Sunday, August 13, 2017

Have a Little Fun with Semester Planning

Are you ready for the semester yet?


Sorry if that question provoked a panic attack, but I am sure I am not the first one to ask you. I know I have been asked at least a dozen times this month.

Preparing for the semester is rarely fun, and academics seldom feel ready when the semester begins. To change the mood a bit, in this post I will explain a few ways planning for the semester (or quarter) can actually be enjoyable.

For me, one fun aspect of semester planning is looking at my (relatively empty) calendar and scheduling things I enjoy as well as things that are good for me – before my calendar gets out of hand.

Untitled

Trying to find time for something fun in mid-October can be nearly impossible for many of us who work on a semester or quarter system. But, right now, my October calendar is looking relatively open. So, why not schedule in some fun stuff now before all my time is taken?

You may say to yourself each year that you are going to spend more time with your family or go to the gym more often. Putting it into your calendar now, however, makes that much more likely to happen.

Here are some ideas for things you can put in your calendar now that you not only will enjoy putting into your weekly template or semester plan, but also will enjoy when they happen.

Exercise
When are you going to exercise this semester? How about a jog or a walk every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning or afternoon? Why don’t you check out your gym’s Fall schedule and see when that awesome yoga or Zumba class is? Perhaps there are two days a week when you can bike to campus? Whatever it is, try putting a repeating event in your calendar now. Plan something feasible – something you know you will actually stick to.

Short Getaways with Friends or Family
My close friend and I try to plan at least one getaway to the beach every semester. We find a day that works and book one night at a hotel. We go somewhere fabulous for dinner, spend the night at the beach, go for a walk along the beach in the morning, and then head home. These trips are extremely rejuvenating. They can be super hard to plan due to our work travel and other commitments. But, now is the best time to plan them. If you can’t afford a night away at a hotel, perhaps you have a friend who lives near the beach or in a cabin in the mountains? Either way, looking at your calendar, when can you plan a quick getaway?

Date night or Friends night
When are you going to go out with your partner or your close friends for dinner or drinks? How about setting aside the time now? What would be ideal for you? Once a week? Once a month? Twice a semester? Whatever it is, make plans now so that you can ensure it happens.

Mini-Retreats
A mini-retreat is a day where you do not check email or social media, and instead, spend the day writing and doing things you enjoy. I explain those in more detail here. You can do these alone or with friends. The key is to plan the mini-retreat now, while you still have some open days in your calendar.

Doctors, Hair, and other Appointments
Okay, this might not be super fun. But, have you had your dentist, eye doctor, and doctor visit yet this year? When is the last time you had a haircut? You might be able to get some of these things done before classes start. At the very least, you can make the appointments now so that you can get those appointments at a convenient time. Personally, I hate going to the dentist, but if I make my appointments well in advance I can get a late-afternoon appointment so that at least I don’t have to go back to work after my visit to the dentist.

So, think about it: what are some fun things you can work into your calendar – while there is still some empty space in it?

Finally, if you are thinking way ahead and want to sign up for our writing retreat in Peru, there are still a few spots left! Now, that would be something to look forward to!

I wish you all the best with your semester planning and I hope you are able to put some things in your calendar other than classes, meetings, and work trips. Let me know in the comments what you have planned.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mini-Retreats: Writing Blissfully During Busy Times

I began my summer with a fabulous writing retreat with 21 other women in Bali. During that week of bliss, we woke up each morning, had a healthy and delicious breakfast, meditated, and then wrote until lunch. In the afternoons, we shared work with the brilliant participants, and then went on a little adventure.

My goal with that retreat, which I organized with my amazing colleague, Ayu Saraswati, is to show people how it really is possible to be amazingly productive and enjoy life at the same time. This all seemed quite possible while we were in Bali. I am usually able to maintain a similar schedule in the summer when I have few responsibilities. But, how can this practice translate into the semester?

Writing in Bali with an amazing view!
Is it possible to maintain this level of peacefulness, focus, and productivity when the demands of the semester ramp up? The answer to this depends in part on your schedule during the academic year, and in part on your perspective.

Being calm, focused, and productive is very important to me. So, this semester, in addition to all of the practices that I usually incorporate, I plan to have a one-day mini-retreat of my own at least twice a month. I'd like to say that I will do it every week, but I know that is not feasible. So, I will aim for twice a month.

