Monday, November 16, 2009


Wow, it's only been a month since my last posting?

I suppose lots has happened on the scholarship front. I've given one presentation at a conference (which generally boosted my ego and confidence regarding my ability to give presentations at conferences), I've submitted 4 proposals for 2 conferences for presentations (see previous parenthetical comment for the reason this was possible), I've written 2 papers (found the call for papers about 1 1/2 weeks before the due date) for yet another conference (accepted papers will be published in journal) -- of course found out, after pounding out 2 papers in a ridiculous period of time, that they only allow one submission per person (a piece of information well hidden -- about three links from the main cfp -- on the webpage). I also submitted a proposal to comment on a 'target' article in a journal, the proposal was accepted and the commentary has been written and submitted and, unless I've completely misunderstood the concept, said commentary will be published.

Not a good deal of reading going on but some productive time nonetheless. It terms of actual observable validation from my 'peers' -- all that really matters in academia -- two things out in the universe that have been or will be viewed by more than an editor or reviewer.

On the downside, the article, that I actually continue to feel really good about despite being rejected at every turn, has been rejected, yet again, and, yet again, for the same reason "content and issues raised...were not appropriate for publication in our journal" and then an explanation that given this reason for not publishing no constructive comments would be forthcoming.

Response #1: It took 2 months to reach this conclusion? Other journals of at least equal prestige have given me exactly the same response with literally days. That's 2 months I could have spent getting this article rejected from other journals. Geez.

Response #2: What exactly does it mean to say that the 'content...was not appropriate for publication in our journal'? I've been taking the high self-esteem road and assuming that this meant the topic, but given just a teeny bit of neuroses on my part I realize that this very phrase could be referrring to the presentation of the topic. "Content" is remarkably vague.

But, I think I'll stick with #1 if for no other reason that the commentary I wrote was in response to an article for the journal in question and the article is radically unlike what I wrote and I'd say both less interesting and less well-written. But I think this is indicative of the fact that the journal's audience is, again, a less academic audience. I'm beginning to understand that when journals claim that they are 'interdisciplinary' they don't mean the same thing by that word as I do. I think of the different academic disciplines. I think they mean different career disciplines. So, while I've written something that is not exclusively philosophical - drawing, as it does, on social science and more rhetoric oriented philosophy (Mark Johnson's work), it is very academic and probably not all that accessible to the average healthcare worker.

Nonetheless, I'm getting very frustrated with just trying to find the right venue for this article. I've gotten no helpful feedback on it to actually make it a better article given it's audience. My suspicion is that this article is really something that ought to be expanded upon and turned into a book (should the idea warrant expansion). There is a good deal going on in the article and so that's what I should really be doing. BUT, doing this would get me off the track of focusing on reading and writing about teaching and making my foray into philosophy of education. So, I what I may end up doing is working on the education stuff until May and then spending next summer turning this article into multiple articles and/or a book proposal. Who knows

On the education front, I'm excited. I have a box - literally there's a box downstairs next to my desk - filled with books that focus from a variety of approaches the impact of physical environment on our ways of thinking. The big challenge I have now is which book to read first. I've gone through and selected the 6 or 7 that look the most interesting and now am likely to read them starting with that which was written the earliest and then move toward the present. The only problem with this is that the one book on architecture and neuroscience was published either this year or last year and I don't know if I'll be able to put this one off. My hunch is that I'll be reading that one simultaneously with The Poetics of Space.

There we go. Much sharing. Little of interest to anyone. Oh, and then there's this little religion article that I have started and have to get out of my system. I have no idea where to send this to get published (assuming that what I'm saying wasn't already said 1500 years ago).

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