- Tenured Radical returns to the U.S. from her travels and mulls over the question, “How Should Graduate Schools Respond to the Bad Job Market,” and gets accused of and blamed for all sorts of crimes she never committed and things she never said. (So does Historiann, in the comments!) Yeah–because Tenured Radical has never, ever offered any helpful advice or a sympathetic ear (or shoulder) to graduate students negotiating the job market. What a horrible, horrible person!
- Katherine Franke at Feminist Law Professors, in “Marriage Equality: The Old Fashioned Version“ schools us on what’s wrong with feminism today: “Among the things that drives me to the highest levels of frustration when I consider the state of feminism today is the way in which women, particularly mothers and wives, have given up on men. Not so long ago we had a rich, systemic and unrelenting critique of the ways in which fathers and husbands felt little or no obligation to do domestic work – whether it be taking care of kids, maintaining the household – even clearing the table – or other “reproductive” work. The fact that men felt entitled to and received a free pass when it came to this work received a thorough working over by those who cared about dismantling the second class status of women.” Continue Reading »
Archive for the 'publication' Category
Many of you are probably making your holiday gift lists, and checking them twice, and I’m guessing that some of my smarty-pants readers are interested in gifting (or being gifted) some of this year’s best new titles, in both fiction and non-fiction. Well, here’s a funny coinky-dink, courtesy of reader Kathie who tipped me off last month: all of the very best books this year were written by men! It isn’t just the STEM fields anymore, girls–apparently, we are clearly inferior at every professional and artistic endeavor:
- In “Why Weren’t Any Women Writers Invited to Publishers Weekly’s Weenie Roast?” The Green Lantern Press writes, “Publishers Weekly recently announced their Best Books Of 2009 list. Of their top ten, chosen by editorial staff, no books written by women were included. Quoted in The Huffington Post, PW confidently admitted that they’re “not the most politically correct” choices. This statement comes in a year in which new books appeared by writers such as Lorrie Moore, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Mavis Gallant, Rita Dove, Heather McHugh and Alicia Ostriker.” (Who??)
- Publishers Weekly explained, “We ignored gender and genre and who had the buzz. We gave fair chance to the “big” books of the year, but made them stand on their own two feet. It disturbed us when we were done that our list was all male.” But–we didn’t give it a second thought, beyond this odd acknowledgement of the bias of our list! (Which implies somehow that in years before, when “gender and and genre” were not ignored, the ladies were the beneficiaries of some kind of literary affirmative action.) Boys rule, girls drool! Let’s take a closer look at that top 10 list, shall we? Continue Reading »
Tenured Radical had a provocative post last week about blogging before tenure. (I suppose we could extend this to include before employment, for all of you graduate student and adjunct bloggers out there.) She writes:
3. Do you think that blogs should be considered, in any respect, when a professor has yet to attain tenure?
Since the discipline in which I hold tenure (history) has barely dealt with electronic publishing at all as part of the promotion process, and also has a mixed record on how it regards pre-tenure scholarship published to a trade audience, I would hope that we would not start having a conversation about blogs that was not preceded by one that addressed these other critical issues. But I should think that participation in group blogs that serve a field or a discipline should be taken into account as much as book reviews or encyclopedia entries, which everyone lists in endless, boring detail on their vitae as if they took more than a day to write.
Good point. A former colleague of mine once called those things–book reviews and encyclopedia entries–”salad,” as in, you won’t get much credit for doing them, but you should do them to contribute to the profession and, in years in which you don’t publish a prizewinning article or book, to show that you’re doing something. Here’s where the whole question of peer review comes up, though–it strikes me that a group blog that focuses fundamentally on scholarship (like our pals at Religion in American History) could make a more than reasonable case for including their blogging in their scholarship. This blog, on the other hand, isn’t going on my annual evaluation, although I publish from my position as “Historiann” and not (for example) as a parent (if I am one), pet owner, running enthusiast, NASCAR fan, or whatever. (The reasons for this are explained in more detail here and here, with help from my old friend GayProf–it’s a personal preference, but realistically, blogging ain’t going to get me my final promotion, so why bother?)
