Conceptualizing Generous Scholarship
Keywords:generous scholarship, praxis of scholarship, descriptive theory-generating research design, collegiality, academic culture
In an era of neoliberalism and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to revisit the meaning, value, and praxis of scholarship. This article documents exploration of the emerging concept of generous scholarship, a compelling yet ill-defined and undertheorized construct that inspires our scholarly practices. We analyze the extant literature about generous scholarship and related constructs to address three guiding research questions: What is generous scholarship? What are its actions? What are its implications for scholarly life and the academy? A descriptive theory-generating research design led to a robust conceptual framework involving five principles of generous scholarship: social praxis, reciprocity, generous mindedness, generous heartedness, and agency. Generous scholarship is an intentional, collegial approach to scholarship that helps to mitigate the sense of isolation and depletion of energy often associated with managerial, production-oriented academic contexts. We argue that individuals and institutions that embrace generous scholarship may attract and nurture a vibrant cadre of academics, replenished in mind and spirit. Academics, university administrators, and higher education policy-makers are encouraged to address or resist the pressures inherent in their current workplaces and to carve space for generous scholarship.
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