Archive for the 'publication' Category

September 6th 2012
Blogs to books: an opportunity or a big mistake? You decide.

Posted under local news & publication

Blogging in my dressing gown again!

From time to time, I’ve been encouraged to consider publishing a book comprised of blog posts at Historiann, plus (presumably!) some new, not-published-on-the-blog material.  While I’m always terribly flattered by the suggestion, I have real problems with this idea on a number of levels.

Maybe some (or most?) bloggers hope they’ll be the next Julie Powell of Julie and Julia fame–the book about the blog that begat the book that begat the Nora Ephron movie starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep–I don’t know of too many books-from-blogs or Twitter feeds that are all that impressive or successful.  Most of them seem to me to be (like most blogs, perhaps) disposable celebutainment, “lifestyle” books in the Martha Stewart style, books about weird diets, or baby blogs turned into baby books.  Even  Julie and Julia was a pretty bad book–entertaining, but poorly written in large sections and only lightly edited, if at all, and it only made me wish I had followed the blog in real time.  (Ephron’s movie was the product of a larger and more mature imagination.)

In the main, my problems with the book-to-blog concept revolve around the fact that blogs are a particular genre of communication that I don’t think translate particularly well to other media, and maybe to print media in particular: Continue Reading »

26 Comments »

June 16th 2012
Code Blue at Ferule and Fescue!

Posted under publication & unhappy endings

Drink up, then find another publisher

Friends, as you know I’m conferencing this weekend, but I’m wondering if some of you can offer some helpful advice and assistance to our friend Flavia at Ferule and Fescue.  As some of you may know, she’s enjoying a completely enviable summer in Rome, but that’s beside the point.  Last week, someone peed in her negroni, big time:

As you may recall, I’d been working with this press for two years. They first sent the manuscript to one outside reviewer, who had stern but encouraging words, so I revised according to her suggestions. They sent it to her again, and she was very happy with my revisions and recommended publication. Then they sent it to a second reviewer, who read the entire MS in three weeks and was highly critical–but he also seemed confused about the basic parameters of my project; he made lots of suggestions, but most of them were, at best, tangential to my topic. I was asked to address “at least some of” his concerns, and I did so to the extent that I felt I could while maintaining the integrity of the project. I also told the press very clearly what I had done, what I had not done, and why.

So after winter break they sent it back to him. . . and after more than four months he submitted a one-paragraph review, most of it cut-and-pasted from his previous review, saying that I hadn’t engaged sufficiently with his criticisms.

And that means that’s it for that press. The editor was quite apologetic, but explained that such a negative review tied the press’s hands and would make it hard for the editor to make a case to the publication board–even if the editor were to find a warmly receptive third reader. Continue Reading »

13 Comments »

October 4th 2011
Can a textbook change your intellectual life?

Posted under American history & book reviews & publication & students

Ben Hufbauer, an art historian at the University of Louisville,  has a really nice essay about his encounter with Richard Hofstadter’s The American Republic, which was co-authored by Daniel Aaron and William Miller (1959; rev. 1970).  It turned out to be Hofstadter’s final book, as he died just weeks after the publication of the revised edition in 1970.  Go read–Hufbauer makes a compelling case for the clarity and freshness of the approach by Hofstadter et. al. to narrative history, especially as he encounters it in the mid-1990s in an unlighted Nigerian university library:

I came across The American Republic almost by chance 24 years later, in the library of the Enugu campus of the University of Nigeria. I was in Nigeria for five months with my wife as her research assistant as she studied Igbo masquerades for her doctorate. We lived in a small apartment a short distance from campus in a city that was at times hot almost beyond belief. We often only had power for a few hours a day, and in that un-air-conditioned state — when we weren’t doing ethnographic research — we read a lot to each other, often by candlelight.

Given the poverty and corruption of the country, and the fact that Nigeria suffered a military coup while we were there, it is perhaps not surprising that most of our reading was comfort fare — Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens. But one day as I was wandering the quiet stacks of the library with no lights and no air conditioning, I dimly saw on a bottom shelf two volumes by a historian I remembered liking for The American Political Tradition, which I’d read as an undergraduate. Continue Reading »

28 Comments »

September 14th 2011
Grad school confidential: new article prize at the Journal of Women’s History!

