Academic Publishing in Rhetorical Studies

Workshop Leaders:

Barbara Biesecker, University of Georgia
Susan C. Jarratt, University of California

Publishing remains the sine qua non of an academic teaching career, and publishing expectations at various stages of the career continue to rise. Given these realities, the publishing process can be a source of considerable anxiety and frustration. Its many stages—determining the conversations to which your manuscript will contribute, addressing rhetoric’s interdisciplinary status, identifying an audience and selecting a journal, refining a voice, developing an idea and argument, responding to editor and reviewer comments, etc.—pose challenges for emerging scholars.

This hands-on workshop, led by the immediate past editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech (Biesecker) and the current editor of Rhetoric Society Quarterly (Jarratt), will help prepare participants to navigate the complexities of academic publishing. To achieve this objective, the four workshop sessions will include three activities. (1) In order to better understand the manuscript development process, participants will examine and discuss sample essays from the two journals, tracking the steps along the way to publication, including the initial submission and cover letter, the reviewers’ and editor’s responses, second “revise and resubmit” and related documents, and the final, published version. Discussion will focus on identifying specific revisions made and understanding how those revisions strengthened the manuscript in various ways. (2) In a group session, the leaders will edit a sample manuscript “before the participants’ eyes,” explaining reasons for changes and answering questions along the way. (3) Each participant will have the opportunity to workshop a manuscript-in-process with the leaders and the other participants. The emphases here will include a discussion of what is involved in moving from course paper/dissertation chapter/conference presentation to publishable article, as well as close work with the compositional elements of each project.

In advance of the workshop (no later than four weeks prior to the gathering), all participants in the workshop will submit an essay or chapter to the leaders to be worked on during the workshop. We welcome participants at various stages in their careers, including advanced graduate students.

Direct questions to Susan Jarratt, sjarratt@uci.edu and Barbara Biesecker, bbieseck@uga.edu