretation of scholars on both sides of academia, as to the material of valid exposition and exegesis.From the waning of scholarly activity in the very fulfillment of conditions that make it possible, to the inversion of writerly and readerly cognition in the encyclopedia,
the pursuit of particular knowledge finds itself intensified in the location or place of conflict between generations of producers of knowledge.

Professors of the practical

With the transformation of the university in the middle to late 20th Century, the emergence of practical instruction whether in visual or technical fields provides my final "intensification" of the scholar: it resides in getting the readers of one's work to take "action" and to do things with one's texts. The philosophical emphasis on practice has implicitly been with us for a long time, as is communicated in the fact that readers "do things" and have done things with texts since time immemorial. Yet the explicit programmatic arrangement of students of culture or vision into activities which cause them to generate their own learning scenarios in productive activities, provides the quick fixes for learning found in many technical certificate programs, but ideally suggests that even when lectures worked in traditional learning situations it was because of the speaker's transition from abstract ideas to the concrete and back. Lecture engages students when they know part of what the homo academicus speaks, just as in the other direction practical activities that require active participation increase learning in students, explicitly--known
ever since 20th Century educational psychology's constructivism.

The emphasis in hands-on teaching, on educational psychology from constructivists, ie. Vygotsky could be seen a model for engaging readers in "action" upon their consumption of scholarly works. The implicit idea of Vladimir's Vygotsky's model of peer learning includes the notion that social interaction is important to learning. Social activity only being known by its practices, suggests that interaction in which the more knowledgeable student teaches the less knowledgeable student while learning himself in the effort to articulate "correct theory" is basically reflection on the procedures of life and the constructions of social action. What is learning, but the transformation of symbolic content into ideas that matter to the learner, and what does a reader do with the texts that he or she reads if not act upon the ideas in them? Readers are known by what they do with texts--producing more texts for instance--but also this action upon the text is a conversion of abstract capital into concrete capital, although still within the realm of ideas. The classroom could be a vicissitude of life employed by active learners, despite whether the media identity of the work is textual or visual, and despite whether lecture or hands on activity provides the entry-point into the theory of practice and the practice of theory in classrooms.
The inciting of bodies to action comes through the construction of abstract and concrete schemas, frameworks from theoretical stances, which in turn create the reader as not only an empirical observer but a writerly reader (thus an interested actor). Professors of the practical are all professors who create texts, histories, for instance from relations of history mapped through the gestures of research. The location of photographic archival material, produced but eclipsed by history's first path to knowledge users, can be reintroduced in direct proportion to the interestedness of the scholar. Discoveries of research and the development of abstract schemas represent material actions behind fields of letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, sections, chapters, books, and encyclopedias. Readers write and writers read in traditionally mutually independent activities. The writer must inscribe the programmatic scenario of the text in order to incite bodies to action, and this is the project of the reader in retracing the inscription artifacts and their implements, so that he or she may act on the politics and cultural aspects of the text.

With action, I would like to end the meta-narrative as one that is continuous and continues to redefine itself in multiple practices created by all divisions and participants in the life and work of scholars. In this trek through qualitative examples disjunctively pulled from the corpus of history, I have painted a story, albeit non-linearly
of both the eclipse of writing and scholarship and at the same time the emergence of the new university. As a "flow" of learning and production, both so-called practical and so-called theoretical orientations towards texts -be they images or traditional inscriptions, relationally proceed towards short-term climaxes and intensify regardless of a supposed singular, overarching goal for their trajectories. Place emerges relationally, hewn from both the collision and insertion of objects, people and environments, material and "immaterial", into both aggregates and continuities of meaning. This method of reading place as not actual or metaphorical but created by the interaction of social actors in disciplinary and cultural fields may certainly be applied to other inchoate or hybrid institutions or artifacts.The application to scholarly life is contingent on the refusal to oppose agent and environment, subject and object, nature and society, a general project of reflection by which scholars as well as social and civilian individuals make sense of the world. Scholarly places created by practices that also may be spatial or architectural, lie between produced texts, the actions they incite, and the world that could be seen as the genesis of inscription practices. Here the meta-narrative ends: it is possible to see the qualities of highlighted events and how they, together, produce an invented but reflexive reading of objects, events and persons common to agents in the field of scholarly and cultural production. Braudelian history, Bourdieusian
sociology, and the empiricism of particulars are frameworks for constructing a history against simple upward progress. In the conflation of history writing and history reading, scholars and their texts form a third type of place in between the actual and the metaphorical, co-deposited from their interaction within the field of cultural production.


