Al-Diwan Roundup: News and Analysis from Publishing and Academia
Al-Diwan brings you the latest news and analysis from the publishing and academic worlds that relate to pedagogy and knowledge production.
What New Book Are You Most Excited About?
(The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Faculty from various social science and humanities fields discuss which recently published books they are looking forward to engaging with.
Reflections on Ethnographic Writing Today
By Lucas Bessire, Paul Eiss, Amira Mittermaier, and Karen Strassler (Cultural Anthropology)
As the authors of this article worked to select the winner of the Gregory Bateson Book Prize, they noticed a dissonance “between content and form across the submissions.” While the authors lauded the diversity of ethnographic approaches and research topics, they also lamented the seemingly “formulaic structures” of the texts – even in their attempts to be “edgy.”
Macmillan’s Pronoun Self-Publishing Platform Signs Off
By Porter Anderson (Publishing Perspectives)
With little notice and vague reasoning, Pronoun, a self-publishing platform, shut down on November 6. Pronoun was a reboot of Vook, which attempted to leverage the power of technology in publishing. In Pronoun’s early days, there was cautious optimism for the platform’s success despite some confusion and hesitation coming from the publishing community.
University Press Thrives on New Arabic Fiction
By Ursula Lindsey (Al-Fanar Media)
The American University of Cairo Press has had a long history and “reputation as the leading publisher of Arabic literature in translation.” Now, though, they are hoping to expand their repertoire to include fiction.
How I became a poet
By Ruth Awolola (Media Diversified)
Ruth Awolola reflects on how the lack of representation and diversity in books impacted her own trajectory towards a career in poetry and her relationship to literature more broadly. Now, Awolola not only uses her poetry and its content to increase diversity in literature, but she also involves herself in programs that support minority writers and poets.
Are Campus Conservatives Besieged? Not in Wisconsin
By Hank Reichman (Academe Blog)
The University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a survey to measure campus climate through the lens of political leanings. According to the results, “politically conservative students, far more from feeling intimidated, are actually more likely to report feeling safe, respected, and like they belong than students holding other political views.”
Water is Scarce in Egypt: so are Research Funds
By Tarek Abd El-Galil (Al-Fanar Media)
To address the water-scarcity issue in Egypt, researchers are developing ingenuitive projects to increase efficiency in desalination, agriculture, and daily water usage. Just as there are challenges in access to and control over fresh water, mainly the Nile, in Egypt, there are also problems in accessing the money needed to refine and advance the water research programs.
Higher Ed in the Senate Tax Bill
By Andrew Kreighbaum (Inside Higher Ed)
The House of Representatives’ tax reform proposal, released in early November, garnered significant outrage from public education institutions, and the Senate tax bill largely looks to be following suit. A main point of opposition for higher education groups is the tax on private college endowments, which would limit an institutions ability to provide student aid and research funds.
The Pernicious Silencing of the Adjunct Faculty
By Eva Swidler (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Eva Swidler looks at how adjunct employment practices negatively impact notions of justice within academia, specifically, as well as in society more broadly. The hiring, firing, and contract procedures for adjunct faculty often leaves them stressed and focused not on their curricula but on “keep[ing] the supervisor happy, keep[ing] your student evaluations uniformly positive, and keep[ing] your head down.” To Swidler, that means students are not getting exposure to ideas, literature, and discussions important to social justice in society.