Friday, October 09, 2009

60 Days of Scholarly Journal Article Writing -- Day 16

For background on the 60 Days of Journal Article Writing, please click here.

Do you want to get blown away? I mean seriously impressed? Then have a look at this amazing list, which is only for one literary field! There are 26 journals on the main list, and 15 on the "of interest" list, for a stunning total of 41. Please tell me if I missed anything.

This will be a long post, because I have been researching possible journals to which I will submit my public guinea pig, an article-in-progress in Restoration and early eighteenth-century studies. Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks suggests a detailed search process at the beginning of Week 4. There are a lot of great journals out there.

This is not the place to debate impact factor and other key issues (I've discussed it a number of times with editors at the annual Blackwell conference in DC, and in other contexts), but it is reasonably straightforward to work with a good reference librarian and construct a solid list of journals to consider for your various projects. If you live in a town that lacks this splendid resource, the internet yields much on a search of journal rankings.

Following is a list I find quite staggering. I consider myself in a "narrow" field, but oh heavens the choices for potential publication depending upon the project, its scope and parameters. One of them is my first choice for the article I'm blogging about, but creating this list really flapped my brain about the possibilities, and how straightforward it would be to re-think a piece that was rejected at one place, elevate it to better scholarship, and submit it somewhere else.

I personally consider all of these to be first-tier journals, and I welcome input from others on that assessment. They are in alphabetical order, along with one paragraph from the journal's own copy.

Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation (University of Illinois). Welcomes essays concerned with the application of contemporary theory and methodology to all aspects of culture 1660-1800, including literature, history, fine arts, science, history of ideas, and popular culture.

Eighteenth-Century Fiction (McMaster University). An international quarterly, published in French and English, devoted to the critical and historical investigation of literature and culture of the period 1660-1832.

Eighteenth-Century Life (Duke University Press). Committed to interdisciplinary exchange, Eighteenth-Century Life addresses all aspects of European and world culture during the long eighteenth century, 1660–1815.

Eighteenth-Century Studies (Johns Hopkins University). Publishes different modes of analysis and disciplinary discourses that explore how recent historiographical, critical, and theoretical ideas have engaged scholars concerned with the eighteenth century. The official publication of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS).

ELH: English Literary History (Johns Hopkins University). Since 1934, ELH has published studies that interpret the conditions affecting major works in English and American literature. The importance of historical continuity in the discipline of letters remains a central concern for ELH but the journal does not seek to sponsor particular methods or aims.

English Manuscript Studies: 1100-1700 (The British Library and the University of Chicago).

Forum for Modern Language Studies (Oxford University Press). Publishes articles on all aspects of literary and linguistic studies, from the Middle Ages to the present day. The journal sets out to reflect the essential pluralism of modern language and literature studies and to provide a forum for worldwide scholarly discussion.

Huntington Library Quarterly (University of California Press). Publishes articles on the literature, history, and art of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries in Britain and America, with special emphasis on: the interactions of literature, politics, and religion; the social and political contexts of literary and art history; textual and bibliographical studies, including the history of printing and publishing; American studies, through the early nineteenth century; and the performance history of drama and music.

Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies (Wiley-Blackwell). Formerly British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Publishes articles relating to the eighteenth century, on specific questions of interest to eighteenth-century scholars, as well as on interdisciplinary questions.

The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society (Oxford, for the Bibliographical Society). UK scholarly journal for the study of bibliography and of the role of the book in history.

Literature and History (Manchester University Press). Unique in its plural identity, it is a biannual international refereed journal concerned to investigate the relations between writing, history and ideology. It provides an open forum for practitioners coming from the distinctive vantage points of either discipline (or from other adjacent subject areas) to explore issues of common concern: period, content, gender, class, nationality, changing sensibilities, discourse and language.

MLQ: Modern Language Quarterly (Duke University Press). Open to essays on literary change from the Middle Ages to the present, and welcomes theoretical reflections on the relationship of literary change or historicism to feminism, ethnic studies, cultural materialism, discourse analysis, and all other forms of representation and cultural critique.

