Monday, August 18, 2008

16.2 could something positive come from the professional sucker punch?

I just received an email from the editor of the journal whose book review editor so brusquely dismissed me. (And again, I never questioned the dismissal -- just the brusqueness.)

The book review editor is a junior faculty member at tier-two or tier-three doctoral-granting school (I am getting squishy on my Carnegie rankings) with several co-edited collections under his belt (some scholarly, some textbook).

Probably, there was some effort to "prove" himself in his tone with me.

(You can, I think, co-author and co-edit with giants in the field and become flush from the experience. You can also, as I have, do exactly the same and become very conscious of your fragility and weakness.)

. . .

The editor has been immensely gracious (in part, I think, because of the kind intervention of a friend). She needn't have been, though; I admire her, her journal, and her work. Some of this graciousness comes from a desire to defend the junior person, I think.

I am torn; this is clearly mucking about to greater complexity that it deserves. On the other hand, the editor has offered to talk with me on the phone when I return from Cambridge. She made the incredibly gracious effort of attempting to locate my home phone number, and, knowing that I am abroad, offered to call me here [impossible, as I have no phone] or even two weeks from now when I return.

I am just enough a shallow fanboy (as much a comic fanboy as a rhetoric fanboy) to be enthusiastic about any opportunity to speak with her, and to ask her questions about her work. But these are not the circumstances, are they? Or can I remold them in that way?

David

2 comments:

julie said...

I want to help by answering your questions, but the mystery of higher-ed status and politics baffles me, especially when the players' identities are cloaked, as here.

Sometimes I'm happy for my little community college, where no one expects anything like scholarship or thoughtfulness. We all just try to get along or ignore each other.

Sigh. I want something more, but not, perhaps, the more that you're experiencing?

David said...

It's funny, though; the way you describe the community college is exactly what this is.

It's about getting along or ignoring each other.

So you are probably better primed than I am for this!