A rhetoric and composition journal recently rejected a book review I sent them in part because I was not a member of their book review pool. I inquired as to how I might join that pool, offered to send a c.v., and so on.
This was the verbatim reply:
"Manuscript and book reviewers are primarily selected from the pool of folks who publish in [the journal] itself, along with the scholars who hold major positions in the field of r/c."
...followed by the signature of the email author.
1. Book reviews are service, not a throne to be attained. I am told repeatedly that it is a waste of my time to write them (though, I think, a social obligation to one's colleagues who produce good books or who need to know that good books exist).
2. It's true, I've never published in the journal. So: Is it more insulting that he left me to conclude that he didn't answer my question because I am not "major" enough? I have no illusions: I am a second-rate scholar at a second-rate school who gets by in the discipline by being willing to serve and having a good demeanor. But it was helpful to be presented with an incomplete syllogism that would force me to recognize my inadequacies.
3. I was drafting up a small thinkpiece about the importance of independent journals (which Comm has almost none of, rhet comp has more of, although they are fewer and fewer). (This was inspired by some posts at the JoshieJuice blog.) It's an important distinction and one that has inflected how rhetoric has grown up in both disciplines. This journal wasn't always like this -- maybe before T&F/Erbaum got a hold of them? Or am I over-reading what is likely just a temperamental thing of the current book review editor?
“A Broader Understanding of the Ethics of Listening: Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Media Studies and the Ethical Listening Subject.” International Journal of Listening 23.1 (2009): 7-20.
William Keith and David Beard. “What’s the Warrant for Warrants: Toulmin’s Rhetorical Logic.” Philosophy & Rhetoric 41.1 (2008): 22-50.
“On the Apocalyptic Columbine” (with Joshua Gunn). Southern Communication Journal 68:3 (Spring 2003) 198-216.
“On the Apocalyptic Sublime” (with Joshua Gunn). Southern Communication Journal 65:4 (Summer 2000) 269-286.
"Paul Virilio and the Mediation of Perception and Technology" (with Joshua Gunn). Enculturation 4.2 (Fall 2002).
Refereed Book Chapters
“Communicating with Audiences.” Contract signed for chapter in anthology with NCTE Press (edited by Brian Fehler et al).
“Rhetoric: A Multidisciplinary Major.” Chapter in anthology with USUP Press (edited by Greg Giberson, et al).
“Historiography and the Study of Rhetoric” (with Dr. Arthur Walzer). The Sage Handbook of Rhetorical Studies. Eds. Andrea A. Lunsford, Kirt H. Wilson, and Rosa A. Eberly. Los Angeles, Sage, 2009. 13-34.
“Rhetorical Theory: Major Figures in the Aristotelian Tradition” (with Dr. Arthur Walzer). Coming of Age: The Advanced Writing Curriculum. Eds. Linda K. Shamoon, Rebecca Moore Howard, Sandra Jamieson, and Robert A. Schwegler. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook 2000.
“More than 100 Years of Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota.” Composition Forum 18 (Summer 2008).
David Beard and Katelyn Vo Thi-Beard. “Rethinking the Book: New Theories for Readers’ Advisory.” Reference and User Services Quarterly 47.4 (Summer 2008): 331-335.
“Silver Age in Hidden Places: The Other Origin of Brainiac” (with Katelyn Hoa Vo Thi-Beard). International Journal of Comic Art 9.2 (Fall 2007).
“Out of the Aerie Realm of the Intellectual Firmament.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 93.3 (2008): 349-351.
“Diamond Data as Public Relations Tool.” The Comics Journal 283.
“Rhetorical Criticism, Holocaust Studies, and the Problem of Ethos” (A reply to “Ethos, Witness, and Holocaust ‘Testimony’” by Michael Bernard-Donals). JAC 20 (Fall 2000): 949-956 (see http://jac.gsu.edu/toc204.htm).
"Interchange (More Thoughts about Developing Quality Scholarship in Technical Communication)" ATTW Bulletin 8:2 (Spring 1998): 7.
Review of Making Sense of Political Ideology by Bernard Brock, et al., for Review of Communication. In press.
Review of Composition and the Rhetoric of Science by Michael Zerbe for Review of Communication. In press.
Review Essay on Daniel Gross’s Secret History of Emotion and Heidegger and Rhetoric. In Rhetoric Society Quarterly 2008): 109-112.
Review of Poetic Healing by Mark Huglen and Basil B. Clark, with an afterward by Bernard Brock. In Quarterly Journal of Speech 92:2 (2006): 232-235.
Review of Internal Rhetorics by Jean Nienkamp. In Rhetoric and Public Affairs 6:1 (Spring 2003): 206-208.
Review of Reading the Vampire Slayer: An Unofficial Critical Companion to Buffy and Angel edited by Roz Kaveney In Popular Communication 1:3 (2003): 189 – 191.
Review of Fearless Speech by Michel Foucault. In Rhetoric Society Quarterly (Summer 2002): 99-103.
Review of the anthologies Living Rhetoric and Composition and Twentieth-Century Rhetorics and Rhetoricians for Technical Communication Quarterly 11:1 (Spring 2002): 102-104.
Review of Double Fold by Nicholson Baker. In Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (Spring 2002): 85-90.
Review of Philosophy in the Flesh by George Lakoff. In Argumentation & Advocacy 38:1 (Summer 2001): 59-61.
Review of Selling the Holocaust by Tim Cole. In Critical Studies in Mass Communication 18:1 (March 2001): 120-122.
Review of Pandora’s Hope by Bruno Latour. In Rhetoric Society Quarterly 30:2 (2000): 104-107.
Review of Scientific Discourse in Sociohistorical Context by Dwight Atkinson. In Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 30:3 (2000): 281-285.
Review of A Short Rhetoric for Leaving the Family by Peter Dimock. In Rhetoric Review 18:1 (Fall 1999): 215-218.
Review of Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings Volume 1 (1913-1926). In Quarterly Journal of Speech 84:2 (May 1998): 256-258.
Review of A Teacher's Introduction to Composition in the Rhetorical Tradition and A Teacher's Introduction to Postmodernism (NCTE Teacher’s Introduction Series). In Rhetoric Society Quarterly 27:2 (1997): 88-90 (with Matt Segaard).