Here’s where la Radical gets more spicy: Continue Reading »
Nancy Franklin, in her review of Jay Leno’s new TV show in the current issue of The New Yorker, writes:
In other diversity news, Leno’s and the rest of the nighttime comedy shows are bizarrely lacking in women writers. Did a bomb go off and kill all the women comedy writers and leave the men standing? The other night on the Emmy Awards broadcast, the names of the nominees for best writing on a comedy or variety series were read, and, out of eighty-one people, only seven were women. Leno has no women writers on his show. Neither does David Letterman, and neither does Conan O’Brien. Come on.
Come on yourself, girl: of all of the other prose writers in the October 5 New Yorker, you’re the only woman yourself! Continue Reading »
Go read Tenured Radical. She tells us all about Robin Gerber, the author of Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her. The galley proofs for this new book were sent out to a reviewer, M. G. Lord, whose book Forever Barbie Gerber quotes in Barbie and Ruth, directly, repeatedly, and without attribution! Tenured Radical writes,
[H]istorians. . . know about plagiarism. We talk about it a lot, and we have seen enough high-profile cases in the last decade to make it of grave concern, whether it appears in a work intended primarily for scholars or in something intended for the educated reader and/or enthusiast. This is why, other than the possibility of an old friend being ripped off, I think questions about plagiarism raised by Lord about Ms. Gerber’s book need to be aired in a scholarly setting. Lord’s assertion is that Gerber has taken quotes from primary sources published in Forever Barbie and failed to note that Lord did that research and, in the case of interviews, actually generated the source in the first place.
In this piece, published in the Los Angeles Times over the weekend, Lord explains that when asked to review Gerber’s book:
I found quotations from my research, verbatim and without specific attribution.
I showed the passages to my assigning editor. He had sent me a galley proof, not the finished book, and we both thought it likely that endnotes would appear in the final volume. But then the finished book came in, and though “Forever Barbie” was mentioned in the bibliography, there were no endnotes. I felt violated.
Histories do not grow on trees. The first person to cobble out a definitive narrative has to do a ton of work. You interview hundreds of people and hunt down documents, which can be especially elusive if influential people would prefer that they stay hidden. You separate truth from hearsay. Then — with endnotes — you meticulously source all your quotations and odd facts so future scholars will know whence they came.
Reached for comment by The Times, Gerber wrote in an e-mail: Continue Reading »
I got out to see Julie & Julia today–it was a very fine movie. Sentimental, of course, as are all of Nora Ephron’s movies, but it was a terrific story that centered on women characters–not just Julie Powell and Julia Child, but their wider circles of friends (and the occasional nemesis or frenemy) were dominated by women, and for the most part, by middle-aged and non-Hollywood looking women. Seriously–I’d bet that this movie cast more women actors than the rest of all of this summer’s movies combined, so for that reason alone it deserves the support of all right-thinking grown-ups everywhere. All of the major characters (except for Paul Child and Eric Powell) are women. Other people have written about the sympathetic and supportive husbands in this movie–you can go read elsewhere about them. I’m more interested in the women and the food.
The next most important stars were the dishes cooked and/or eaten by the Julie and Julia characters–one must admire the on-set chefs who needed to produce these dishes to be photographed and used as props. (The Julia Child scenes featured more actual eating–the Julie Powell scenes had more food-as-comedy-props in them–for example, the calf’s leg, the lobsters, and the chocolate cake, in pretty much the cliched ways you’d expect.) I was also thrilled that a Le Creuset casserole in the fabulous color called “flame” had significant cameos in both the 1950s and the 2002-03 scenes, since I own the very same dish! And I too have cooked many a fine Boeuf Bourguinon in the very pot you see here. (Watch for it!)
More thoughts, and a spoiler, after the jump: Continue Reading »
Abraham in Arms: War and Gender in Colonial New England won an Honourable Mention for the 2008 Albert B. Corey Prize/Prix Corey from the Canadian Historical Association. The prize is awarded every other year jointly with the American Historical Association to the best book in Canadian-American history. Should the winner of the 2008 Corey Prize (Sharon A. Roger Hepburn, for Crossing the Border: A Free Black Community in Canada, University of Illinois Press, 2007) be unable to fulfill her duties, I’ll be happy to swing into action. Here’s the flattering and generous citation from the CHA:
Abraham in Arms argues that religious ideas about gender and family provided the vital context in which the people of colonial New England, New France, and “Indian Country” understood the cross-cultural warfare between them through the 17th and 18th centuries. It is a richly imaginative and theoretically innovative fusion of religion, gender, family, diplomacy, and war that offers yet another persuasive argument that no study of war can avoid addressing the social role of gender and family life in animating the normative use of violence. It is a book destined to be influential to historians of other times and places. Continue Reading »
Like many historians, I have more than once discovered that the published version of a primary source is incomplete or even misleading when checked against the archival source. One of my first missions as a graduate student was locating the archival court records for a New England colony whose records were published except for some cases of adolescent boys and young adult men who were convicted of sodomy. (The sensibilities of the Victorian-era editor of the town court records were too delicate to include the details of those cases, and those cases only.)
