Responsibility in Academic Writing: A Dialogue of the Dead

Chris Smissaert, Kari Jalonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on the notion of answerability introduced by Mikhail Bakhtin, this article inquires into our moral responsibility as academic writers to others for what and how we write. According to Bakhtin, it is a difficult task to be answerable from one’s unique place in being and it is tempting to seek some sort of alibi, be it a theoretical principle, an aesthetic ideal, or a larger whole, and to play the roles therein. To break away from these domains, in search of some sort of ethical authorship, we engage in a Menippean dialogue. Exploring responsibility in such a satirical dialogue creates an awareness of the roles we easily hide behind, draws attention to what these roles might do to our writing, and enables us to try out other roles as we allow ourselves to not be so deadly serious in our writing.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)704-711
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 25.10.2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • responsibility
  • answerability
  • collaborative writing
  • Bakhtin
  • Menippean satire


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