Back in the day, I began signing my contributions to discussion lists with the moniker “scholar-at-large” and put it in the meta tags to my html page.
<meta name=”description” content=”Scholar-at-large, Francois Lachance
offers various links to studies in technology, perception and
reproduction and electronic text editing as well as multimedia”>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”technology perception reproduction
theory hypertext multimedia electronic pedagogy”>
This is the response I gave way back then to a concerned inquirer (they thought I might be employed in an exploitive fashion).
Scholar-at-large is both attitude and position. Akin in the more ubiquitous “independent scholar” who is without institutional home, it is meant to indicate that extra-muros status as well as to capture the flavour of a wide-ranging intellectual curiosity. Unlike the Ronin, the exploitation factor for this particular scholar is practically nil these days since I now work in the civil service and no longer hold adjunct or sessional positions in the academy. There are some institutions that do have “scholar-at-large” positions that appear to be somewhat like “writers in residence.”
Here’s a different set of opinions:
In my case it is a name I took up and an identity I grew into (still growing).
And so for day 2643