I teach on Mondays and Wednesdays, and usually have meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so Fridays seem like a logical day to carve out for my mini-retreats. I put "mini-retreat" in my calendar for every Friday, and then went through and deleted the ones I know will not happen due to travel and other commitments.

So, what will I do on my mini-retreat days?

First of all, I will not check email or social media on the morning of my mini-retreat days. This is hard for me, but experience tells me it is the best way to be productive and peaceful.

My house is fairly busy in the mornings with my husband and three kids getting ready for their day. So, I will exercise in the morning while they are still in the house. This may include a jog or a yoga class, depending on the weather and the gym schedule. I will then enjoy breakfast with my husband and remind him that today is a mini-retreat day.

I will begin my writing day at 9am with ten minutes of meditation. I will then use the pomodoro technique and get in at least 5 25-minute writing sessions. Then, I will pause to make and enjoy a delicious healthy lunch. I will then spend the afternoon doing something I enjoy either alone or with someone I enjoy spending time with. There are several beautiful hiking spots within an hour's driving distance from me, so I may go to one of those. I also could go for a swim, to a yoga class, or get a pedicure. The point is to do something I enjoy doing in the afternoon.

I will have to plan some of my afternoon activities in advance so I need to make sure to make plans ahead of time. I may even plan some of these mini-retreat days out of town with some of my lovely friends who live in beautiful places.

What about you: do you think you can work a mini-retreat into your semester schedule? I am sure you can pull off at least one well-timed mini-retreat - especially if you put it into your calendar now. Most of you can likely make once a month happen. And, if you are on sabbatical, this could be your everyday routine!

Finally, if you are interested in the weeklong retreats that Ayu and I host, the next one will be in Peru! My husband is Peruvian and I did my dissertation research in Peru. It is one of my favorite countries, and we are going to one of my favorite spots in Peru - the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You can find out more about our academic writers retreat for women on this website. And you can sign up for the June 2018 trip here.

Attending the writing retreat each year is a great way to renew my commitment to these practices, to nurture my creativity, and to remind myself of the joys of the life of the mind. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

How I Created an Edited Volume in Record Time: Less Than Two Years from Idea to Print

Many academics will tell you to steer away from creating an edited volume. Yet, judging by academic catalogs, clearly, some academics continue to create edited books. Why would any academic pull together an edited volume?

The reason is that there are some cases when creating an edited volume makes sense. I recently edited a volume for Oxford University Press and I will explain in this post why I did it, how I did it, and why I am extremely gratified to have edited this book.

I decided to create Forced Out and Fenced In: Immigration Tales From the Field because I had an abundance of rich stories from my research with deportees that I wanted to share. I thought about writing a popular book that highlighted deportees’ stories, but I did not think that I had enough stories to fill a book. Moreover, I had just published a book based on deportees’ stories and did not want to try and spin another book out of that research. I did, however, want to reach a broad readership with the stories.

As I thought about how to get these stories out to a broader audience, I asked myself if other researchers might also have stories that needed to be told. It turns out they did! When I reached out to my colleagues, I received an enthusiastic response both regarding the desire to tell these stories and to hear the stories of others affected by immigration law enforcement.

In this case, it made sense to edit a volume as opposed to writing a monograph because I wanted to highlight a broad range of stories of people affected by immigration law enforcement, and I wanted a combination of historical and contemporary stories. This kind of project requires a team.

It is also critical that the team was excited. This book gave the contributors an opportunity to share parts of their research that may not fit into a typical academic article or even a monograph. Forced Out and Fenced In highlights people’s stories. The argument and historical context form the backdrop. The contributors were excited about the opportunity to try a different kind of academic writing.

This enthusiasm then translated into what might be the most seamless production of an edited volume in the history of book publishing. Forced Out and Fenced In: Immigration Tales From the Field was created in what must be record time due to the enthusiasm of the contributors and the extraordinary efforts of the team at Oxford.

This volume took only a year to put together—practically lightning speed in academic publishing. In early September 2015, I sent a note to Oxford University Press editor Sherith Pankratz to ask if she might be interested in an edited book on immigration enforcement. She said she was. In mid-September, I sent a query out to twenty-five scholars. By mid-October, twenty-one of them responded and said they were willing to contribute essays. The other four politely declined. I wrote a full proposal and sent it to Sherith, along with a sample contribution. She got back to me with reviews in mid-December 2015. By January 2016, we signed a contract.

