Rachel Toor: How Do You Learn to Edit Yourself?

Writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Rachel Toor asks, “How Do You Learn to Edit Yourself?”

How can I help far-away geologists and physicists, historians and philologists, write better prose? I can’t. Not in some abstract, general way. All I can do is urge them to pay attention to well-written works in their own field, to read not just for content, but also for the nuances of style, and to steal the tools and tricks that good writers use. I can beg them to care about their sentences.

She also recommends several books about writing, including the venerable Strunk and White The Elements of Style, Joseph Williams’s Style: Toward Clarity and Grace, Deirdre McCloskey’s Economical Writing, and On Writing by Stephen King

Toor concludes: “Many professors say they don’t have time to spend on such self-help books. I say you don’t have time not to.”

CFP: Philosophy of Science


Presented by the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto and the Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine, University of Chicago, 13-15 May 2011, University of Toronto

The philosophy of science has an illustrious history of attraction and antipathy towards metaphysics. The latter was famously exemplified in the Logical Positivist contention that metaphysical questions are meaningless, but in the wake of the demise of Positivism, metaphysics has found its way back into the philosophy of science. Increasingly, questions about the nature of natural laws, kinds, dispositions, and so on have taken a metaphysical cast. The metaphysics of science commands significant attention in contemporary philosophy.

While many philosophers embrace the increased contact between metaphysics and the philosophy of science, others are wary. Should science (and its philosophical study) lead us into doing metaphysics? If so, which metaphysical issues are genuine and which are illusory, and how might we tell? Such questions dovetail with similar soul-searching in metaphysics proper (sometimes under the banner of “meta-metaphysics”, sometimes simply as methodology).

This conference will examine ground-level debates about metaphysics within the philosophy of physics and the philosophy of biology, and broader methodological questions about the role of metaphysics in the philosophy of science. Participation is open and welcome from all parties to these questions: from those who hold that metaphysics must have a place within the philosophy of science, to those who hold it should not.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Essays of 4,000-5,000 words (30 minutes allotted for presentations) concerning any aspect of metaphysics and the natural or social sciences will be accepted for review until January 10, 2011. Please include a short abstract (200 words or so), a few keywords, prepare your essayfor blind review (do not include your name or other identifying references in the document), and submit it in PDF format here: http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=mpsc2011

Notification by early February 2011. If you are planning to attend the conference and would like to identify yourself as a potential chair, please email the conference address mpsc2011@gmail.com

ORGANIZERS: Chris Haufe (University of Chicago), Matthew H. Slater (Bucknell University), Zanja Yudell (California State University, Chico)

Please direct general conference inquiries to mpsc2011@gmail.com

CFP: Global Health Equity, NGOs

Abstracts are invited for a session on “Global Health Equity and Advocacy Roles of International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s)”, to be considered for presentation at the 71st Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) in Seattle from March 2th-April 2nd, 2011. Submission and meeting information can be found on the SfAA website: http://www.sfaa.net

This session is an initiative of the SfAA Human Rights and Social Justice Committee, and is designed to address these issues as an essential part of the 2011 Annual Meeting theme, “Expanding the Influence of Applied Social Science”. All papers that speak to issues of health equity and assess related roles of NGO’s, both positive and negative, will be considered. The session abstract is proposed as follows:

International health planning, promotion and advocacy for health equity and community empowerment are developed and implemented through local and global collaborations with non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). Civil society organizations and inter-agency collaborations increasingly assume central roles in addressing global health equity, although local realities and priorities vary (Whiteford and Manderson, 2000). In the United States, community health promotion through participatory approaches and public-private agency collaboration in needs assessments, health education and screening, and fund-raising is designed to enhance awareness and support for local programs. This session compares health promotion and advocacy roles of NGO’s in the United States and the international arena, using case studies from areas such as Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

Anyone who is interested in participating should email session organizer Sue Lurie at sue.lurie@unthsc.edu  by September 30th and send a 100 word abstract by October 15th, 2010. All session materials must be submitted to SfAA by October 15th, 2010.

CNN: Judge orders lesbian Air Force nurse-officer reinstated

According to CNN’s Web site:

A federal judge has ordered the reinstatement of an openly lesbian former Air Force major who was dismissed from the military under the government’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Judge Ronald Leighton of Tacoma, Washington, made his ruling Friday. It is the latest legal and political setback for the Obama administration, which is seeking to end the policy through a legislative and executive solution.

