CFP: Visible Margin
About a year ago, as I was trying to navigate through the sobering realities of a post-PhD life, I stumbled upon Bethany Nowvisky’s innovative site, #Alt-Academy. Nowvisky’s open access publication did much to change the conversation about alternative careers for PhD’s by focusing attention on narratives that represent true alternatives to the tenure track while also forgreounding the obstacles that alternative academics continue to face. I found in this site a welcome relief from the critiques of humanities graduate education of the “Just Don’t Go” variety (though they do make some valid points) as well as the binary of academic/post-academic–the latter, a commitment to completely move away from academic work.
Visible Margin, a subsection of #Alt-Academy, is informed by a democratic ideal of intellectual work which refuses to accept institutional barriers to intellectual production and exchange. Complementing the essays on the main site, Visible Margin will publish critical and creative work by graduate students, PhD’s, alternative academics, and anyone who wishes to participate in a rigorous yet open intellectual exchange (Please see the CFP below and on the website for more detail). The site seeks to increase the visibility of the growing majority of intellectual workers, while also broadening and revitalizing academic debates that have become overly insular and self-referential.
I am especially hoping that feminist scholars, writers, and artists will take the opportunity to contribute to Visible Margin. The question of gender in graduate education, “traditional,” and alternative academic paths remains under-explored, and feminist voices aren’t heard nearly often enough in this context. Yet as noted below, we would be happy to publish work virtually on any subject and are also looking for cluster editors. Please feel free to contact visible.margin [at] gmail.com with any inquiries.
Visible Margin is a new section of #Alt-Academy which will feature high-quality critical writing in the form of peer-reviewed essays and blog posts, as well as creative writing and work in other media.
One goal of Visible Margin is to provide an alternative space for PhDs and graduate students to share their ideas with a broader audience and to connect with others for the purpose of intellectual exchange and collaboration. In keeping with the theme of #Alt-Academy, we are especially interested in contributions from authors and scholars pursuing alternative, non-tenure track, and non-academic careers—individuals whose voices are heard less often within the academy. Complementing #Alt-Academy’s existing clusters, Visible Margin will focus on cultural and intellectual production, with the aim of increasing the visibility of this growing majority of knowledge workers and of democratizing knowledge within and outside the university. We also welcome contributions from non-academic writers who share our goals.
Call for Submissions:
We are interested in a variety of submissions, including essays, topical articles, blogs, reviews, fiction, poetry, visual art and multimedia work. The essays and articles will typically be within the author’s area of expertise and should be written in accessible, polished prose.
General topics for essays and articles may include but are not limited to:
- Arts and Culture: Anything from book and film reviews to critical or reflective essays on any topic within the arts and humanities.
- Politics and activism: current or historical issues or a combination of both.
- Science and Technology: digital publishing, digital humanities, discussion of recent innovations or any topic within this category.
- Academic Research: excerpts from recently undertaken research presented to an audience outside your discipline; reflections on research or the process of doing research while pursuing an alternative career.
- Writing and publishing: discussions of different forms of writing and publication; transition from academic to other kinds of writing; the publishing field; advantages and limitation of writing for academic and non-academic publications and audiences.
- Alternative academic careers: essays and edited groups of essays directly addressing this topic may be submitted to the existing clusters on #Alt-Academy’s main page. Review the cluster descriptions and follow the “How It Works” submission instructions.
Reviews: Reviews of recent books, films, or any other material of about 800 words in length are welcome. Reviews could also be part of a blog (see below).
Creative Work: High-quality fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, visual art and multimedia projects. While there are no specific guidelines for these genres, the work should be compatible with on-line publication and in line with the site’s focus on intellectual exchange.
Blogs: The publishing platform for #Alt-Academy, MediaCommons, supports blogging. If you would like to start a blog within the MediaCommons network and have it aggregated and listed as a part of Visible Margin, please submit a brief description of its scope and topics and a sample entry to the email address below. Blogs could be individual or collaborative and should be updated at least twice a month.
As part of the MediaCommons network, Visible Margin uses an innovative publish-then-filter submission process. To begin, create a MediaCommons account, log in, and click on Contribute to create and edit content. Once you have set the document’s status to ‘publish,’ it will have a stable URL and will be discoverable through #Alt-Academy‘s search engine. Contact the editors when your submission is ready for review and we will consider it for inclusion in the Visible Margin clusters. For additional information, please visit #Alt-Academy’s How It Works page. If you are having trouble with the submission system, you may also e-mail your work to visible.margin [at] gmail.com.