I then reached out to the contributors and asked them to send me their contributions by mid-March. If you have ever worked with academic authors, you will find the next sentence surprising. All of them sent in their chapter drafts on time. We sent the full manuscript out for review, asked the authors for revisions, and they consistently met every single deadline multiple times. This is practically unheard of in academia. By mid-October 2016, every single author had sent me the final version of their chapters and we were able to get this book into production by the end of November 2016.

The book was released in June 2017 – less than two years from idea to publication—which must break all kinds of records for edited volumes in academia. I was fortunate to have secured contributors who are not only at the top of the field, but are also timely and responsive.

In case you are curious, the Table of Contents is below. If you are in the humanities or social sciences, you will see that I was able to recruit an amazing group of folks!




Foreword - Roberto Lovato
Introduction: Forced Out and Fenced In - Tanya Golash-Boza

Part I: Migration Histories: How Did We Get Here?
1. Wong Foon Chuck: Making Home in the Borderlands between China, the United States, and Mexico - Elliott Young
2. Lost in Translation - Mae M. Ngai
3. Rebel, Deportee, Governor: The Life of Antonio I. Villarreal - Kelly Lytle Hernández
4. Mexican Migrants, Family Separation, and US Immigration Policy since 1942 - Adam Goodman
Part II: Families Torn Apart: How Do Deportation Laws Affect Families?
5. Becoming American - Lisa M. Martinez
6. ’Til Law Do Us Part: Immigration Policy and Mixed-Status Family Separation - Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz
7. Double Jeopardy: Deportation and the Life-Course Rituals of Twin Sisters - Kara Cebulko
Part III: Living Without Papers: How Do Undocumented People Navigate the Challenges They Face?
8. The Law Doesn’t Care About Love: Intimate Relationships in Cities with Restrictive Immigration Laws - Angela S. García
9. “It’s a Strange Condition”: Being in College Under a Cloud of Uncertainty - John S. W. Park
10. How Will I Get My Skull Back? The Embodied Consequences of Immigrant Policing - Nolan Kline
Part IV: Seeking Refuge: What Does It Take to Get Asylum in the United States?
11. “Is This America?”: Asylum-Seeking in an Era of Humanitarian Decline - Sarah M. Lakhani
12. When American Dreams Are Shattered - Tanya Golash-Boza
13. The Power of Law: How Immigration Policy Shapes Salvadorans’ Experience of Family and Motherhood - Maya Pagni Barak
Part V: Gendered Exclusions: How Are Deportation Experiences Gendered?
14. Gendered Exclusion: Three Generations of Women Deported to the Dominican Republic - Yolanda C. Martin
15. Caging Paloma: Illegality and Violence Along the United States–Mexico Border - Heidy Sarabia
16. The Ripple Effects of US Immigration Enforcement: A Young Mexican Deportee’s Story of Isolation, Precarity, and Resilience - Christine Wheatley
Part VI: Deporting DREAMers: How Do “American” Youth Navigate Their Lives in Mexico after Deportation?
17. I Used to Believe in Justice - Juan Carlos Guevara, Angela Stuesse, and Mathew Coleman
18. No Place Like Home: From High School Graduation to Deportation - Alexis M. Silver
19. Call Centers, Transnational Mobility, and (Neoliberal) Citizenship - Jill Anderson
Part VII: Returning “Home”: What Happens to Migrants Who Return to the United States After Being Deported?
20. No hay otro: An Ecuadorian Tale of Repeated US Immigration - Nancy Hiemstra
21. Barred Por Vida: María Inez’s Battle to Find Health and Well-Being - San Juanita García
22. Sergio Rodriguez’s Dream Deferred: Illegality, Deportation, and the Long-Term Impacts of Lives in Limbo - Roberto G. Gonzales
Epilogue



Friday, May 19, 2017

Work/Life Balance as an Academic Mama of Teens: Seven Strategies to Keep You Sane

When I started writing Get a Life, PhD, my twins were eight years old and my youngest was five. Thus, much of my blog has been from the perspective of an academic mother with elementary school children. Today, seven years after I first began blogging, my twins are finishing up the tenth grade and my youngest is about to finish the seventh grade.

