Guns, threats, space, and gender

woman-gun1Inside Higher Ed featured a story yesterday about universities that allow students to bring their guns to campus if they have concealed-carry permits, and states like Texas and Missouri where oh-so-brave state legistlators are working hard to make sure that people can walk around packing heat on their state university campuses.  Guess whose very own Baa Ram U. is a model according to Second Amendment fundamentalists?  Yes, indeedy–this is why I asked last year where I could find a high-fashion Kevlar vest

This has been on my mind lately because of a disturbing incident that happened in a class taught by a colleague of mine in the College of Liberal Arts, in the main classroom building we all use.  She told me that mid-way through a midterm exam a few weeks ago, a masked man opened the door to her 123-capacity lecture hall and started screaming semi-coherently.  Continue reading

Just "Ask Amy": you're an idiot, pal.

Speaking of bodies that are marked categories, here’s an interesting letter to “Ask Amy” in the Denver Post this morning:

Dear Amy,

I am a student in a Ph.D. program.

I have a female professor who is pregnant. At first she was hiding it, but now she’s wearing maternity clothes, and it’s pretty obvious.

However, it’s really starting to frustrate me that no one will talk about the fact that she’s pregnant except behind her back — she is the white elephant in the room.

I want to congratulate her and ask her when she’s due, but I don’t want to be the first one to acknowledge it. Others estimate that she’s about six months along.

Any ideas? — Want to Say Congrats

Here’s Amy’s extremely sensible reply:  Continue reading

Try this on Jeopardy, baby

cowgirlglanceTen Top Trivia Tips about Historiann!

  1. Native Americans never actually ate Historiann; killing such a timid prey was thought to indicate laziness!
  2. Historiann can usually be found in nests built in the webs of large spiders.
  3. The only Englishman to become Historiann was Nicholas Breakspear, who was Historiann from 1154 to 1159.
  4. When provoked, Historiann will swivel the tip of her abdomen and shoot a jet of boiling chemicals at her attacker.
  5. Birds do not sleep in Historiann, though they may rest in her from time to time!
  6. A cluster of bananas is called a hand and consists of 10 to 20 bananas, which are individually known as Historiann.
  7. It is impossible to fold Historiann more than seven times.
  8. It takes 8 minutes for light to travel from the Sun’s surface to Historiann.
  9. Historiann can turn her stomach inside out.
  10. If you lie on your back with your legs stretched it is impossible to sink in Historiann.

Via SquadratomagicoHere’s the place where you find out about yourself (or anyone else)–let me know in the comments what you discover!  How, I wonder, can anyone who, “when provoked. . . will swivel the tip of her abdomen and shoot a jet of boiling chemicals at her attacker,” be deemed “timid prey?”  Oh well, like all women (except when I was Nicholas Breakspear), I’m accustomed to accusations of embodying all kinds of mutually contradictory traits:  “naturally” weak and helpless, yet I can ruin a warrior and sap his strength if he eats from my dishes when I’m menstruating; a man-crazed lesbian; passionless yet I can’t control my sexual desires.  You get the picture.  All just a day’s work as a marked category, friends!

Just remember:  it is in fact impossible to fold Historiann more than seven times.  (I think my actual limit is closer to three.)  I hope you get your weekends off to a great start–here in NoCo, we’re battening down for another big snowstorm!  But, that’s life on the high plains desert at  5,000 feet for you.  (I recall a graduation weekend/Mother’s Day weekend snowstorm here in Potterville in the early 2000s, and we regularly see snow flurries on May 1 for some reason.)  Wish me happy shoveling!

Ed(itor) Linenthal dishes on the details of the Journal of American History

linenthalEdward Linenthal, the editor of the Journal of American History and Professor of History at Indiana University, is visiting Potterville, Colorado this week as the Hewit Distinguished Professor of History this year at the University of Northern Colorado.  Yesterday he gave an informal talk to the History faculty there over lunch on the subject of “How to Get Published in the Journal of American History.”  He also provided a lively and in-depth glimpse of how the journal works and some of his priorities as editor.  I caged an invite from my pals at UNC, and found Linenthal so engaging and down-to-earth that I asked him if I could publish my notes on his comments, and he said yes.  So, here you go:

