Annotation is a practice that is familiar to many of us, and yet it is a practice so natural that it is hard to pin down its characteristics, to find where its edges are, and identify what it does for us. In this piece, we use reflections on the practices of annotation in four fields of work: academia, software engineering, medical sonography and visual art as a point of departure to theorise annotation as a set of practices that bridge reading, writing and thinking. We think about annotation being performative and consider what and how it brings into being. Revealing hidden practices in our working lives, such as annotation, helps us to understand how knowledge comes to be created, disseminated, legitimated and popularised. To this end, we make the practices of annotation involved in writing the present piece visible in an effort to write differently in management and organisation studies, unpicking and exposing it as ever dialogical and unfinished.
Thank you to our contributing writers Aled James, software engineer, and our anonymous medical sonographer. Thank you to participants of the Gender and Sexuality Network’s 2019 International Women’s Day exhibition for their additional annotations to the opening poem which can be viewed at https://organisingdifference.wordpress.com/. Thanks also to colleagues who suggested further annotating practices through our conversations about this work: Andy Crane (wikipedia commenting), Elizabeth Mamali (A3 paper desk-writing) and Annie Snelson-Powell (Kindle highlighting community). Thanks also to Angela Martinez Dy for recommending Tyehimba Jess’ stunning work Olio.
Brewis, D.N. and Silverwood, S.T. (2020), "Annotation", Pullen, A., Helin, J. and Harding, N. (Ed.) Writing Differently (Dialogues in Critical Management Studies, Vol. 4), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 67-90. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2046-607220200000004008
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