When I was in graduate school, I loved footnotes. Yes, I’m a big nerd. I loved reading author’s asides and contextualizations of their arguments. I also loved following the trail of their sources to new sources and new possibilities. I remember first reading bell hooks’ Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center and being disappointed (even as I loved her ideas and writing style and recognized the politics behind her decision) that she didn’t have footnotes. How could I see where her work comes from? What shapes her understanding of her claims? Now, having spent so much time blog writing, my love of footnotes has been replaced (has it? well, maybe not replaced but joined?) by an equal or greater love of links and parenthetical and italicized asides. (okay, maybe I have too much love for parenthetical asides. Ha!)
Do footnotes belong in blog writing? I’m in the process of posting parts of a “academicky” article on this blog and I keep asking myself this question. Nerd that I am, I feel compelled to do some research on the (I’m sure) numerous ways that others have weighed in on the point of footnotes (in all writings, offline and online). I think I’ll start with bell hooks and page 81 of Talking Back.