What does a hyphen do?
Have you ever wondered why a hyphen happens?
I’ve become a animated by these small seemingly insignificant horizontal lines.
Neuro-Humanities. Arts-Health. Arts-Science. Psycho-Social.
What is the hyphen doing?
Why is it there?
Is it a sort of flag waving at us? Is it a wall in a sentence?
Maybe it’s a type of public space? A physical note of permeability? An offering between words or a gift? Maybe it’s a place of translation and transition?
If this is the case then maybe we need to pay a lot more attention to how we nurture hyphens and hyphenated space?
Wandering around this academic space I’m currently in I keep stumbling across cult like behavior.
I was at a conversation between Neuroscientists and Humanities professors recently where the following conversation happened,
“What do you do?”
“I’m a Cultural Producer. I make things”
“That’s not good enough here”
“Its good enough for me”
I mention it because the value system inherent in judging diversity of intelligence is a problem.
If academies host the finest minds engaged in research that will lead to improved futures by creating alternatives or policy or strategy, then we need pause for a moment and consider what the culture of those academies assume.
If academies assume that it’s OK to only engage with intelligence like your own then they are the weaker for it. As are we. Time changes the landscapes of our lives. We need diversity for adaptation and resilience.
It evident that the language of an academy, or at least this one, is primarily textual. Its written. Its processes are adversarial and competitive. There’s limited understanding of how collaboration works and of what is required ofr its success. It doesn’t see it as vital, as critical.
Which brings me back to the Hyphen. I think we need to nurture the hyphens.
We need think long and hard about encounter. About what makes it possible and what limits it. About the languages used and the communication tools. About what our own habits say about us and how challenging it can be to question and change them.
- Posted by Bea the Beautiful
- On 2nd July 2018
- 0 Comments