Yep - three teenagers!
So, what is it like to be an academic mom of teens? If you are a long-time reader of my blog, you may know that my children have had an unconventional childhood, having lived in several cities, spent a year traveling to four countries with me to do research, and spending every summer traveling. My worldly teenagers, nevertheless, have the same set of needs as do most teenagers, and I have had to learn to balance out their needs with mine.
While the children have grown up, my career has also progressed and my work now requires me to be on campus a lot more for committee meetings than when I was an Assistant Professor. Moreover, my career involves a significant amount of travel, especially short trips to lecture about my most recent book on deportations. This spring semester, for example, I have visited twelve campuses, gone to two multi-day out-of-town academic meetings, and three single-day out-of-town academic meetings.
All this travel certainly takes away from family time, and teenagers need quality time with their parents for healthy emotional development. My teens, like all teens, have had their ups and downs and have at times sought out a close relationship and other time avoided me. My goal has been to make it clear that I am available when they need me and that I care about them. So, how do I keep my career moving forward and still maintain a close relationship with my teenage children?
Strategy 1: Find small pockets of time during the week
It is hard to have lots of time together during the week not only due to my work schedule, but also because my kids are busy too. The twins leave the house early in the morning for school, and don’t come home until 7:00pm after swim practice. The seventh grader has gymnastics practice three days a week and doesn’t get home until around 8:00pm on those days. Most days, nevertheless, we do eat dinner together, and have a no-electronics rule at the table, which leaves room for conversation. And, about once a week the kids are finished with their homework early enough for us to squeeze in an episode of a television show we are watching together. I let the kids pick the shows we watch and our current favorite show is Jane the Virgin. Watching TV together may not be the best bonding activity ever, but it provides a basis for conversation both during the show and at other times.
Strategy 2: Limit working on weekends
I try very hard to not work on weekends. Sometimes I will spend Saturday mornings cleaning out my email inbox but I try to get that done Friday afternoons to leave ample time to spend with my family on weekends. Often we use this weekend time to get chores done and hang out together. Sometimes we will take a short trip or go shopping. If I am traveling, I try to return home in time to be home for at least one full day over the weekend so I have time to spend with my family.
Strategy 3: Travel with the teens
If I am traveling somewhere for work that is within driving distance, I try to find ways to bring the family with me. For example, I recently was invited to give a talk at a liberal arts college in Southern California, which is within driving distance from my home. I brought the family with me, and the kids took a campus tour while I was giving my talk. And, we used the honorarium money to treat ourselves to tickets to Universal Studios the next day. That trip was an ideal example of work/life balance, and we had lots of bonding time together. Next year, when the twins are juniors, I hope to take them on a few more trips as they will be thinking more seriously about college. I also always take the whole family when I go on extended research trips.