Modern Language Review (Modern Humanities Research Association, UK). Sibling publication to Yearbook of English Studies, published by the same Association. Papers submitted to one will be considered for the other.

Modern Philology (University of Chicago). Concerned with literary works, literary traditions, and literary criticism-we do not intend to compete with our cousin journal, Critical Inquiry, in range of material treated-and we are not concerned with Western classical literature-here we do not intend to compete with our sister journal, Classical Philology. But we are not, except in these ways, a specialized journal. We will publish work on literature from the (date of) the medieval period in the West forward, and not only in the Western tradition.

New Literary History (Johns Hopkins University Press). Focuses on questions of theory, method, interpretation, and literary history. Rather than espousing a single ideology or intellectual framework, it canvasses a wide range of scholarly concerns. By examining the bases of criticism, the journal provokes debate on the relations between literary and cultural texts and present needs.

Novel: A Forum on Fiction (Brown University). Dedicated to promoting critical discourse on the novel and publishing new and significant work on fiction and related areas of research and theory.

Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (Bibliographical Society of America). Contributions to the Papers may deal with books and manuscripts in any field, but should involve consideration of the book or manuscript (the physical object) as historical evidence, whether for establishing a text or illuminating the history of book production, publication, distribution, or collecting, or for other purposes. Studies of the printing, publishing, and allied trades are also welcome.

PMLA: Papers of the Modern Language Association (MLA). Welcomes essays from its members of interest to those concerned with the study of language and literature. As the publication of a large and heterogeneous association, the journal is receptive to a variety of topics, whether general or specific, and to all scholarly methods and theoretical perspectives.

Philological Quarterly (University of Iowa). Welcomes submissions on any aspect of medieval European and modern literature and culture. Special issues on particular themes, under guest editorship, also appear regularly in our pages, as do solicited book reviews. Some of the articles we publish pay close attention to textual detail, while others take textuality itself as a central analytical category, a realm that includes physical bibliography, the sociology of knowledge, the history of reading, reception studies, and other fields of inquiry.

Prose Studies (Routledge). Forum for discussion of the history, theory and criticism of non-fictional prose of all periods. While the journal publishes studies of such recognized genres of non-fiction as autobiography, biography, the sermon, the essay, the letter, the journal etc., it also aims to promote the study of non-fictional prose as an important component in the profession's ongoing re-configuration of the categories and canons of literature. Interdisciplinary studies, articles on non-canonical texts and essays on the theory and practice of discourse are also included.

SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 (Johns Hopkins University). SEL focuses on four fields of British literature in rotating, quarterly issues: English Renaissance, Tudor and Stuart Drama, Restoration and Eighteenth Century, and Nineteenth Century. The editors select learned, readable papers that contribute significantly to the understanding of British literature from 1500 to 1900.

Signs (University of Chicago Press). Publishes pathbreaking articles of interdisciplinary interest addressing gender, race, culture, class, nation, and/or sexuality either as central focuses or as constitutive analytics; symposia engaging comparative, interdisciplinary perspectives from around the globe to analyze concepts and topics of import to feminist scholarship; retrospectives that track the growth and development of feminist scholarship, note transformations in key concepts and methodologies, and construct genealogies of feminist inquiry; and new directions essays, which provide an overview of the main themes, controversies, and approaches in recent scholarship in particular fields and introduce this work and its theoretical and conceptual innovations to an interdisciplinary audience.

Studies in Bibliography (University of Virginia). Presents a wide range of scholarly articles on bibliography and textual criticism. A forum for the best textual and bibliographical work being done anywhere in the world, a role it seeks to maintain under the editorship of [Fredson] Bowers's successor, David L. Vander Meulen.

Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture (Johns Hopkins). Annual volume that features significantly revised versions of outstanding papers read at national and regional conferences of ASECS and its affiliates.

Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature (University of Tulsa). Devoted to the study of both literary and nonliterary texts--any and all works in every language and every historical period produced by women's pens.

