Dr. Limerick is a professor of history and chair of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309–0234.
J. B. JACKSON AND THE PLAY OF THE MIND: INQUIRY AND ASSERTION AS CONTACT SPORTS
Version of Record online: 21 APR 2010
1998 American Geographical Society
Volume 88, Issue 4, pages 483–491, October 1998
How to Cite
LIMERICK, P. N. (1998), J. B. JACKSON AND THE PLAY OF THE MIND: INQUIRY AND ASSERTION AS CONTACT SPORTS. Geographical Review, 88: 483–491. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.1998.tb00122.x
- Issue online: 21 APR 2010
- Version of Record online: 21 APR 2010
- academic culture;
- contact sports;
- intellectual play;
- intellectual virtuosity;
- J. B. Jackson;
- writing style
ABSTRACT. Adopting the persona of the nonacademic, J. B. Jackson was, nonetheless, a major influence on academic scholarship. Expertly and deftly, he played on his understanding of scholarly convention, pushing the boundaries of “legitimate” generalization and assertion. Careful observation of his style reveals eight strategies for testing, mocking, and challenging habits of mind that can unnecessarily constrict scholarly inquiry. From daring in the drawing of conclusions to the wily use of the pronoun “we,” from a refusal to defer to middle-class values to the baiting of environmentalists, Jackson at once had a good time and called much of academic propriety into question. An examination of his “game plan” gives scholars a chance to examine their own habitual practices.