« Shrimp Update | Main | learning languages »

May 30, 2004

a scholar's progress

As most readers of this log know, I am in a slow transition from the world of business to the world of academia.

My current academic status is "ABD," which means I have completed All requirments But my Dissertation. I have to do a couple of years of research and writing on the dissertation, when I am not working or studying Chinese. (I think the working is down from 60 to 70 hours a week.) Along the way, I am trying to get as many chapters, books, and articles published as possible. So far, the sum total is one book chapter (but soon to appear in a Chinese translation, published by China's Xinahua Press!) and one "forthcoming" article in a journal called Oral History Review. I also have three other articles I am promoting (one of which is in the promising "revise and resubmit" category).

If I didn't have a generally gratifying "day job" to keep me busy, there are times when I might slide into the Slough of Despond. After I rushed to revise the "forthcoming" article for the editor's late March schedule, for example, I didn't get any response to my emails for the next two months. (This weekend, he told me we're still "on track.")

For a brief moment several weeks ago, I was riding high. An editor at Routledge Press advsied me that a senior scholar and editor of a book series on Asian Americans had recommended my book manuscript for publication. "Congratulations!" she wrote. She just needed an abstract and my CV (curriculum vitae, the academic version of a resume). Upon receipt of those materials, however, she regretfully informed me that she couldn't publish my manuscript because I don't have a Ph.D. yet and it is not my dissertation. In other words, my work is good enough to publish, but I don't have a membership card. Well, gratified by the endorsement from the series editor, I am moving on to another publisher (my fourth try). Stay tuned. -- Norty

Posted by now at May 30, 2004 02:13 AM