Yearbook of English Studies (Modern Humanities Research Association, UK). Sibling publication to Modern Language Review, published by the same Association. Papers submitted to one will be considered for the other.

LIST TWO: Journals of great interest, but not quite in my discipline or methods:

The Age of Johnson (AMS).

British Journal of Aesthetics (Oxford University Press). An international forum for debate in philosophical aesthetics and the philosophy of art. The Journal is published to promote the study and discussion of philosophical questions about aesthetic experience and the arts.

The Cambridge Quarterly (Cambridge University Press). A journal of literary criticism which also publishes articles on cinema, the visual arts, and music. It aims, without sacrifice of scholarly standards, to engage readers outside as well as inside the academic profession.

Comparative Critical Studies, formerly New Comparison and Comparative Criticism, now merged (Edinburgh University Press for the British Comparative Literature Association). Concerned with with comparative literary and critical studies internationally and in the U.K., from whatever standpoint.

Eighteenth-Century Ireland (Mary Immaculate College, Limerick). The refereed Journal of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society / Cumann Éire san Ochtú Céad Déag.

Journal of the History of Ideas (University of Pennsylvania Press). A medium for the publication of research in intellectual history that is of common interest to scholars and students in a wide range of fields. It is committed to encouraging diversity in regional coverage, chronological range, and methodological approaches. JHI defines intellectual history expansively and ecumenically, including the histories of philosophy, of literature and the arts, of the natural and social sciences, of religion, and of political thought. It also encourages scholarship at the intersections of cultural and intellectual history — for example, the history of the book and of visual culture.

MLN: Modern Language Notes (Johns Hopkins University Press): Critical studies in the modern languages (Italian, Hispanic, German, French) and recent work in comparative literature provide the foundation for the articles and notes in MLN. Every volume contains four single-language issues and one comparative literature issue.

Oxford Literary Review (Edinburgh University Press). Britain's oldest journal of literary theory. It is concerned especially with the history and development of deconstructive thinking in all areas of intellectual, cultural and political life.

Paragraph: A Journal of Modern Critical Theory (Edinburgh University Press). Publishes essays and review articles in English which explore critical theory in general and its application to literature, other arts and society. Regular special issues by guest editors highlight important themes and figures in modern critical theory.

Parallax: A Journal of Metadiscursive Theory and Cultural Practices (Leeds, UK). I don't have a link or more information for this journal.

Philosophy and Literature (Johns Hopkins University Press). Explores the dialogue between literary and philosophical studies . . . aesthetics of literature, theory of criticism, philosophical interpretation of literature, and literary treatment of philosophy. ... challenges the cant and pretensions of academic priesthoods through its assortment of lively, wide-ranging essays, notes, and reviews that are written in clear, jargon-free prose. (Love that last bit.)

Poetics (Elsevier). Interdisciplinary journal of theoretical and empirical research on culture, the media and the arts. Particularly welcome are papers that make an original contribution to the major disciplines - psychology, sociology, and economics - within which promising lines of research on art and culture have been developed including economic sociology and the sociology of culture.

Poetics Today (Duke University Press). Brings together scholars from throughout the world who are concerned with developing systematic approaches to the study of literature (e.g., semiotics and narratology) and with applying such approaches to the interpretation of literary works.

Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century (Oxford University for the Voltaire Foundation). We welcome work across a broad range of disciplines and critical methodologies, reflecting the diversity and global network of exchange that characterises the Enlightenment.

Textual Practice (Routledge). Works at the turning points of theory with politics, history and texts. It is intrigued by the processes through which hitherto marginal cultures of ethnicity and sexuality are becoming conceptually central, and by the consequences of these diverse disturbances for educational and cultural institutions.

60 Days of Scholarly Journal Article Writing -- Days 14 and 15

For background on the 60 Days of Journal Article Writing, please click here.

After a several-day hiatus while I prepared for the publishing roundtable at the Holocaust Museum and while dealing with faculty book emergencies. It has been a great week, but my journal article suffered, so now I'm back on track and ready to start Week 4.

