Welcome to Figure/Ground! We are an open-source, para-academic, inter-disciplinary collaboration. We publish in-depth interviews with scholars, researchers, and university professors, as well as artists, filmmakers, and creators of every stripe. To search older material, visit the Archives.
Figure/Ground began as a personal blog founded by Laureano Ralón in 2009. Since those modest beginnings, it has grown to contain one of the largest collections of scholarly interviews on the web, with numerous volunteer contributors ranging from senior undergraduates to PhD candidates. Figure/Ground sits on the edges of the academy and the art world. Our aim is to bring the voices of academics and artists out of their specialized domains and to give them a venue for speaking frankly to the public at large.
Conversation is one of the most basic forms of human communication, yet the interview is a deeply undervalued genre within academic discourse. The majority of peer-reviewed journals in the humanities and social sciences publish mostly essays and book reviews. In an age of digital interactive media, we believe the interview can serve as a pedagogic tool, a study aid, and a primary source that can facilitate reading of difficult texts by providing a point of entry. We hope you enjoy reading them!