Maj. Margaret Witt, a decorated flight nurse with 20 years of service, had sued to return to the Air Force Reserve. She was honorably discharged in July 2007 on the grounds that she had a six-year relationship with another woman, a civilian.

The complete story is on line at: http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/09/24/military.gay.reinstatement/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

Tenure Track:

Carmen Tejeda-Delgado, writing in Inside Higher Ed, discusses “Things I Wish I Had Known” while on the tenure track.

Among the advice for emerging scholars working to earn tenure: Joining (or forming) a publication group and signing on with a cohort collaboration:

First, join a publication group or cohort. This can be considered one of the most important tips of all. Some campuses have pre-established publication cohorts that take many different interdepartmental and intradepartmental forms, such as department cohorts, college cohorts and university cohorts. Part of earning tenure is the publication piece, also known as “scholarly activity or practice.”

Many would argue it is the piece that may carry the greatest weight. However, combining publication with collaboration with colleagues can offer even greater benefits. Junior professors achieve tenure when they have developed supportive mentors and colleagues. Many are denied tenure when they have developed career-destroying adversaries. Prolific junior faculty members can be denied tenure because of a lukewarm letter of support from senior colleagues. And some not-so-prolific junior faculty members have achieved tenure with a less-than-stellar publication record but an impressive collegial history. Establishing strong and authentic relationships with not only members of your own faculty, but also with senior colleagues outside your university, can sometimes be the difference between making tenure and not making tenure.

Carmen Tejeda-Delgado is an assistant professor of education at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.

Rockquemore: Plan Your Week

The evidence-based advice provided by Kerry Ann Rockquemore in her continuing series in Inside Higher Ed emphasizes the need to work on your writing projects every day.

In today’s installment Rockquemore suggests planning your week by making weekly writing appointments with yourself in what she calls “The Sunday Meeting.”

This article and the series are available free on line.

CFS: Adv Mental Health–Youth, Early Intervention

A special issue of Advances in Mental Health, volume 10, number 1, March 2011: Promoting Youth Mental Health through Early Intervention

Deadline for Papers: 15th December 2010

Edited by: Debra Rickwood, Professor of Psychology, University of Canberra ACT, Australia; Beverley Raphael, Professor of Psychiatry, Australian National University and University of Western Sydney, Australia; David Pilgrim, Professor of Mental Health Policy, University of Central Lancashire, UK

Advances in Mental Health has a conceptual frame encompassing mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention, explorations of wellness, best practice interventions toward recovery, seamless provision of support from inpatient to community care, and holistic support approaches for human beings who seek meaningful solutions. Papers are invited for this special issue dedicated to the discussion and analysis of new initiatives in promoting youth mental health through early intervention. Youth is defined broadly as adolescents and young adults aged 12-25 years. Papers are welcome from a wide range of disciplines and from health and human services workers, mental health professionals, mental health policy administrators, educators and academic researchers. They may address:

  • The role of early intervention in the spectrum of interventions
  • Integrating early intervention for youth across the lifespan
  • Interventions focused on risk and protective factors
  • Screening and detection
  • Service use and access
  • Recent advances in early treatment approaches
  • Early intervention for co-occurring mental health and alcohol and other drug problems
  • Effective early intervention models and systems of care
  • The role of ICT in early intervention
  • Youth participation
  • Families and carers
  • Ethical issues in early intervention
  • Professional, workforce and training issues
  • Cultural perspectives
  • International perspectives

Submissions: Manuscript submissions are invited by the submission deadline, observing the Author Guidelines. All papers will undergo a double peer review process. The special issue will include 8-10 articles of approximately 4,000-6,000 words each, and be published in Advances in Mental Health volume 10/1 (March 2010).

Visit: http://amh.e-contentmanagement.com/

Manuscript submission deadline: 15 December 2010

CFS: AEER– Health Work in Postsocialist Europe, former Soviet Union

Anthropology of East Europe Review (AEER) is now accepting submissions for the Fall 2010 issue. The Special Issue section theme for the Fall 2010 issue is “Health and Care Work in Postsocialist Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.”