Posted under Gender & happy endings & publication & students & women's history

We want YOUR article!

Mary Berkery, the Managing Editor of the JWH e-mailed me last month to help spread the word about a new graduate student article prize.  Here are the details:

Journal of Women’s History Graduate Student Article Prize

The Editorial Board of the Journal of Women’s History is proud to announce the initiation of a biennial prize for the best article manuscript in the field of women’s history authored by a graduate student.  Manuscripts in any chronological and geographical area are welcome.  We seek work that has broad significance for the field of women’s history in general by addressing issues that transcend the particulars of the case or by breaking new ground methodologically.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically, along with a cover letter specifying the author’s graduate advisor, program, and status (i.e., year in program, ABD, etc.), by March 1, 2012 to each member of the committee:  Durba Ghosh (dg256ATcornellDOTedu); Pamela Scully (pamelaDOTscullyATemoryDOTedu); and Judith Zinsser (zinssejpATmuohioDOTedu).

The winning author will receive $3000, and the article will be published in the Journal of Women’s History.  

Now, that is some serious do-re-mi, in addition to a very nice publication line on your CV, friends.  Check out the current issue here, which just happens to include a very generous review of my book in an essay by Rutgers University’s Jennifer Mittelstadt, “Women Participants in Armed Violence.”  Continue Reading »

2 Comments »

September 2nd 2011
Dear Tenured Radical,

Posted under publication & unhappy endings & wankers & women's history

I’d love to comment on your posts at Tenured Radical 3.0 more frequently, but your hosts at the Chronicle of Higher Education have made it very difficult for me.  At first, I used an old Disqus account–the Chronicle’s software recognized that account and let me post via that account earlier this summer.  Then last week, the Chronicle forced me to get a Chronicle account in order to post.  I did that, but now of course I can’t remember all of my login information, and since it’s about the eleventybillionth danged login I’ve created in order to engage in blog commentary and internet commerce, it all just seems too exhausting for me to cope with.

Why can’t I just comment over there under my username and my URL?  Is there any way the Chronicle software gurus could fix this?  Why all the super-secret, password-protected bullcrap?

One might think that the Chronicle wants us to log in so that they can monitor the tone of discussion on their articles and posts, but the comments over there don’t appear to be moderated any more than the comments on most mainstream U.S. online publications.  Some of the new commenters who have drifted over to TR 3.0  are bringing down the quality of conversation, and I wonder if some of your regular readers and commenters at Tenured Radical 2.0 would agree. Continue Reading »

43 Comments »

August 23rd 2011
Climb ev’ry mountain!

Posted under happy endings & jobs & publication

Squadratomagico has a nice description of how she came to have a solid draft of her second book:

Over the past two months, I pretty much doubled the size of my book manuscript. It went from readily fitting into a 1.5″ binder, with lots of extra room, to filling up a 2.5″ binder; I was writing about 4-5K words per week. There is more work to be done before I could even dream of sending it to a press — there are incomplete footnotes, directions to myself to amplify certain discussions, lots of polishing and streamlining to complete. In addition, over the past year I’ve been ruminating over a new dimension to my argument — a bigger, more exciting level of interpretation — and I need to integrate those ideas more thoroughly.

So, yes: there is a lot to do. But the fact remains that I have written a second book, even if only in draft. It was touch and go for a while, but I actually have a physical object now, a big pile of pages that I produced and that will someday be a bound volume with a cover and a title. For all those out there struggling: Continue Reading »

9 Comments »

July 21st 2011
Simon Says, Goody Two-Shoes edition

Posted under American history & art & bad language & European history & Gender & jobs & publication & race & unhappy endings & wankers

Ah, the 1980s:  when fashionable men dared to wear eye shadow.

