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Write Better By Talking

Write Better By Talking

by Gina Hiatt, PhD

(via http://www.academicladder.com/)

We Write Alone

Writing is a solitary process. It must be. You’re writing your own ideas. Yes, you are in “conversation” with other scholars, but your writing is your individual contribution to that conversation.

But writing can be very isolating, can’t it? If writing is your primary activity, your days can be pretty lonely. If you are squeezing your writing into a busy day, the solitude can be a relief, but it is still you, writing silently.

IdeasWe urge you to speak up! At some time (usually multiple times!) in every writing project, you need to find a person and actually speak.

Why Should You Talk?

You think while you talk. How often do you say to a friend or family member, “Can I talk this over?” or “Would you like to talk about it?” or “I was saying to our friend….” You do think through your ideas using speech.

But the unwritten rules in academia are “Don’t admit that you’re unsure,” or “Don’t let anyone know what you’re thinking.”

It’s time to contradict those messages! We’re all unsure at some point in our writing! There’s no shame in sharing your partially-formed ideas!

When you speak, you have to make sense. You can hear your unclear places much better when you actually use your voice. That’s the reason that writing experts recommend reading your written work out loud: what makes sense to your eye does not necessarily make sense to your ear.

Talking with someone else also reduces the isolation we can experience. As important as solitude is, and as valuable as written exchanges between scholars are, spoken interaction is one of the best tools in your writing kit.

When Should you Talk?

Talking with another person is a big, scary step, but it pays big dividends. Some strategic points in your writing process that call for conversation are:

  • You are excited about a new idea and thinking through its potential
  • You are stuck in your project and can’t quite work out how to frame a key argument
  • You are debating between two organizational structures
  • You are shifting gears, such as moving to revision
  • The writing will be presented orally, as at a conference or in an interview
  • You are just plain stuck and feel hopeless
Who Should You Talk With?

The best person to talk with depends on the stage of your project. For example:

If……… Find someone who is ……..
You are just starting out, with free writing or a Zero Draft (not even a first draft) …a friend and very gentle and will listen to you charitably as you fumble around
You are figuring out whether you are finished, or whether you need to back to more research …a fellow writer and would know what questions to ask you
You are checking that your major argument fits well in the literature of your discipline …even more well established than you: a mentor or senior colleague
You are framing your focus statement, or the “elevator speech” you use to answer the question, “and what are YOU working on?” …a good listener who loves you. A mom can do it, a spouse if not too busy, and a precocious nine-year old is perfect.
You are almost ready to rehearse your conference or interview presentation …as above. These wonderful folks love graphics too!

What Should You Talk About?

Framing a conversation about your work maximizes its value for you, and also maximizes your chances to ask again. Here are some phrases to employ:

  • Could I talk over my ideas for this project with you?
  • I’d like you to listen and take notes, and then tell me what you heard me saying.
  • If you don’t understand something, would you stop me so I can clarify?
  • These are my goals. After you listen, could you tell me whether you think I met them?
  • I want to talk about this challenge with you. Can I think out loud about the pros and cons?
  • My feelings say this is hopeless, but I believe it is actually feasible. Could you convince me that my feelings are wrong?
  • I will buy the coffee.

It’s time to talk!

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Resources:

Boice, Robert. (2000). Advice for new faculty members: Nihil nimus. Needham Heights MA: Allyn and Bacon.

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CfP: Women & Society Conference 2012 (7/15/12)

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: March 28, 2012
  • Filed Under: Call for Papers

21st Annual Women & Society Conference – 2012
October 19 & 20, 2012
Marist College, Poughkeepsie New York

CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Proposals and abstracts are being solicited for the 2012 Women & Society
Conference. This feminist conference is interdisciplinary and
multi-disciplinary, covering all aspects of women & gender being studied
in the academy. The conference mentors and models feminist
inquiry/scholarship for undergraduate students, so joint faculty/student
papers and excellent student papers are also considered. Undergraduates
may attend at no cost.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Linda Martín Alcoff
Dr. Linda Martín Alcoff will be delivering the keynote address on Friday,
October 19th. A Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College and the CUNY
Graduate Center who focuses on social identity and race, epistemology and
politics, sexual violence, Foucault, and Latino issues in philosophy, Dr.
Martín Alcoff has written two books: Visible Identities: Race, Gender and
the Self, which won the Frantz Fanon Award in 2009, Real Knowing: New
Versions of the Coherence Theory; and she has edited ten, including
Feminist Epistemologies co-edited with Elizabeth Potter; Thinking From the
Underside of History co-edited with Eduardo Mendieta; Epistemology: The
Big Questions; Identities co-edited with Eduardo Mendieta; Singing in the
Fire: Tales of Women in Philosophy; The Blackwell Guide to Feminist
Philosophy co-edited with Eva Feder Kittay; Identity Politics Reconsidered
co-edited with Michael Hames-Garcia, Satya Mohanty and Paula Moya; and
Feminism, Sexuality, and the Return of Religion co-edited with Jack
Caputo. She is currently at work on two new books: a book on sexual
violence, and an account of political epistemology. A co-editor of
Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, she has held an ACLS Fellowship
and a Society for the Humanities at Cornell University Fellowship. In 2006
she was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United
States by Hispanic Business magazine.
Please send your 250 word abstract with a brief bio by July 15, 2012.