1. Braudel, Fernand. Civilization and Capitalism 15th-18th Century. 3 Vols. Trans Sian Reynolds. New York: Harper and Row, 1985. Volume 1, The Structures of Everyday Life. See Table of Contents [9-13]; Braudel remarks of material civilization as like a layer covering the earth p. 23.

2. Civilization and Capitalism: Structures...p. 146, 147

3. Manuel de Landa. A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History. Swerve Editions, New York:2000. p. 14 "Whether the system in question is composed of molecules or of living creatures, it will exhibit endogenously generated stable states, as well as sharp transitions between states..."

4. Lyotard, Jean-Francois. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Trans Geoff Bennington and Brian

Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1984,1991. On the problematic of legitimation (stories told to legitimate...): p. 27 “It is remarkable that for along time it (scientific knowledge) could not help resorting for its solutions to procedures that,overtly or not, belong to narrative knowledge.” p. 28 “... the apparently obsolete solutionsthat have been found for the problem of legitimation are not obsolete in principle, but only
in their expression...”

5. Ibid., p. 30 Lyotard argues that everyday humans and persons of science tell stories to
approximate truth in legitimation narratives: “the people debate among themselves about what is just or unjust in the same way that the scientific community debates about what is true or false."

6. I am thinking of Michel Serres' La naissance de la physique dans le text de Lucrece, translated as, The Birth of Physics by Jack Hawkes. Manchester: Clinamen Press, 2000.

7. Bourdieu, Pierre. The Logic of Practice. Trans. Richard Nice. Stanford: Standford University Press, 1990,1997.

p. 54 In reality, the dispositions durably inculcated by the possibilities and impossibilities, freedoms and necessities, opportunities and prohibitions in scribed in the objective conditions....

8. Ibid., p. 53

9. The current essay begins its own meta-narrative that encompasses the roots of the empiricist tradition in Sir Francis Bacon through the 18th century, and into its aftermath as well as continuation in the 21st, as its first case study is of the Renaissance and Reformation in transition towards something else.

10. Algazi, Gadi. “Scholars in Households: Refiguring the Learned Habitus, 1480-1550. “ Science in Context 16(1/2), 9-42 (2003). p. 9 “The first recorded case in the university of Vienna dates from 1397; by 1470, a married man was elected as rector.”

11. Ibid., 10.

12. Ibid., 9

13. Ibid., 15. “The movement toward establishing scholarly households began well before the
Protestant Reformation, although in certain regions it eventually merged with the Reformmovement and thereby

gained its particular flavor. The process of constructing families and reorganizing scholars' everyday life was evident among Catholic scholars as well.”

14. Ibid., 18

15. Ibid., p. 25 “Moving closer into scholars' homes around 1500, we are likely to encounter a new division of domestic space. Scholars carved out for themselves a room of their own - the study, termed in the Latin sources studiolo or museum.”

16. Ibid., p. 26 on Christine de Pizan and her role as scholar in her own studiolo, leaving chores to one in the role of wife, from her City of Ladies (1405); p. 28 on Phillip Melanchthon locking himself in his study...

17. Ibid., p. 28.

18. Ibid., p. 34 “the model adopted by early modern North European humanists seems to have been characterized by a systematic production of ambiguity: combining involvement and detachment within family settings, intimate presence with studied absent-mindedness.”

19. Ibid., pp. 24-25 “on the other hand, this pattern closely resembled the models of relationship prevalent among

the urban middle class. It was not a model likely to reproduce scholars as a distinctive social group, but rather (25) to promote their gradual assimilation in urban society. Wives were expected neither to take part in the world of learning nor to prepare their offspring to assume positions within it.”

