On this past Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
Third Tuesdays Graduate Symposium
“How to Get Published”: A Roundtable Discussion
At 5:00 p.m., in the IWS “Back Lounge” faculty members, Master’s students, and PhD candidates gathered around for advisement on how to begin publishing in the humanities. Faculty members, Dr. Granville Ganter, Dr. Amy King, and Dr. Steve Mentz, and PhD graduate students, Meghan Gilbert-Hickey, Marie-Therese Miller, and Meghan Nolan, led an immensely insightful discussion.
The discussion covered the “basics” in the publishing world, and how to make one’s work valuable. Dr. Ganter stressed the important of finding an area of academia that is utterly important to you, to find your niche, so that who you are and your uniqueness will be portrayed in the published work you seek to create. Being a graduate student in the humanities, itself, proves some level of academic rigor. With hopes to establish your first publication, it is important that you must be willing to “have conversations about your manuscript” – and most importantly, do not limit yourself to preconceived venues. Also, Dr. Ganter emphasized that in order to create the foundation of your publication, you should start by reading and revising peer-reviewed articles, book reviews, CFP/Conference Proceedings, Seminar papers, and so forth, so that you can get a head start on constructing a sense of yourself and your audience. Some of these projects can be worked on while you may be finishing your graduate course requisites, prior to dissertation or portfolio submission.
Marie-Therese Miller highlighted her own experiences with getting herself “out there,” by at least attending two conferences per year – at which she presented conference papers, and where she made connections. Finding connections is extremely important as you begin to see what’s “circulating in the air,” to find “your people,” and delve into scholarly communication.
Miller added that as a graduate student, presenting at conferences helped her gain experience for written material and articles. She shared her experiences and specific lessons she learned, considerations that we should keep in mind while attempting to publish a paper. Likewise, Miller cautioned us to exercise our judgment on the effects of our produced work, in light of a specific paper, topic, or conference – which could be beneficial to further development of your dissertation.
Dr. Amy King was kind enough to distribute Xeroxes of Author Guidelines for New Literary History (published by Johns Hopkins University Press). “Think hard before you submit,” Dr. King reverberated while passing out the submission guidelines, noting that writing is somewhat of a psychological and emotional task. And with rejection letters, or rejection in general, it’s a package deal!
Dr. Steve Mentz added, “A certain amount of rejection is part of the process. You have to sort of get used to it!” Consequently, all graduate students and faculty members chuckled empathetically.
The Publishing Seminar provided great feedback and support for opportunities to enter the publishing sphere somewhat fearlessly. The ultimate goal of humanities, as the panelists emphasized, is publication and the production of new knowledge.
At this symposium, professors and advanced students provided informative discussions and decisions about how to best approach the publishing world.
As graduate students, we all hope to one day read our names at the top of a journal article or academic publication. The Roundtable Discussion not only offered us the excitement and charge to get out there, but also information to familiarize ourselves with authorship in order to enhance our development as students, possibly land a future tenure-track faculty position, or expand the horizon for career prospects.
A tremendous thank you to all those who participated in the discussion, for sharing their experiences and professionalism with us, as well as students who raised salient questions about this phase of our academic career.
Some closing useful tips: Craft seminar papers. Review and revise. Appeal to a broader audience.
Be selective. “Think hard before you submit.” Respect the labor. Face challenges. Articulate to reach readers outside your field.
Get rejected. Accept rejection.
Choose the right publication. Find connections. Attend conferences. Communicate. Collaborate. Share with peers.
DEFEND YOUR WORK.
Have an appropriate e-mail address.
Be patient. Be professional.
Push yourself. Persevere.
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