This video seems newly timely given the massive wiretapping scandal blowing up News Corporation.  Now that Rupert Murdoch and his empire look pretty weak, the long knives are out for him.  Roger Simon reports that nearly 30 years ago–perhaps to the soundtrack of an Adam Ant video–Murdoch said something racist at a dinner with Chicago Sun-Times reporters after he bought their newspaper:

Continue Reading »

11 Comments »

June 15th 2011
Call for Contributors: Women in Early America

Posted under American history & Gender & GLBTQ & publication & women's history

Thomas Foster, author of Sex and the Eighteenth-Century Man (2006), and the editor of two recent collections of essays in early American history of sexuality and gender, Long Before Stonewall:  Histories of Same-Sex Sexuality in Early America (2007) and New Men:  Manliness in Early America (2011), is looking for contributors for a new volume to be published by New York University Press called Women in Early America.  I’ll let Foster take it from here–this is from an e-mail he sent to me, which I believe was also published recently on h-net:

Women in Early America is an anthology on women in America from contact through the Revolutionary era. Proposals for essays that employ a transnational approach and that rewrite master narratives are especially encouraged. As the volume is largely intended for use in undergraduate courses, essays that are written for that audience and that address major themes in women’s and gender history courses are also particularly desirable.

New York University Press has expressed strong interest in publishing this project. I’m in the process now of soliciting proposals for chapters so that I may put together a book prospectus within the next few months to secure a contract. If you are interested in proposing an essay for this volume, please send an abstract and cv to tfoster4 AT depaul DOT eduContinue Reading »

3 Comments »

April 26th 2011
Larry Flynt, time hater

Posted under American history & bad language & book reviews & Gender & GLBTQ & Intersectionality & jobs & publication & race & wankers & women's history

Time Haters

Via Salon, we learn that Larry Flynt and Columbia University political historian David Eisenbach have written a book together, One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies and Their Lovers Changed the Course of American History.  It looks for the most part like the kind of book you’d expect Larry Flynt and a political historian to write–it’s built at least 80% around secondary sources and it offers almost no acknowlegement or citation of the pioneering historians who made this kind of book possible (the feminists and the gays, of course). 

Instead, the footnotes I’ve been able to vet (via the book’s page at Amazon) offer just the usual parade of biographies of (in the words of my kiddie encyclopedia collection) “great men and famous deeds.”  Kudos for citing Catherine Allgor’s A Perfect Union, her new bio of Dolley Madison, and Clarence Walker’s Mongrel Nation, though–otherwise in the notes for the first chapter, it’s all founding fathers, founding brothers, the dogs and barn cats of the founding fathers, etc.  Shocking, I know.

It’s funny (and by funny, I guess I mean LOLSOB) how some analyses (like those offered by the feminists and queers) go from being dangerous, unsourced, risky, out-on-a-limb evidence problems, to being conventional wisdom in about 30 seconds these days.  Too bad for you, historians of sexuality–it looks like you risked your careers, your fortunes, and your sacred honor only to get buried in a footnote in a book by Joseph Ellis or Robert Remini, because those are the only books any authors of popular histories will ever read or cite.  Continue Reading »

21 Comments »

March 26th 2011
Bill Cronon’s Wisconsin e-mail FOIA’d, $hitstorm ensues

Posted under American history & bad language & jobs & publication & unhappy endings & wankers & weirdness

The Wisconsin Republican Party

UPDATED BELOW, with more links to bloggy commentary.

UPDATED SUNDAY MORNING:  a comment by a Wisconsin proffie got stuck in moderation–take a gander at it here.  Those of you who might be hiring faculty next year–alert your deans.  You might be able to recruit some top-notch former Badgers!

Yesterday, my university and blog-related e-mail accounts filled up with links describing the political $hitstorm that resulted from University of Wisconsin historian William Cronon’s op-ed in the New York Times on Monday about recent events in Wisconsin’s political history and his new blog, Scholar as Citizen.  (Enemies of liberty everywhere watch out, he’s got a blog, and he ain’t afraid to use it!)  The two-cent summary is that the Republican party of Wisconsin has issued a Freedom of Information Request for his e-mail account for every piece of correspondence since January 1, 2011.  Cronon describes each step down  the path to Crazzyville on his blog, but don’t miss Tenured Radical’s rundown and commentary, too.

This morning he reports that the New York Times has written an editorial excoriating the Wisconsin Republican Party’s use of the Freedom of Information Act to attempt to intimidate or silence critics.  It’s available online here, and will run in Monday’s print edition.

I commented over on his blog yesterday on the Republican Party’s response to Cronon’s complaint about their FOIA request Continue Reading »

33 Comments »

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