Selfie with my teen daughter at Universal Studios

Strategy 4: Take advantage of the summers
The summertime is when we get some serious family time together. I have already written about summer hours - - where I describe writing and doing research four hours a day during the summer, leaving the afternoons to spend time with my children. In addition, since I earned tenure, we have been taking four full weeks off during the summer, where I am not working at all. This year, we are traveling around Southeast Asia and I will not even have my laptop with me. As we are getting close to the age where the kids will go off to college, these summers together feel more important than ever.
Strategy 5: Use public or shared resources to relieve some of the burden
One of main challenges with raising teens is feeling like a taxi driver – as public transportation is not always available to shuttle children around. I grew up in Washington, DC, and my father was a bus driver, so I was on the city bus to and from school and after-school activities starting at age 7. Alas, the small town we live in now does not have a great public transportation network like many cities do. So, we end up having to drive the kids around. But, we also work to minimize that. My youngest daughter has gymnastics three days a week but we rely on a car pool, and thus only have to drive her (and her two friends) across town once a week. Her school is also one mile away, so she can walk most days. The twins’ school is 1.5 miles away so they can walk sometimes too. But, what helps a lot with them is that they take advantage of in-school programming, which greatly limits the amount of chauffeuring we need to do. They have in-school afterschool tutors that help with homework and they are on the high school swim team, which means that they don’t need rides to practice.
Some parents may feel compelled to help kids with homework, but I have found that doing so just brings added stress and tension into the household. Having the kids use the in-school tutors to help them with math problems that I don’t know how to do anyway is not only more effective – it also teaches them to be more independent and to seek out the help they need.
Strategy 6: One-on-one time
Hanging out with all three of my girls can be tons of fun, and I love to watch them interact together. They can be quite a riot. However, it is important to also have some one-on-one time. This can vary from taking a short walk with one of my girls, to going to a coffee shop, to taking a day-trip together. A few weeks ago, my youngest daughter and I took the Amtrak to San Francisco and had a great time bonding, eating, and searching for the perfect souvenir.
Strategy 7: Keep work trips as short as possible
I am the first to admit that my travel schedule is out of control. (I do have a plan in place to limit my travel, so hopefully this will get better soon.) In the meantime, I have figured out that I can do a lot to limit my work trips. I don’t always have to stay for the full duration of a conference like I used to. I don’t need to agree to spend three days on campus when one day will do. I can set limits around my availability so that I am home in time to see my family. In October, for example, I was invited to give a keynote in Guatemala. It was a great opportunity for me and an exciting challenge to deliver a keynote in Spanish. I took a close look at my calendar and figured out I could leave on Sunday, spend a full day at the conference on Monday, and be back by Tuesday evening. Thus, I agreed to the invitation on those conditions. And, I even enjoyed the short trip and got tons of work done on the plane! When I only had one or two trips a semester, I often extended them out a bit. But, now that I have several, I keep them as short as possible to get home and see my family.
What strategies do you use to balance work and life when you have teenagers at home? What challenges do you face? I look forward to learning from you in the comments.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Speaking as an Academic: What to expect when you are invited to share your work

One of the joys of academic life is inviting speakers to campus and getting invited to other campuses to speak. You may be an academic who is constantly jet-setting from one campus to another or you may never have received an invitation to speak at another campus. Either way, you may have questions about what happens during these (non-interview-related) campus visits. You may also have questions about honoraria, as these vary widely. Some academics have speaker fees of thousands of dollars. Some have never received more than $500 as an honorarium. And others have given plenty of talks yet never been paid. (Based on a non-scientific Twitter poll I conducted, very few academics have ever been paid more than $2,000 as an honorarium, and many have never been compensated.)
TEDxOhioStateUniversity Speaker Dinner
I have given over fifty invited talks (paid and unpaid) and invited just as many people to my own campuses. This semester alone, I have given ten public lectures (like this one). Based on this experience, I offer some basic guidelines regarding these visits. These guidelines are meant to be useful both to invitees and inviters.

