Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Time for Pause and Celebration: 2012 in Review

At the end of each annual year, I like to step back and take stock of what I have accomplished during the year. This permits me to acknowledge all I am doing, to take pride in what I have accomplished, and to relieve some of the anxiety of the never-ending pressure to do more. When I review all I have accomplished it becomes apparent that I do not need to work any faster or harder, as I have accomplished so much during the year. It also becomes clear that my end of the year break is well-deserved.


This past year has been very fast-paced. I gave fourteen public lectures or presentations at universities around the country. I spent two months of the summer traveling and researching in Peru. I moved to a new university and a new town. And, I took over as chair of the Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities of the American Sociological Association.

I was usually able to maintain my pace of writing for two hours a day when I was not on the road, and about 30 minutes a day when I was. Let’s look at what I was able to accomplish over the past year.

Rewards in academia are rare, and are often long in the making. I will begin with the most tangible outcomes, even though these are largely the product of previous years’ work.


I have two new books in print, and my first book was released in paperback. This, of course, is the result of effort in prior years, but it is important to take note of the final products.

2012. Due Process Denied: Detentions and Deportations in United States. Routledge: New York.

2012. Immigration Nation: Raids, Detentions and Deportations in Post-911 America. Paradigm Publishers: Boulder, CO.

My book that originally appeared in 2011 – Yo Soy Negro: Blackness in Peru – came out in paperback and received positive reviews in two major journals.

Articles, Book Chapters and Shorter Pieces

I also had an article, a book chapter and two short pieces appear in print this year. I wrote the book chapter over a year ago. I started the article in 2011, but had to revise it for resubmission this year. Finally, I have two short pieces that I wrote and submitted this year, and that also came out this year. Here is what I have in print in 2012:

2012. “Causes and Consequences of International Migration: Sociological Evidence for the Right to Mobility” (Cecilia Menjívar, second author) International Journal of Human Rights.

2012. “International Migration” Handbook of Sociology and Human Rights, edited by David L. Brunsma, Keri E. Iyall Smith, and Brian K. Gran. Paradigm Publishers.

2012. “Ethnopoetics: A Jamaican Deportee Tells His Story” Societies without Borders 7:3.

2012. “What does a Sociology without Borders Look Like?” Societies without Borders 7:4.


I also have six pieces that are forthcoming in 2013: two articles, two book chapters, and two short essays. I began writing all of them in 2011. I did some work on them in 2012, and received confirmation that they would be forthcoming this year.

Forthcoming. “Forced Transnationalism: Transnational Coping Strategies and Gendered Stigma among Jamaican Deportees” Global Networks.

Forthcoming. “‘It Was Only a Joke’: How Racial Humor Fuels Race-blind Ideologies in Mexico and Peru” Sue, Christina and Tanya Golash-Boza. Ethnic and Racial Studies.

Forthcoming. “Fourteen Months, Four Countries, and Three Kids: Tales from the Field” In: Artificial Divide: Family and Work in Everyday Ethnography. Editors: Tamara Mose Brown and Joanna Dreby. Temple University Press.

Forthcoming. “From Legal to “Illegal”: The Deportation of Legal Permanent Residents from the United States” In Immigrant Illegality: Constructions, Critiques, and Resistance. Edited by: Cecilia Menjívar and Daniel Kanstroom. Cambridge University Press.

Forthcoming. “More Than ‘A Hidden Race’: The Complexities of Blackness in Mexico and Peru” Review Essay of Black in Latin America Film by Henry Louis Gates. (Christina A. Sue, first author). Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies.

Forthcoming. “Does Racial Formation Theory Lack the Conceptual Tools to Understand Racism?” Ethnic and Racial Studies.

Under Review

I have one article that I submitted in 2012 that is still under review. This is an article that my co-author and I were able to write, submit, and resubmit all in this calendar year.

Under Review. “Latino Immigrant Men and the Deportation Crisis: A Gendered Racial Removal Program?” Golash-Boza, Tanya and Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo. Revise and Resubmit from Latino Studies.


Finally, I have two books that I continue to work on. These are a bit hard to quantify as I seem to always be writing, revising, cutting, and sending things to my editors. However, I suppose I can say that I wrote five chapters of the race book this year and have moved four chapters of the deportee book into final version.

2014. Race and Racisms: A Critical Approach Oxford University Press: New York. (Under contract – 9 of 15 chapters completed).

In progress: Deported: Controlling Global Flows of Labor and Capital (Introduction plus 3 of 7 chapters completed).

Wow. That’s a lot. I wonder if I can quantify what I have done this year. I think there are two main categories of writing – drafting and revising.

I drafted 41,000 new words.
- 4 chapters of Race: 4*8000 = 32000 words.
- 3 short pieces = 5000 words
- ½ of a co-authored article: 4000 words

I revised substantially 40,000 words.
- 4 chapters of the Deported book = 32000 words
- ½ of a co-authored article = 4000 words
- ½ of another co-authored article = 4000 words

I also wrote about 30 blog entries for an additional 24,000 words. Whew. That’s a lot of words. As always, however, I almost never write for more than two hours a day. And, I took several writing-free breaks while traveling.

If I can write 40,000 words in a year and revise another 40,000 that means it would probably take me about 2 and a half years to write a book that is 100,000 words if that were the only writing project I focused on. Or, I could write and revise four articles or book chapters a year. The catch is, of course, that these things also come back for revision again and again. So, I might write and submit an article in three months. But, it will come back and I will have to spend another 2-4 weeks revising it for resubmission.

At any rate, I continue to be impressed with all one can do by writing two hours a day!

What about you? Have you taken stock of your accomplishments for 2012? Why or why not?

Either way, I wish you a great rest of 2012 and a happy holiday season.

As for me, I am winding things down and in terms of work and gearing up for my two-week vacation from work! I hope to return rested, renewed, and ready for 2013.


  1. And this doesn't include the time spent in the many professional activities in which you are involved. Impressive!

    1. Thanks, Jody! These last two blog posts are just me convincing myself that I need and deserve a break. I am just a few hours away from unplugging....

  2. Dear Tanya! Congratulations on your accomplishments. They are truly impressive and inspiring. Even though I have not been able to devote to writing as much time, thanks to your blog I am doing so much better than before! You are an inspiration and a huge help! I too sat down this morning to take stock of what I did this year and it certainly made me feel good and inspired to do even better next year! Happy holidays to you and yours and thank you!!!!

    1. That is great to hear. We rarely take the time to celebrate our accomplishments, and I am very pleased to hear that you have!

  3. That is music to my ears! Let me know how it goes!!