[Milton-L] soliciting of reviews & etc.

gilliaca at jmu.edu gilliaca at jmu.edu
Wed Dec 17 17:00:49 EST 2008

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

This is an excellent idea.  I would also suggest something that worked in an introduction-to-the-English-major course that we developed at JMU as a kind of gateway to the major, ideally taken the soph year. It's to cover broadly, research best practices, introduciing terminology and some literary theory, reading primary texts and critical articles about those texts.

I asked one class that had complained about how hard the critical reading was why people wrote such stuff.  They didn't know [why should they?] 

So, I eventually invented a handout about how a hypothetical article came to be. I invented a recent PhD - Dorothy Gale, PhD University of Kansas, whose work had been in architecture and literature, and then I wrote a narrative account of how she came to write, and eventually have published in an equally imaginary journal, her article on "VIctorian Domestic Architecture and the Narratives of Governesses: Neither Upstairs Nor Downstairs"  I wrote about what a refereed journal is, about readers and editors, and about the audience for the article which, of course, is not college sophs.

Any of you could do the same or make a case study out of one of your early adventures in publication. After all, academic articles are a specialzed genre, and like any genre, you will read it more successfully if you know what it is you are reading.

Cheers to all!
Cynthia A. Gilliatt
English Department, JMU, ret.
JMU Safe Zones supporter
"You have made God in your own image when God hates the same people you hate." Fr. John Weston

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