I'm closing Week 3 with an acknowledgment, however -- to really understand the book Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks, it's going to take more than 12 weeks. Yes, it's a straightforward guide that holds your hand, but it is also packed with information about how journal editors think and what journals need today. It will be our text for next semester as well, and I envision using it in the foreseeable future and working through it again and again, learning more each time. Every time I start at the beginning, it will be with the hope of learning anew.

Thanks to this book I have now moved journal publishing to the core of my theory about writing scholarly books. Journals are key, and they are superb places to share data, expand and explore ideas, and to focus minutely on issues that may grow into book chapters and topics. I don't think of journals as scratch pads -- they are much more elegant than that and the work in them should be polished and excellent. Instead, I think of them as places where ideas can flourish in a shorter form, and where scholars can gather in conversations that don't happen in quite the same way in books. I look forward to a long and rich career writing journal articles from now on.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Dr. Ariel Glucklich, "Dying For Heaven"

Available November 3, 2009, from HarperOne:

E-Books in the Classroom--Scholarly Communications Symposium

To Booklab faculty authors:

The Georgetown University Libraries present the Ninth Scholarly Communication Symposium, 'E-Books in the Classroom: Implications for Teaching, Learning, and Research.' Electronic textbooks are finally becoming a viable option in higher education. E-book readers such as Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s E-book Reader are more affordable and more adept; meanwhile, Kindle can now read formats such as Adobe PDF natively, making it possible for students to load personal documents and combine electronic sources from a variety of platforms. Many academic disciplines are also adopting online teaching tools that embrace collaboration and interactivity, allowing far greater flexibility than traditional print options. The implications of these developments are profound, not only for scholars and students but also for librarians, administrators and publishers. Speakers will include:

Ted Striphas, Assistant Professor of Media & Cultural Studies, Director of Film & Media, Indiana University, Dept. of Comm & Culture. Professor Striphas argues that, although the production and propagation of books have undoubtedly entered a new phase, printed works are still very much a part of our everyday lives.

Robin Schulze, Professor of English, Penn State University. Professor Schulze is leading a pilot program within Penn State’s English Department to see how the Sony E-Book Reader can be better integrated into the curriculum. She will discuss her experience with this program at Penn State, while sharing her views on the viability of electronic texts in specific disciplines.

Diana Donahoe, Professor of Legal Research and Writing, Georgetown University Law Center. Professor Donahoe is the author and creator of, an interactive, online case book published by Aspen Publishers. The e-book is used across the country in legal research and writing courses to more actively engage students in the classroom and to provide innovative teachers with a platform for teaching digital-age students.

Friday, October 30, 2009 from 10:00am to 11:30am
McCarthy Hall, McShain Lounge

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Booklab at the Holocaust Museum

My friend Steven Feldman is the Book Publications Officer at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, part of the U.S. Holocaust Museum. This morning I'm part of a panel he organized on book publishing. More about it in a later blog post, but that's why the blog has been quieter. I'll have updates on the 60 Days of Journal Article Publishing soon as well.

Monday, October 05, 2009

If you tell the world you want to publish in a certain journal, does that jinx it?

For background on the 60 Days of Journal Article Writing, please click here.

After writing the most recent post about selecting a distinguished journal as my first choice once I determined that two others were not right for my article, I had a chilling thought. Blogs are public. What if the editors of the third journal (one I rank at the very highest level) somehow hear about my tiny blog, and do not take kindly to being considered after the other two? Or what if the hubris of even suggesting that I could simply write and submit scholarly work to such a lofty journal with a successful outcome would damn it from the start? Am I risking being cut down by lightning? Is this just goofy?

Out of concern for all of these things, I have gone back and excised the title of the new journal. Anyone who wishes to may ask me for its identity, and I will happily share.

60 Days of Scholarly Journal Article Writing -- Day 13

For background on the 60 Days of Journal Article Writing, please click here.