Papers, workshops, roundtables and panels are welcome; please include
abstracts and bios for all participants, with one contact person. Please
include all contact information–including home and e-mail addresses for
summer correspondence to:
Women & Society Conference c/o Shannon Roper
School of Communication & the Arts
Lowell Thomas 219
Marist College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
OR submit online:
www.marist.edu/liberalarts/womenstudies/conference.html

For more information email: Shannon.Roper@marist.edu

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Postdoc Women’s Studies U of Houston (4/27/12)

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: March 28, 2012
  • Filed Under: Fellowships, Job Ad

The WGSS Program at the University of Houston invites applications for a
Postdoctoral Fellowship to begin in the Fall Semester 2012. This may become a
tenure track position.

Applicants may be working in any discipline, on a topic concerning women and/or
gender. The recipient will teach one course per term, assist with some
programming,and devote the rest of the time to research. The initial appointment
will be for one year, with the possibility of renewal for a second. Salary will
be $40,000 with full benefits.

The applicant must hold a PhD degree at the time of the appointment. A letter of
application, together with CV, a writing sample and three letters of
recommendation should be submitted on or before April 27, 2012, to Postdoc
Search Committee, WGSS Program, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-3005.

The University of Houston is a Tier One research institution, with more than
39,000 student enrolled this year. Located in the center of Houston in a
550-acre park, the university provides an excellent environment for teaching and
research, within a dynamic city.

The University of Houston is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer.
Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to
apply.

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Ruhr-Universität Bochum Position in Ethics and Aesthetics

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: March 28, 2012
  • Filed Under: Job Ad

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) is one of Germany’s leading research universities. The University draws its strengths from both the diversity and the proximity of scientific and engineering disciplines on a single, coherent campus. This highly dynamic setting enables students and researchers to work across traditional boundaries of academic subjects and faculties. The RUB is a vital institution in the Ruhr area, which has been selected as European Capital of Culture for the year 2010. *FULL PROFESSORSHIP (W2) IN PHILOSOPHY, AOS: ETHICS AND AESTHETICS, AOC: EARLY MODERN PHILOSOPHY*

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum – faculty of Philosophy and Educational Research – invites applications for the position of a Full Professorship (W2) in Philosophy, AOS: Ethics and Aesthetics, AOC: Early Modern Philosophy, to start as soon as possible. The person appointed will be expected to make an outstanding contribution to the teaching and research profile of the department in the areas of ethics and aesthetics, and he or she will also be expected to contribute regularly to the teaching of a required introductory module in early modern philosophy.

The teaching load is 9 hours per week and includes undergraduate teaching as well as teaching in the Masters, Masters of Education and PhD programs in Philosophy. Positive evaluation as a junior professor or equivalent academic achievement (e.g. habilitation) and evidence of special aptitude are just as much required as the willingness to participate in the self-governing bodies of the RUB and to generally get involved in university processes according to RUB’s mission statement. We expect further more:

* high commitment in teaching

* readiness to participate in interdisciplinary work

* willingness and ability to attract external funding

 

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum is an equal opportunity employer. Complete applications with CV, proof of degrees, a list of publications and an electronic version of five relevant publications should be send via email to the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Educational Research of the Ruhr-University Bochum no later than April 21st 2012. Please apply via e-mail: dekanat-pe@rub.de [For further information visit: http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/philosophy/i/index.html.de . For further inquiries contact corinna.mieth@rub.de]

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Hacking the Academy

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: March 21, 2012
  • Filed Under: How to

If you have not seen this article on Inside Higher Ed already, here is gradhacker on “Your Academic Twidentity, or, More About Twitter and Academic Identity.” Yes, it is a brave no longer oh so new, but still new world you are entering into. Good hack!

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Lecturership at University of Georgia, Athens, GA (3/23/12)

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: March 14, 2012
  • Filed Under: Job Ad


The Department of Philosophy invites applications for a non-tenure track, annually renewable lecturer position beginning Fall 2012. AOS: open, AOC: teaching competence in history of philosophy. Four courses per semester, lower and upper division undergraduates, some split-level upper undergraduate/graduate courses. Summer teaching may be available. Some non-teaching duties. PhD required at time of appointment. Competitive salary, full benefits.

To be assured of full consideration, applications must be complete by March 23, 2012. To apply for this position, please visit. http://recruitment.franklin.uga.edu/philosophy and supply the requested information, including the names and email addresses of three references, at least one of whom should be asked to address teaching. References will be contacted to submit their letters through this website on receipt of application. The rest of the application should be uploaded as a single PDF file. It must include a letter of application, current CV, statement of teaching philosophy, writing sample and evidence of excellence in teaching.

