Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Addendum to the previous post

Ok, I forgot to actually write about the details I wanted to write about in the previous post. See what comes of trying to watch the tv through an open doorway to the next room while writing a blog post?

Go read the entire previous post and commit it to memory before moving on to this one. Then build me a shrine. Just kidding about all the commands! Maybe.

Ok, the other part of making plans is that, not only do I have my articles accepted and coming out the pipeline, but I was accepted to a conference on some new crazy topic, not really in my discipline. I'm going with friends, who are in the discipline. (Acephalous would know what this is. I'm not telling.) That's the good news. The bad news is that I also sent the abstract out to a call for papers for an edited collection and it was rejected. No big deal, but now I need to figure out what my "plan" is --- is this a one-off to keep something on the cv, or do I want to actually work this thingy up into something that could then be published? It's not my field and there is going to be an edited collection appearing studying this artifact, so it might be hard to place it somewhere. Because, you know, there's "writing a conference paper" and then there's "writing and researching an article with a deadline of a conference paper midway through it," which will affect what else I can/should do in spring.

I was thinking that I need to figure out if I should use this as a new publishing venture or go back to that very old abandoned half-written article, or (and???) go off onto a new author/topic, and if so, what would that new topic be, but then I got distracted by the larger question of whether I should be pushing for publishing at all or I should do something else wonderful for job applications. So ok, go paste this back into the middle of the previous post and ponder the whole thing and then give me some advice.


Feminist Avatar said...

As I get older and wiser (by which I mean have less and less time), I find that I want to turn my conference papers into articles- because if you are spending the time doing the conference paper, you want to get something 'bigger' out of it.

I think as a PhDer, doing conference papers was a nice way of exploring ideas that then informed the PhD (necessary at that point in your academic life-cycle)- and that might be true now if you are writing a book- but post-PhD life just gets busier and you need to start being more strategic with your time- so the conference paper becomes the article- and (if you write books) the article ideally helps you think through the book (or fills gaps you are not filling with the book).

I guess there might be exceptions- like when you do a paper so you can get a free ride to a conference- but how often does that happen nowadays?

Earnest English said...

For me at least, writing an article is so hard and takes so damn long (if you know some shortcuts, please let me know because that book helped me exactly not at all) that I'd only work on those things that I'm really committed to. I wouldn't want to have to do a bunch of extra new-to-me research in order to write something that doesn't really fit into my body of work. (Isn't it nice to think that there is such a thing? Since I know you'll get a TT job at some point, remember that for tenure you have to position yourself somehow and show that you're building a body of work in a particular -- though broad -- direction or set of directions.)

I work at a school that is mainly a teaching school, but publication is nearly always the sticking point of tenure. I have colleagues who are at such teaching-focused schools that conference papers count as publications, BUT. . . very few of them. When we look at candidates, we want to make sure that they have a research agenda that will get them through the tenure process. (Sometimes this means that people basically publish themselves right out of our school and into another position at a more research-focused place.) So I would always say that publication is more important than most other things you could be doing.

I'll be interested to see what others say.

Do me a favor and make an appearance at my folks', okay? I built you a shrine in the snow.

Shane in SLC said...

Dr. Virago's comment in the last post was right on, as are the two posts here. My first TT job out of grad school had me teaching 4/4, but they still expected at least an article a year for tenure. If you can maintain any kind of research profile while teaching your current load, that will appeal to a great many schools.

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Focus on the research that really truly matters to you. Yes, it's good to turn conference papers into articles, but it's better not to waste time working up a field you don't know well when you could more easily work in your main field, and even better not to do conference papers that aren't in your main line of work, unless you are trying to switch fields. See Jonathan Mayhew at prosedoctor.blogspot.com on the topic of the scholarly base.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Well, there you go. Lots of good advice, and you even preempted my advice by already having a conference paper in the hatch. Good for you.

When I read about all your publishing/research work, it makes me feel pretty lazy. I haven't done any new research for a long while. My article for a book collection was revised and turned in over a year ago. Of course, I had a baby between now and then. But it's not like I can put THAT on my CV. Instead, it just looks like I'm unmotivated in the research department.

I do have an article idea that I've been researching in the last few weeks, but if I ever get a chance to actually write it, I'll be surprised. The kids distract me. I've got a heavy teaching load for the spring. And I've got my novel that I'm trying to find an agent for. Besides, I have another idea for another novel that I'd like to work on. Really, I'm a hot mess when it comes to the academy. No wonder I can't get a job.

Sisyphus said...

Dude, fie, you wrote an entire novel! So no talking about laziness.

SEK said...

You overestimate what I know, methinks. :)

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Sis - Well... writing a novel doesn't do anything for my CV either. If it were published, maybe I could start applying for Creative Writing jobs, too, though. Sigh. Someday something is going to work out for both of us.