Speaker for a Seminar or Colloquium
An invitation to share your work in a seminar or colloquium will look great on your CV If you are on the tenure-track or desire to be. External letters for tenure often will say something along the lines of: “She has been invited to give 11 talks at other campuses, an indication of her visibility and prestige in the field.” These invitations continue to be important for considerations for promotion to full professor. You also can give a presentation with the hope of generating feedback to help move your thinking forward. If you are presenting on published work, giving a talk is a great way to get the word out about your work and to continue the conversation.
The audience for most of these talks are your peers – local graduate students and faculty members. Giving seminars and colloquia at other universities is a rewarding part of academia and many faculty members do not expect a generous honorarium for these sorts of seminars. If you are considering inviting a colleague to give a talk in a colloquium or seminar series, I suggest trying to find room in the budget for an honorarium because people often use these extra funds to pay for childcare and other non-reimbursable costs associated with their travel.
My understanding of general practice for these kinds of talks is that the honoraria for seminars or colloquia range from $0 to $500 yet that this varies by field. In some fields, honoraria are simply not the norm. In others, a small honorarium is expected.
Although a $500 honorarium is much appreciated, if you are deciding whether or not to accept an invitation that comes with an honorarium of $500 or less, money should not be the primary motivating factor. It rarely is worth $500 to prepare a talk, get on a plane, spend a day on another campus, and get back home exhausted. Instead, these sorts of talks should bring other, non-monetary, benefits. There are plenty of reasons to give a presentation that have nothing to do with money.
For these kinds of visits, travel expenses are covered, speakers are usually expected to spend the day on campus, meet with colleagues, and deliver their talk.
Invited, Plenary, and Keynote Speakers for a Campus Conference
When speakers are invited to participate in a conference on a college or university campus, the travel expenses are often (but not always) reimbursed. In some cases, speakers are given a small honorarium. The speakers are expected to participate in the full conference – sharing their work as well as listening to the work of others.
When the conference is large enough to have breakout sessions, there may be plenary speakers. These speakers will speak on a panel together in a room with the entire conference audience. If there is room in the conference budget, plenary speakers are often given an honorarium.
Many campus-based conferences will also include a keynote speaker who is well-known in the field. They will include this speaker on their program as part of the advertisement for the conference and the speaker will be expected to deliver a longer lecture – 45 to 60 minutes – to the entire conference audience.
Keynote speakers often get an honorarium. The size of this honorarium will depend on the resources of the host, the connection of the host to the campus, and the prestige of the keynote speaker. The honorarium will usually be larger than that given to conference speakers or speakers for departmental colloquia. Honoraria for keynotes usually start at $1,000 and go up from there. Nevertheless, academics rarely accept these kinds of invitations just for the money. Instead, they do it for the opportunity to exchange ideas with people in their subfield and to add a prestigious line to their CV. However, if you are seeking out a speaker who receives multiple invitations a year, offering a larger honorarium may make them more likely to agree to keynote your event rather than another. (If you receive more invitations to speak than you can accept, the amount of the honoraria can often help you decide which ones to accept.)
The expectation is that the conference, plenary, and keynote speakers will be involved in all conference activities. People will be disappointed if the keynote speaker just drops in to give their lecture and leave. A good keynote or plenary speaker will give an engaging talk that relates closely to the conference theme and engage with other conference participants for the duration of the conference, including participating in any meals or receptions.
Public Lecture
A public lecture is one where you are expected to speak for about an hour to a large audience, and then to take questions. There is a relatively small subset of academics who give these kinds of talks because they require a specific skill set. Delivering these talks requires the ability to deliver an engaging lecture that appeals to undergraduate students. If you are working on a timely topic, you are more likely to receive these sorts of invitations. Students are more likely to come out for a talk on extinction, climate change, human trafficking, or racial justice than on the nuances of Shakespeare or Beethoven.
Unlike conferences or departmental seminars, the audience for these talks will include more than professors and graduate students. In many cases, undergraduate students will make up the majority of attendees. In other cases, community members will also come out to hear the talk. Thus, your work (and presentation style) must appeal to a broader audience.
There is a relationship between the honorarium and the expected size and nature of the audience. If you are asked to give a public lecture with an audience of over 100 people, including many undergraduate students, it is reasonable to expect an honorarium of $1000 or more. If you are giving a talk that will attract 500 audience members, in my view, the honorarium should reflect that.
Distinguished Lecture
A Distinguished Lecture is a bit different from a public lecture. A distinguished lecture often comes with a large honorarium and generally includes a day-long (or even a multi-day) visit including the lecture, meals with colleagues, class visits, Q&A sessions, and other opportunities to interact with colleagues. Distinguished lecturers tend to be prestigious and well-known academics. One example would be an annual prize given out by a university to a person who has made groundbreaking achievements in their field. Another example would be an annual named distinguished lecture. Basically, you must be prestigious and well-known to get these invitations. The audience will vary depending on the nature of the invitation, but you can generally expect a larger percentage of the audience to be faculty members for a distinguished lecture than for a public lecture.
Contracted Speaker from an Agency
Contracted agency speakers are a whole different ballgame. This website, for example, says that fees for Professor Henry Louis Gates begin at $40,000, making Professor Marc Lamont Hill’s fees of $10,000 to $20,000 seem like a bargain. The reason these academics can charge this much is because their lecture will take place in one of the largest rooms on campus and the tickets are likely to sell out. These professors are widely known outside their discipline and even outside academia. Both Professor Gates and Professor Hill regularly appear on television and have broad name recognition. This enhances their ability to draw a large crowd, And, there is often a relationship between the size of the audience and the size of the honorarium.
Contracted Workshop with an Individual or Organization
In addition to public speakers, there are some academics and organizations who do workshops designed to attend to an institutional need. Here, the audience will be smaller, but the speakers serve as paid consultants and often charge substantial fees. A full-day workshop by an speaker from the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity will cost $9,500. Other academics do workshops on teaching and publishing that cost several thousand dollars. And organizations such as the OpEd project contract with campuses to deliver workshops.


