SMH 2003 Paper on Louis XIV’s Cabinet War
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Awhile back I had talked about using the Internet (and this blog specifically) as a way to disseminate smaller bits of research, as an alternative to publication in peer-reviewed journals. Old paper presentations that you haven’t even looked at for almost a decade probably fit this category of digital chimera. A recent comment on early modern communication prompted me to recall a specific paper I had delivered nine years ago. Not quite the “timely-publication” advantage trumpeted by proponents of digitally-‘published’ research, but releasing it into the Internet wilds does fulfill another advantage of digital publication: getting unfinished ideas which otherwise would remain hidden out to a broader audience.
The paper’s release also serves, for those who haven’t attended or presented at an academic conference, as an example of the difference between a short, focused academic conference paper (often a case study and often with tentative results) and a longer, more comprehensive academic journal article that is expected to have a clear answer. So digital publication of such works has multiple benefits. It not only allows the author to 1) remind attendees of what had been argued, and 2) open the argument up to those not in attendance, but also 3) allow the author to provide the more fleshed-out argument that was impossible to give within the 20-minute time limit common in conference panels. I assume I’m not the only person who ends up writing longer drafts of conference papers that then need to be cut down to size – you often don’t end up hearing the full argument or evidence when listening in a panel, even if you manage to stay awake. It’s surprisingly difficult for academics to say much of importance in only 20 minutes (around 10 pages of text).
At some point I’ll return to the question of Louis’ cabinet war, and some of the evidence in the paper might be useful for my battle book, but it’s not high on my priority list at the moment. So here’s the paper: Ostwald L14 Cabinet War SMH 2003. It’s rather straightforward, but still interesting (I think). Feel free to read it and discuss the issues it raises in the comments section of this post. Enjoy.