Deadlines: October 1, 2010 (abstracts due); November 1, 2010 (drafts of selected papers due)

We welcome submissions that tackle health care transformations in postsocialist space. As many Eastern European states and the former Soviet republics move away from the socialized health care models and towards market-based mechanisms (in theory or in practice), the ideologies and practices of health and care work are influenced by these changes. At the same time, critical views of transformations and skepticism about promises of the global economy are abundant. Contributors are encouraged to submit any relevant research in regards to local perceptions and practices of health and healing, interactions between states, individuals and international flows of ideas, policies, goods and people. We are interested in research that addresses the ways in which care work takes place, professionally and informally, as well as the ways in which health related ideas and products circulate.

Please send in electronic form (preferably MS Word), an abstract of no more than 250 words and a short (one paragraph) biography by October 1 to: anthroeasteuropereview@gmail.com . Those authors selected to submit complete papers (up to 6,000 words) will be asked to do so by November 1.

Anthropology of East Europe Review (AEER), a publication of the East European Anthropology Group and SOYUZ (the Research Network for Post-socialist Cultural Studies), is a biannual edited journal of scholarship on Eastern Europe, Russia, the Balkans, and Central Asia. Our mission is to showcase fresh, up-to-date research and to help build a community of scholars who focus on the region.

Rockquemore: New Weekly Writing Series

Prof. Kerry Ann Rockquemore has a new series beginning this week in Inside Higher Ed on the struggles of academic writers, in which she asks:

Why does the perfectly common experience of getting stuck in our writing feel like a dirty little secret? Why do we ALL think that we’re the only ones who struggle with writing? And why is our first response to writing problems self-isolation, self-flagellation and avoidance of the very types of community that would help us to move gracefully through our writing resistance?

If you are hoping to initiate or to revive your scholarly publication, I would invite you to follow Rockquemore’s evidence-based advice, beginning this week:


CFP: History of Alcohol & Drugs Conference

The 6th International Conference on the History of Alcohol and Drugs: The Pub, the Street, and the Medicine Cabinet, June 24-26, 2011, SUNY University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Historical studies of alcohol, illicit drugs, and pharmaceutical drugs are flourishing. Though law and tradition have created a scholarly divisionof labor, historians and other researchers have become increasingly aware of the cultural, social, political, legal, and medical connections among psychoactive substances. We are pleased to announce that, for the first time, the biennial conference of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society(ADHS) will join with the American Institute for the History of Pharmacy (AIHP) to interrogate the nature and significance of these divisions and linkages in all periods and geographical contexts. Though we welcome proposals on all aspects of alcohol and drug history, we especially encourage those that question boundaries and that extend conversations across lines of field and discipline. We also welcome papers from bioethicists and physicians as well as historians and other humanities and social-science scholars. The event’s major sponsors include a range of institutions atthe University of Buffalo: the Center for Clinical Ethics, the Humanities Institute, the Medical School, and the History Department.

We are also happy to report that the University of Massachusetts Press is interested in publishing a volume based on the conference. All submissions will be considered for inclusion unless otherwise requested. Articles not incorporated into the edited volume will also be considered for a special issue of The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs: An Interdisciplinary Journal, unless otherwise requested.

Topics of interest include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • - Origins of boundaries­—between substances, classes (social, age, gender, ethnic, racial) of people authorized or forbidden to use them, and the conditions or mental states for which they are used.
  • - Nature and maintenance of boundaries­—who establishes them; who enforces them and how; what logics (research, ethics, marketing) explain/justify them; how do they operate at multiple levels (culture, law, economics).
  • - Impact/significance of boundaries­—how do they affect different groups of people including users, prescribers, traffickers, regulators, reformers, and politicians; what purposes do they serve (public health, economic, bureaucratic, entrepreneurial); how well or poorly do they serve those purposes?
  • - Tensions, contradictions, challenges­, and change over time—countervailing voices, opposition, boundary-crossers; changes in nature, extent, power, location of boundaries; causes of those changes.

The deadline for the submission of proposals for panels, sessions, and papers is December 20, 2010. Proposals should include an abstract of approximately 300 words and a short CV, and may be submitted in one of two ways: online at https://www.ubevents.org/event/history2011  or by mail to David Herzberg, History Department, University at Buffalo, 546 Park Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260


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