20. Stafford, Barbara M. Artful Science. Enlightenment Entertainment and the Eclipse of Visual Education. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1994. p.74, “ The clever technician as the crafty fabricator of non-intellectual goods became the target of the philosophes' attack on fraud. Most fundamentally, to enlighten meant unmasking charlatanism of every stripe by teaching the public its conning stratagems.”

21. Diderot, Denis and Jean d'Alembert. The Encyclopedie. (Page 1:448) ANDROGYNES. Chicago: ARTFL rev 2.1 06/2005. The philosophes eclectically used various sources, including scripture, for the articulation of ideas with very different social and political senses than those in biblical times. For instance, in the above article, Diderot says: “Beaucoup de Rabbins prétendent qu'Adam fut créé homme & femme, homme d'un côté, femme de l'autre, & qu'il é toit ainsi composé de deux corps que Dieu ne t que séparer.” (trans. Many Rabbis claim that Adam was created

man and woman, man on one side, woman on the other, & that he was thus composed of two bodies that God, simply separated).

22. Flaubert, Gustave. Dictionnaire des idees recues. Le second volume de Bouvard et Pecuchet. Paris: Denoel, 1966.

23. Grafton, Anthony. The Footnote: A Curious History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999. p. 194.

24. Ibid., pp. 211-12, on Bayle's omissions and inaccuracies .

25. Ibid., pp. 64-65 “All of the notes, finally, were added after Ranke had written out the entire text.”

26. Ibid., p 65. This is shown by the contemporary of Ranke, Heinrich Leo, who in competition with Ranke, disputed his scholarship, according to Grafton.

27. Ibid., pp. 63-93; pp. 190-222.

28. Bayle, Pierre. Dictionnaire historique et critique. 1697. Historical and Critical Dictionary. Trans. Richard Popkin. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1991. p. 399 “The fear and love of God are not the sole springs of human actions.”; “ The love and fear of God is not always a more active principle than all others.”

29. Ibid., p. 399. “Those who have been scandalized by what I said about there having been atheists and Epicureans whose moral conduct surpassed that of most idolaters are requested to reflect carefully on all the considerations that I am about to set forth.”

30. A good discussion of this Enlightenment tendency to use mathematical probability to model social phenomena can be found in Daston, Lorraine. Classical Probability in the Enlightenment.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988.

31. Dubreton, J. Lucas. The Fourth Musketeer: The Life of Alexander Dumas. Trans. Maida Castelhun Darnton. New York: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1928. See also my text: Bringman, Gregory. Mighty Morphin' Historical Objects. 1998. p. 8: The Tent of Alexander Dumas and the Urn of Theodore Villenave. He went to the house of the sister of Amaury Duval, a few steps away, sighted the Louvre through a window and remarked , 'this would be an excellent place to shoot from...'.

32. Bourdieu, Pierre. Homo Academicus. Trans. Peter Collier. Stanford: Stanford University
Press, 1988. See the postscript: The Categories of Professorial Judgment and specifically charts, Classification 1 Classification machine no. 1: from social classification to

academic classification and Table 9. Synoptic table of some professorial epithets for an overview of the pedagogy of correct learning.

33. Ibid., on difficulty of outsiders succeeding in the field of insiders where performance relies on a personally internalized state rather than experiential knowledge see p. 59 See also the 2nd chapter (pp. 36-72): The Conflict of the Faculties for the difficulty arising from inherited capital as opposed to acquired intellectual capital.

34. Ibid., See chapter 2 in which Bourdieu describes the relationship between location in a field and the type of subjects that intellectuals or scholars choose because of that location, suggesting that the impossibility of success is only in certain fields, while other disciplinary locations have their own structures of supporting capitals.

35. Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste. Trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984. p. xi It is, no doubt, only

by using the comparative method, which treats its objects as a case of the possible', that one can hope to avoid unjustifiably universalizing the particular case.

36. Ibid., See pp. 458-59 “...political education cannot be reduced... to the conscious transmission of the representations most directly linked to the sphere of the 'political'... It would be at least as absurd... to reduce the social conditions of the production of taste which is also a political disposition - to speci (459) cally artistic training.”