Indeed, the intimate details of historical documents–the marginalia, the burn holes, the water stains, the ink splotches, few of which are reproducible in published form or legible on microfilm or even in digitized versions–are some of the greatest pleasures of being a historian, archivist or librarian. I have long felt that intimacy with the documents is not just desirable, but necessary–not just to be sure that published records haven’t introduced errors in my research, but because I like to touch things that the people I write about have touched. I like seeing whose handwriting is clear and the product of an educated hand, and whose handwriting is crude and full of non-standard or phonetic spellings. The rare letter from a desperate Anglo-American woman on the Maine frontier looks a lot different than an official dispatch from Governor Dudley, and those differences are flattened when the documents are published in books or transcribed digitally. That stuff matters to me.
The immediacy and sheer volume of historical materials available on the world wide (and as it turns out, not peer-reviewed) internets demands our continued scrutiny and vigilance. Here’s a recent lesson by Sister Agnes, who spent some time in a European archive recently and discovered that the compiler of an on-line series of summaries of medieval monastic charters provided false or incomplete data: Continue Reading »
I have a question that I’d like to pose to list members: which journals are considered “top tier” in the field of women’s and gender history?
There’s a larger context for this inquiry. For junior faculty members who do women’s and gender history and are tenure track in a history or interdisciplinary department at an R-1 institution, a record of publishing in prestigious peer reviewed journals is often a pre-condition of successful tenure. Yet in promotion and tenure committees at various institutional levels, there may be differences of agreement about what constitutes a prestigious journal and what constitutes a mediocre one. I know of at least one case in which a college-level promotion and tenure committee refuted arguments that the journal Feminist Studies was a top-tier publication by comparing it unfavorably with Gender and Society, which I always had the impression was an important journal for social science scholarship on gender but published fewer articles written by historians. The same committee identified Gender and History as a third-tier journal which was not of sufficient quality and reputation to be considered “acceptable publishing” for a faculty member at that institution.
I don’t want to get bogged down in individual cases, but to ask is there a consensus about what constitutes “top tier” publishing in women’s history? What standards apply to determine the quality of a journal for this particular field? I also want to raise the wider question of what strategies junior faculty members can use justify the quality of their work and publishing record in a field like women’s and gender history which may itself suffer from subtle (and not so subtle) intellectual de-legitimization, both among individual faculty and administrators and structurally, at the level of institutions, disciplines, and the academy generally.
One of the editors of Gender and History, Karen Adler, wrote a nice response to refute the claim that G&H is a “third-tier journal:” Continue Reading »
Ann Bartow at Feminist Law Professors has been doing a regular series called “Where are the Women?” which documents the underrepresentation of women authors published in recent editions of elite law journals. (Check it out–the tables of contents are shocking.) Laura Spitz yesterday wrote a post documenting the numbers of articles, essays, and comments by male and female authors in law journals from 2001-06, and the numbers are again equally shocking in light of the fact that law schools have nearly equal numbers of women and men.
Spitz’s post is interesting in that it notes that law reviews are edited and produced by students, not by law professors–a quirk unique to law reviews, so far as I know. She writes, “students are not especially well trained or positioned to meet and address the systemic discrimination felt by women and minorities in trying to get their work published and ‘valued’.” Spitz continues:
This is not an especially intuitive observation, and it has been made by lots of others before me. And this discrimination cannot be visited solely on law students (who often make great choices and invariably work very hard). Rather, I think it has more to do with the fact that they are the wrong people to be making these publishing decisions. Not because they are ‘bad’ people (some of my best friends were students), but because their experience and training makes them ill-suited for the task.
I’ve never worked at a journal, and the world of law reviews is something I have no understanding of whatsoever, but I wonder if Spitz is right that (perhaps ironically) students’ “experience and training makes them ill-suited for the task?” Continue Reading »