Category Archives: publishing

February 18, 2014, 11:19 am

Dear Mr. Kristof: A Letter from a Public Intellectual

monopoly-man

The word you were looking for was WTF

Over the weekend, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof got an earful when he bewailed the absence of academics writing for a broad audience (“Professors, We Need You!”, February 15, 2014.) Much gnashing of teeth ensued. I left an extended comment over at Corey Robin’s blog; Corey’s post is full of great links to other public intellectuals.  And can we give three cheers to our colleagues at UIC, intellectuals out in public who are walking the picket line today and tomorrow?

I was also lucky enough to receive a guest post over the transom from an old friend, Carol Emberton, a professor of American history at SUNY-Buffalo. Emberton is the author of Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War (University of Chicago Press, 2013.) In a…

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April 30, 2013, 8:53 am

The I’m Too Busy to Blog Post: Fat Armpits, Supreme Court Mulligans, and Mad Men’s Recent History

There are papers to grade, classes to prepare, a search to finish, a conference to pack for, and yet….that last post gets colder and colder as the days roll by. So without further delay, here are some shorts to brighten your day:

itw_coverFat Armpits Are The Worst. Before returning to Brooklyn Sunday, I was in the newly-ronovated Acme Market in Bryn Mawr, PA loading up on my favorite diet foods — Tastykakes, scrapple — and reading gossip mags in the checkout line. The misogynist gem to the right caught my attention. Kim Kardashian, who was on the rampage last year because everyone could have a baby but her, has learned to her horror that a growing fetus can make a girl look dumpy.

It must be terrible to be so fragile. According to celeb mag In TouchKardashian is on the brink of a breakdown, having discovered that aging leads to age and pregnancy leads to weight gain. In her seventh…

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December 5, 2012, 11:26 am

Gaga Feminism: An Interview With J. Jack Halberstam (Part I)

J. Jack Halberstam is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California and one of queer studies’ most prominent and accessible public intellectuals. Jack has challenged the fields of literature, cultural studies, film and television with path-breaking volumes like Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (2005), Female Masculinity (1998), The Drag King Book: A First Look (1999, in partnership with photographer Del LaGrace Volcano), and In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005). More recently, in The QueerArt of Failure (2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex Gender and the End of Normal (2012), Halberstam has taken queer theory’s classic intervention, revealing what is hidden in plain sight, to interrogate everyday knowledge that is often neglected by cultural critics — cartoons, pop videos, and the questions …

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November 12, 2012, 1:37 pm

Publishing Rocks, Doesn’t It?

If Marx were alive, I know he would publish in Renee Romano & my series at the University of Georgia Press

In honor of University Press Week, your very own Tenured Radical represents the University of Georgia Press with “Small is Better: Why University Presses Are Sustainable Presses.”

For the complete schedule of the University Press Blog Tour, go here.

Enjoy.

July 26, 2012, 3:44 pm

Citizen Radical: Or, My Life As An Editor

“…..Rose…bud……”

My recent post about icky academic theory-speak stirred the writing pot big time. It prompted a vigorous on-line debate about my unwillingness to name the author/book that triggered my eruption about the unreadability of some theory. My argument that many books would do a better job of illuminating the subject at hand if they were freed from jargon and grammatical circumlocution received less attention.

I am interested in this question because I write, but also because I edit academic book projects and try to take them from good to great, great to fabulous. I meet them at the proposal stage and live with them until they are handed off to the author’s best friend, the copyeditor.

(more…)

February 11, 2012, 2:27 pm

On the Satisfactions of Editing a Book Series

Lately my Facebook friends are very aware that I have become a co-editor (with Renee Romano of Oberlin College) of a book series at the University of Georgia Press, Since 1970:  Histories of Contemporary America. Friends (and “friends”) are getting barraged daily with little items from the new author page I set up  last week for Since 1970:  Histories of Contemporary America.  Want to like our page?  Go here. Want to order the first book in the series, J. Brooks Flippen’s Jimmy Carter, the Politics of Family, and the Rise of the Religious Right? Go here. Want to pre-order Renee’s and my new edited collection, Doing Recent History: On Privacy, Copyright, Video Games, Institutional Review Boards, Activist Scholarship, and History That Talks Back? (Of course you do: go here.)

See, you just started reading and already I have given you the opportunity to order two great books!  Now…

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August 24, 2010, 1:17 pm

Journal-isms: What Would It Take To Reform Scholarly Publishing?

Well bust my britches, if the paper of record didn’t put we scholars on the front page this morning! Reporting on the decision of the Shakespeare Quarterly decision to experiment with posting articles on line for open review, the New York Times reports that:

a core group of experts — what [Katherine] Rowe called “our crowd sourcing” — were invited to post their signed comments on the Web site MediaCommons, a scholarly digital network. Others could add their thoughts as well, after registering with their own names. In the end 41 people made more than 350 comments, many of which elicited responses from the authors. The revised essays were then reviewed by the quarterly’s editors, who made the final decision to include them in the printed journal, due out Sept. 17.


This process of online review, the Times argues,

goes to the very nature of the scholarly enterprise. Traditional peer …

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May 9, 2010, 11:59 am

Sunday Radical Roundup: Marry That Book Before She Gets Much Older!

Despite the strange weather, and an oil spill in the Gulf as big as Rhode Island, it’s the beginning of summer break and you know what time it is! Time to get gussied up and get hitched to that book manuscript again! This time the relaitonship will work, I swear: there has been counseling, there are promises not yet broken, and for some of us a new computer will get things started on the right foot. So in the interests of a proper, Connecticut-style traditional wedding, the Radical recommends the following news items to you this week.

Something Old: Looking to warm up by writing an article? Well, look around you and check out who the buildings are named for. At UT-Austin, there is a dormitory named after a member of the Ku Klux Klan, so says Thomas Russell (who used to teach there.) The dorm was built in 1954, and named after a former UT law professor, William Stewart Simkins, who…

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June 15, 2009, 6:12 pm

Professors Of Academic Medicine Are Different From You And Me*: Blowing The Lid Off Publishing In The Sciences

The next time a scientist on your Tenure and Promotion committee gets sniffy about the publishing pace of a colleague in the humanities or social sciences, tell them to read this post from Margaret Soltan, our university ethicist on call over at University Diaries. Then tell them to put a sock in it.

************************************************

If you are not a literature professor, or even an undergraduate English major as was the Radical, this title derives from the following (undoubtedly apocryphal) encounter between Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald: ‘You know, the rich are different from you and me.’
Hemingway: ‘Yes. They’ve got more money.’

April 7, 2009, 2:32 pm

Puff The Magic Sociologist: Sudhir Venkatesh, Gang Leader For A Day, A Rogue Sociologist Takes To The Streets

Longtime followers of this blog know that it is my deepest wish to write a book that will be sold one day in airports. Why airports? Well, some time ago a clever capitalist figured out that among the lay audience who passes through airports a certain percentage will want to read something of greater intellectual substance than a Jodi Picoult novel (of course, many academics see travel as a perfect excuse to read romance novels.) Because of the captive audience airports represent, travel has become an opportunity to sell more good books, as well as magazines that offer ten helpful hints to keep a husband sexually content. Some of these volumes are easy to sell in real life (anything about the Civil War, memoirs of addiction); and others may be harder to sell in real life (excellent non-fiction and, well, academic books) than they are to sell in the airport.

I often buy serious books…

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