[Milton-L] soliciting of reviews & etc.

Scott Howard showard at du.edu
Wed Dec 17 16:16:06 EST 2008

Dear Colleagues,

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the lively and interesting recent discussion about book reviews: administrative and editorial considerations; readerly and writerly concerns; professional development matters; and scholarly best practices.

I think that, at the very least, the conversation highlights a few current needs in the field:

* for the subject to be openly explored and discussed among established and emerging professionals;

* and for that conversation to include editors from a variety of journals in the same field and also from other related fields; and

* for the matter of book reviewing to be taught in targeted graduate-level courses;

* and for new statements to be drafted about editorial best practices that address the various ways in which different kinds of journals build different sorts of relationships with different communities.

The range and number (more than 40, including direct replies to my address) of recent postings to this list also demonstrates, I believe, that administrative and editorial practices vary quite a bit from journal to journal when it comes to how book reviews are managed from inquiry to process to production.  Some journals (including RES) send their book reviews out for peer-review; others (such as RQ) commission reviews; while other journals (like RELARTS) openly invite proposals for books to be reviewed.

I invite you to continue the discussion.  APPOSITIONS will host a special feature/event, during our February e-conference, for further conversation about the practice/politics/pedagogy of book reviewing.

Happy holidays.

Best wishes,

p.s. . . . and, given the number of inquiries I've received, there's a good chance that our journal--following due process, of course--may be publishing, in May, a review of the book that was recently mentioned in my first message to the list on 12/11.


W. Scott Howard
Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English
University of Denver

Studies in Renaissance / Early Modern Literature & Culture, 


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