After an insecure weekend, things are back on track with the article I'm writing essentially in public. This is all happening in order to test the usefulness of Wendy Belcher's Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks, and also to make myself write and publish more by setting up public accountability. But a bout of insecurity hit when I realized that this piece doesn't feel right for 18th-Century Studies -- an interdisciplinary journal that does not focus exclusively on literature -- nor does it have a PMLA feel to it. Then I remembered a superb journal I've read since grad school and so long admired. It focuses on some of the minuter issues of English literature that my paper addresses, and it is all-literature all the time. Perfect. I have now made it my first-choice journal.

Deep breath. Easier said than done. Courage, etc.

When I looked up its submission guidelines, I found a lovely treasure: it offers suggested articles at its website that can be used as models. How fortuitous this is. Since Wendy Belcher recommends using models as a way to understand what a journal selects and why, this page will be an ideal resource for the study I'm crafting.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

More listening, less speaking

Does anyone have any recommendations for wonderful books on listening? As much fun as it is working with faculty authors, I can sometimes hear myself speaking a bit too much. Advice, advice, advice. Sometimes authors just need an ear, yes? And although I always endeavor to provide that ear, I want to listen even more, while speaking even less.

Words are helpful when asked for. But as the sages say, God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason

38 University Presses at MLA 2009

Wow. I've been to great university press events before, such as the Association of American University Presses convention in Philadelphia last June, but it is still so exciting to count 38 university presses that will be represented at MLA in December. Some of my four readers will yawn and say it's not such a big deal, university presses are always there, but this is the first time I've approached MLA with quite this focus.

When you go to a university press booth, whom do you meet? As nice as it would be to fantasize that the editors are sitting there all day every day waiting to talk about books with whomever strolls up, that isn't the case. Editors will be in and out depending on the value of the conference to their publishing area, and whether or not they have pre-arranged business with booth visitors.

I will contact all 38 university presses during the month of October (2 per day for 19 days) and ask the following key questions: who will be at your booth in December; how do you prefer to interact with potential faculty authors; what do you want us to understand about your booth ahead of time (i.e. what materials/people do you send to a conference and why); and (big picture question) what is the meaning of conference representation for your press? How do conferences help the press?

Getting ready for MLA in Philadelphia

Booklab now offers pre-conference planning, and we're in the early stages of figuring out exactly what that means. The short answer is that many faculty make book deals at conferences, so they become high-value activities in publishing. We're putting together a strategy to start thinking about conferences a year or even two years ahead of time in order to have a wonderful experience there that includes establishing key publishing contacts.

But beyond book publishing, a flourishing scholarly career includes membership and participation in the appropriate professional organizations. Although I'm a life member of the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies, I've only gone to some of the conferences, and I'm guilty of having reduced the annual Modern Language Association conference to an afterthought (or worse, a job-hunting event). Now it all moves front and center as I resolve to (a) become an active, contributing annual participant in these two professional organizations; and (b) encourage and guide the authors who work with Booklab to do the same for their respective groups.

This means Philadelphia for the MLA in December, and I will also blog about it. Advance duties include learning what publishers will be represented there; guiding my authors to think ahead about prospectuses, sample chapters, and appointments with editors; making my own appointments at the event in order to meet even more university press people; and finally, grasping conference culture as its own professional milieu and discovering new and exciting ways to participate in conferences actively, rather than in my old guise of the slightly edgy lurker.

Name the source of that quote

One of our authors read in a book that you should "touch your work every day," meaning that you should keep the project you're writing in a place where you can find it, and you should sit down to visit the work each day even if only briefly, in order to move things along. I completely agree with this. Some days it feels as though all I can commit to is opening the computer file, but once I begin then the body in motion does truly tend to stay in motion, and often I keep writing. Science is cool that way.

But what is the source of the quote? In an online book search (including Amazon's nifty advanced feature) I got nothing when I hunted for it. In a regular search (Yahoo and Google) I came up with two websites that mention it, and a commenter attributes it to a magazine editor and author named Kurt Rheinheimer. Any other suggestions?