WWWOPY Follow-Up: Please share your ideas

Some of you may remember that Hagop Sarkissian and I announced a while back a plan to acknowledge top papers on Chinese philosophy (journal articles and anthology chapters) via something we called the WWWOPY (Warp, Weft, and Way Outstanding Papers of the Year). Following the announced procedure, we wrote to a wide range of research-active colleagues (both junior and senior, and of various methodological and theoretical backgrounds) to solicit nominations. However, we received zero replies with nominations. So we are re-thinking our idea.

We subsequently wrote again to the same set of twenty-four colleagues, telling them what happened and asking (1) whether they thought this was a good idea, and (2) whether they had suggestions to make it work better. This time almost everyone replied, but there was little consensus. In reflecting on all the feedback, we did conclude that especially in a growing field with an increasing number of new voices, finding a way to call attention to particularly valuable, recent, article-length work still seems like a good idea. Many people told us that they did not keep regular tabs on this kind of new work, only digging in when they began a new project. But this means that too many people may be missing ideas that should prompt new or different kinds of research projects in the first place, among other consequences.

However we are a bit stymied about how to proceed, and so decided to open this topic up for general discussion. It is hard to find an approach that seems likely to be both useful and practical. Please share your thoughts!

2 thoughts on “WWWOPY Follow-Up: Please share your ideas

  1. Sometimes an article of special interest in connection with Chinese philosophy appears in a journal of, say, mainly western philosophy, or Chinese history. It would be great if the author or anyone else would post a notice here so we know.

    Also, all: if you see a really valuable paper, you could post a brief appreciative summary.

  2. I was not among the twenty-four originally consulted, but if I were, I would have been reluctant to offer nominations for the WWWOPY, for at least two reasons: 1. the practical problem of having not had the time to read a lot of what’s newly published (as it seems a number of the twenty-four indicated), and 2. a feeling of uneasiness about the stratification involved in identifying a small number of scholars as authors of “Outstanding” papers. Granted, that kind of stratification happens routinely in other aspects of academic life, but something feels a bit more personal about it being done among this group of bloggers rather than, say, anonymous reviewers of a conference submission, or the committee who chooses the Best Annual Essay Award for Dao in any given year. I know that the intention is just to celebrate great work, and presume that most folks would take no offense at their own work not being highlighted among the WWWOPY, but this reservation remains.

    I think this blog does a great service in alerting us to the TOC’s for the latest issues of relevant journals. Those posts have led to valuable leads for me, for both my research and teaching.

    I agree with Bill Haines’ suggestion. It would be great to more regularly learn more of recently published articles relevant to Chinese and comparative philosophy, published in venues that do not have that explicit focus. Toward that end, here’s one that I recently stumbled upon:
    Justin Tiwald, “Punishment and Autonomous Shame in Confucian Thought,” Criminal Justice Ethics, 36(1): 45-60, 2017.

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