As you can see, there is a lot of variation in the amount academics are compensated to speak at colleges and universities. This variation depends in large part on the prestige of the speaker, the nature of the invitation, the size of the audience, and whether you are dealing directly with a speaker or contracting through an agency.
To be sure, these musings are based on my personal experience, and thus may be biased towards the social sciences and the humanities and towards public universities where I have spent all of my academic career. I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments about types of campus visits and honoraria.

N.B. A version of this post was published in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Year in the Life of a Tenured Professor: 2016 in review

Academics, like many people, often focus on what is right in front of us. However, much of our work takes years to complete. My book that came out last year, for example, began with a proposal I wrote in 2008! Insofar as many of us are perpetually behind and barely meeting deadlines, it can feel as though we are unproductive, even when we are getting things done.

For these reasons, at the end of each calendar year, I like to reflect on what I have accomplished during the year. And, occasionally, I publish these reflections on this blog, as I did in 2012.

In 2016, my biggest accomplishment for the year is an edited volume, which will come out from Oxford University Press next Fall. That project is unusual as most of the work was completed during the calendar year of 2016. Another thing I can say I did this year is I drafted three (similar) 5-page grant proposals to request seed funding for my new project on incarceration. I also drafted and got under review two co-authored articles and three book chapters. At least half of what I did this year, then, is still under review. On the other hand, I have several articles that came out this year that required little to no effort in 2016.

This reality makes it difficult to get a handle on what I actually accomplished this calendar year. I thus find it useful to break down my accomplishments by category of effort expended in 2016. This spectrum ranges from projects I began in 2016 to articles that appeared in 2016 with no effort on my part at all.

Here is a list of works I started in 2016 and their current stages.

Works I started and finished in 2016 (for the most part)

  1. Edited volume for OUP – in production.
  2. Short article with C RnRed
  3. Article w Z and B under review
  4. Three small grants for mass incarceration project drafted and under review
  5. Short article in Spanish written and published
  6. Book chapter on DR w YC written and accepted
  7. Book chapter on racism and deportation drafted and submitted
  8. OUP Race textbook second edition first complete round of revisions
  9. 7 online essays published

There are also two pieces that were accepted in 2016. These pieces involved significant revisions of works started in a previous year.

Works accepted in 2016 (that involved substantial revisions this year)

  1. ERS article w Z accepted
  2. Obama book chapter finished and accepted
  3. Book chapter for my edited volume revised and accepted

Then, there are three articles I learned were accepted in 2016, but for which most (but not all) of the work was done in previous years.

Works accepted in 2016 (where most of the work was done in a prior year

  1. 2016. “Parallels Between Mass Incarceration and Mass Deportation: An Intersectional Analysis” Journal of World-Systems Research 22.2: 484-509 Download here.
  2. 2016. “Feeling Like a Citizen, Living as a Denizen: Deportees’ Sense of Belonging” American Behavioral Scientist doi: 10.1177/0002764216664943 Download here.
  3. 2016. ““Negative Credentials,” “Foreign-Earned” Capital, and Call Centers: Guatemalan Deportees’ Precarious Reintegration” Citizenship Studies Download here.

Additionally, there are pieces that required no effort in 2016, but that came out this past year. (I can't even remember when I wrote #4 - maybe three years ago?)

Works published in 2016 where all the work was done in prior years.

  1. 2016. “A Critical and Comprehensive Sociological Theory of Race and Racism” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 2: 2. Read online here
  2. 2016. “Racialized and Gendered Mass Deportation and the Crisis of Capitalism” Symposium on Race and Ethnicity in the Capitalist World-System Journal of World-Systems Research. Read online here
  3. 2016. “National Insecurities: The Apprehension of Criminal and Fugitive Aliens” The Immigrant Other: Lived Experiences in a Transnational World Edited by: Rich Furman, Greg Lamphear, and Douglas Epps. Columbia University Press.
  4. 2016. “Peru” The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism, First Edition. Edited by y John Stone, Rutledge M. Dennis, Polly S. Rizova, Anthony D. Smith, and Xiaoshuo Hou.
  5. 2016. Review of Beneath the Surface of White Supremacy: Denaturalizing U.S. Racisms Past and Present by Moon-Kie Jung in Political Science Quarterly.