  • The numbers:  Linenthal said that they receive 215 submissions a year, and that of those they can publish twenty.  (For those of you who took remedial math like me, that’s an acceptance rate of about 9.3%–ouch!)  Everything is read by a pair of Associate Editors, and of those 215 submissions, perhaps 35-40% are rejected in-house without review.  (When asked which articles were rejected in-house, Linenthal said that it was only those that were very narrowly cast, “horrendously written,” and/or those that don’t fit the mission of the JAH at all.)   
  • The processThe 60-65% of articles that are sent out to readers are each sent out to four readers, which Linenthal admits can lead to a “cacophony” of opinions that are difficult to sort through.  If you’ve got an article under review at this journal, don’t hang out by your e-mail in-box drumming your fingers:  Linenthal says that he’ll “always go for thoroughness over speed,” every time, but says that their average in responding to authors is four months after submission.  It’s a double-blind review process, and Linenthal says that they absolutely don’t play favorites.  “We’ve pissed off any number of senior scholars” by rejecting their work, “but I say, if you’re at that level and you can’t deal with that kind of criticism–tough!  Get over it.”  Continue reading

Wednesday round-up: writin' along the Colorado Trail

cowgirlbroncobestedWhile I’m busy cranking out an overdue paper, I’ll leave you with a few tasty morsels I’ve been saving up to share with you on the subject of academic publishing.  Remember:  when you get that rejection letter in the mail (and you will–we all do!), the best thing to do is to read it quickly, put it away for a week or two, then take what’s useful for your revisions and send it back on out to another journal or press.  If you’re thrown by a horse, the best revenge is to get back in the saddle again.  So–giddyap!

  • Undine asks, “Are senior scholars abandoning journal publication?”  Ze cites an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education that said, “[s]enior scholars, the A-list of academic publishing, seem to submit fewer unsolicited manuscripts to traditional humanities journals than they used to. ‘The journal has become, with very few exceptions, the place where junior and mid-level scholars are placing their work,’ according to Bonnie Wheeler, president of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. . . .”  I don’t think it’s so much the rise of the edited essay collection as it is the fact that senior scholars get invited to submit manuscripts all of the time, and if a journal asks you to submit a manuscript for a special issue, most people figure that that’s the path of least resistance.  (Mel, a commenter at Undine’s place, makes this point as well.)
  • Penn State University Press Associate Director and Editor-in-Chief Patrick H. Alexander has a thing or two to tell us about reviewing book manuscripts.  I’m so glad that Inside Higher Ed published this–it’s good to hear from an editor on this, instead of just from scholars either complaining  1) that kids these days don’t know what scholarship is, let alone how to produce it, or 2) about the savage flaying their latest book or article manuscript received by a clearly unscrupulous and sadistic “peer” reviewer.  Continue reading
  • Lucky Louie wins a fellowship but wants more, oh so much more

    moneyhandFrom the mailbag at HQ:

    Dear Historiann,

    I am a soon-to-be unemployed recent Ph.D. who was offered a prestigious postdoctoral teaching fellowship today. Hooray! I’m so excited, but I have a few job applications still pending for some other tasty opportunities. This prompts a job search question that I thought your readership might be able to help me with. I make $30,000 a year as a lecturer. The fellowship has a set salary just a shade lower than what I make now, but the town I would be moving to is a little more expensive. There are two other positions out there that I am extremely keen on. For one of them, an interdisciplinary studies fellowship, I am simply another applicant, as far as I know; I had a phone interview for the other last week, a great non-tenure track position that would give me a big pay hike and a reduced course load of only undergrad seminar courses at a great state university. I think that’s the one that I want. I have two weeks to accept the current offer. How do I approach these schools to tell/ask/suggest to them to hurry the hell up?

    Just sign me “Lucky Louie.”

    Congratulations, Louie!  To answer your question succinctly, you should e-mail the chairs of the two active searches to inform them of your good news and to ask where they are in the process.  This happens all of the time–and indeed, I’m sure they would prefer to get this information sooner rather than later if you’re at all a contender.  They will understand that this is a polite way of asking them to tell you where you stand in their searches, and what their advice is on the wisdom of accepting your fellowship offer. Continue reading

    Bunnies in Blood

    bunnyinbloodThis Easter dessert has become a Historiann family favorite.  (Thanks to Ex-Pat for sharing the recipe and the super-cute bunny rabbit molds with me!)  More properly called “Molded French Cream with Raspberry Sauce,” I think “Bunnies in Blood” is much more descriptive, and completely appropriate given that Easter and Passover are already about blood sacrifice (and in the Christian holiday, cannibalism too!  Yum.)  It’s Last Supperlicious and Paschal Lambtastic!  Happy Easter and Hag Sameach, one and all. 

    On a more serious note, Continue reading