The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, its many units, and the University of Georgia are committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty and students and sustaining a work and learning environment that is inclusive. Women, minorities, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The University of Georgia is an EEO/AA institution.

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W.E.B. DU BOIS FELLOWSHIPS UMASS AMHERST (4/20/12)

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: March 10, 2012
  • Filed Under: Fellowships, Grant

Amherst, MA – The UMass Amherst Libraries will offer short-term residential fellowships to assist younger scholars in conducting research in Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) in the Du Bois Library.  Full-time graduate students, faculty, or independent scholars (with a PhD) are eligible to apply.  Fellows will receive a stipend of $2,500 for a four-week residency.  The deadline for applications is April 20, 2012.  For more information:  http://bit.ly/dubois_fellowship.
Among the approximately 15,000 linear feet of manuscripts held by SCUA are many valuable collections for the study of social change in the United States, including the papers of the most important exponent of the politics and culture of the twentieth century, W.E.B. Du Bois.  Fellows may come from any field and any perspective, and they may work on any topic, but their research should explore the major themes that characterize Du Bois’s scholarship and activism. This includes the history and meaning of racial, social, and economic justice; the problems of democracy and political inclusion; the role of capitalism in world affairs; and the global influence of African cultures.
In addition to the Du Bois Papers, the UMass Amherst Libraries house over three million volumes and a rich suite of electronic resources to support advanced research in the humanities.  Comprehensive, searchable guides and finding aids to SCUA’s collections are available online at http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/.
Fellows will be selected on a competitive basis from applicants interested in conducting original research in the Du Bois Papers and other SCUA collections. The criteria for selection will include the potential of the proposal to contribute to scholarship; its fit with Du Boisian themes; the need for the use of SCUA’s collections; and a letter of support.  The application will consist of a brief (up to three pages) description of the research project, curriculum vitae, and the letter of support.  At the end of their consecutive four-week residency, fellows will deliver a public talk on their research.
For more information, contact Rob Cox, head of Special Collections and University Archives, at rscox@library.umass.edu, or (413) 545-6842.

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Society for Women in Philosophy Conference CfP (3/30/12)

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: March 7, 2012
  • Filed Under: Call for Papers

Society for Women in Philosophy (Eastern Division) April 28, 2012 Notre Dame of Maryland University Baltimore, MA

Conference Theme: Women in Philosophy: Why Race and Gender Still Matter

Keynote: “Whiteness and Women of Color in Feminist Theory or Considerations of Race and Sex Analogies in Contemporary Feminism,” Dr. Donna-Dale Marcano, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Trinity College.

The Eastern Division of the Society for Women in Philosophy invites submissions for its 2012 meeting to be held at Notre Dame of Maryland University on Saturday, April 28, 2012. This year’s conference theme is “Women in Philosophy: Why Race and Gender Still Matter.” Although “intersectionality,” the difficult yet productive attempt to theorize race, class, gender, disability, sexuality, etc. together, has been a conceptual framework for more than a decade in the U.S. academy, it is almost entirely absent as a recognized philosophical theme or framework within the larger discipline of philosophy. We invite submissions that promote and engage intersectionality, as well as submissions that bring attention to the work of woman philosophers and/or women in philosophy.

Deadline for Submission: Friday, March 30, 2012.

Please send a 250-300 word abstract to:
Maeve O’Donovan, modonovan@ndm.edu
Namita Goswami, namita.goswami@indstate.edu
Lisa Yount, yountlisa@gmail.com

Registration (includes lunch)
For non-members: $80
For members of ESWIP: $60
For graduate students and the underemployed: $40

To join ESWIP: http://www.savannahstate.edu/eswip/membership.shtml

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2 Positions at Kent, UK (31/03/12 & 01/04/12)

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: March 1, 2012
  • Filed Under: Job Ad

There are two lectureships just advertised at Kent that may be of interest

(1) School of Politics: Lectureship in Social and Political Thought

Closing date: 31st March

The job spec mentions a specialism in “history of political ideas and/or current post-structrualist and post-foundational political thought”.
However, the post is open to anyone who works in any aspect or approach of political philosophy.

http://jobs.kent.ac.uk/fe/tpl_kent01.asp?s=eziKhNSpCaRDiFfRax&jobid=36355,6514235614&key=25577100&c=615435564847&pagestamp=senvjrvvnaumlyyfwg

(2) School of Arts: Lectureship in Film Studies
Closing date: 1st April

The job spec is for anyone with interest in Film Studies. However, the School of Arts has a number of philosophically trained aestheticians across its departments, including Film, so a philosopher who could demonstrate knowledge and interest in Film Studies would be eligible.

http://jobs.kent.ac.uk/fe/tpl_kent01.asp?s=FoQnTYvIgXJoLlXgd&jobid=36396,3472025954&key=25577100&c=615435564847&pagestamp=seobahmujodurvtqhz

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Last Modified: March 1, 2012