Finally, there are several works that involved research, reading, and writing, yet are not publications.

Work that is not publications but involved research and writing
  1. 9 interviews for new project completed
  2. 4 external P&T reviews
  3. 28 article, book, and grant reviews
  4. 2 grant panel reviews
  5. Read and took notes on 12 books on mass incarceration
  6. 3 Get a Life, PhD campus workshops
  7. 1 keynote in Spanish
  8. 4 invited public lectures on Deported
  9. 4 conference presentations
  10. 18 letters of recommendations

2016 was a relatively light teaching year for me yet teaching relief was replaced with a heavy service burden as I launched our Faculty Equity Advisor Program. I did not teach in the Spring of 2016 and I taught two classes in the Fall of 2016. Throughout the year, I maintained a writing schedule of one to two hours a day. I rarely wrote for less than one hour and hardly ever wrote for more than two, even when I wasn't teaching.

I always marvel and how much you can accomplish when you focus for an hour or two each day on writing. After taking account of what I have done, I can say that 2016 was a success and I can take my well-deserved end of the year two-week vacation! See you in 2017!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Seven Steps to your First Article Submission to an Academic Journal

If you are on the brink of submitting your first article to an academic journal, congratulations! This is an exciting step in your career. In this post, I will go through the steps of submitting your first article.

  1. Find a suitable journal. This is the most important step and one you should seek advice on from knowledgeable experts. Ask at least one person who has read the latest version of your manuscript if the journal you have selected is appropriate. If you are still unsure, you can send a brief (two or three sentence) query letter to the journal editor to inquire about fit.
  2. Follow the submission instructions. Once you have selected your target journal, go to their webpage and look for instructions on how to submit. That page will have specific guidelines you must follow. These guidelines range from font to format to references to length. Follow all of the guidelines exactly. If the website has a document that says “Guidelines for authors,” read it.
  3. Get your article in the best shape you can. Review your article several times to make sure that there are no errors. Double check all in-text citations to make sure they are properly cited in the reference section. Make sure you have spelled all proper nouns (author and university names) properly. (Check out this post for a description of ‘rookie mistakes’ and how to avoid them.)
  4. De-identify yourself in the manuscript. Most journals prefer that if you cite yourself, you don’t name yourself. Instead, you will write (Author 2012) and omit that entry from the bibliography during the submission process.
  5. Write a brief and courteous cover letter. Your cover letter should be on letterhead. Address the Editor by name. (You can find their name on the website.) Provide the title of the article, the word count, and a brief statement of fit with the journal. Thank the Editor for their consideration.
  6. Submit your article to the journal and wait for a response.
  7. Wait some more. Journal review processes take time. You should be able to find out the norms in your discipline. In my discipline, after three months, it is acceptable to send a brief inquiry to the managing editor to inquire about the status of the manuscript. If you submit this inquiry, be polite.
When you finally receive a response, it will usually fall in one of four categories:
  • Accept. A straightforward accept is highly unusual and even more so for an early-career scholar. But, it does happen sometimes.
  • Conditional accept. Some journals will issue a conditional acceptance where they ask you to make specific revisions prior to publication. This is a very favorable outcome, although also fairly uncommon on a first submission. Once you make those revisions, the editor will review the manuscript in-house and publish the article if your revisions are satisfactory.
  • Revise and resubmit. This is a great outcome and has given you a real shot at publication. I have a detailed post explaining how to respond to this kind of response. I suggest you check it out.
  • Reject. Rejections, unfortunately, are very common in academia. So, hopefully, this won’t be your last rejection. The more rejections you get, the more you are submitting. There are two kinds of rejections – a desk reject and a rejection after review. If you get a desk reject, it is likely either because the article is not ready to be submitted or because you sent it to the wrong journal. The editor’s letter should indicate whether it is a question of quality or fit. A rejection after review takes longer, but often comes with helpful reviews. If you get one of these, I suggest following many of the steps that I suggest in the Revise and Resubmit post before submitting to another journal.

Publishing is the main currency of academia. It is not easy, but it is the singular most important thing you can do, especially as an early career academic. So, don’t give up!