Monday, February 12, 2007

A Question and Some Non-Griping

Okay--first, the question, for the medievalists and/or lit folk among you:

Does anyone know whether there's any kind of tally of the response time for various literary journals, particularly those with a medieval focus?

I have an article I'd like to send out; in an ideal world, I'd like to have it accepted somewhere before next year's job market showdown begins. (An astonishing dream, I know.) I'm afraid of shooting too high, as it were, and getting rejected in oh, say, September, when it would be too late for me to hear back from a less worthy journal before sending out my apps. On the other hand, I don't want to play it too safe, and wind up publishing somewhere relatively unimpressive without even having tried for a bigger journal. Any suggestions on this front would be hugely appreciated; I plan on asking my advisor, too, but the more opinions the better.

Now for the Non-Griping. I've noticed that my default blog tone seems to be one of either complaint or self-deprecation, and, while these things have their place, I figured I should try to put a more positive spin on at least some of the things that I say here. So here goes:

I met with my advisor today, and it was pretty productive, I think. We ended up mainly talking about the introduction to my diss. There are a few points that I need to work out; I have this whole crazy bit where I'm trying to draw connections between volitionist action theory, Franciscan visual meditation, and the role of the intellectus, and I'm not sure I've got that settled yet. So I still have some work to do, but nothing too onerous: there were several great moments in the meeting where she said things like, "When you revise this for publication as a book, you'll want to think about X, but as far as the dissertation goes, you don't need to worry about that yet." It reminded me of the meetings I had with a (different) committee member back at the stage of my prelim project, where he would say that I should really read, for example, Augustine, "but not yet--that's for the dissertation." Hearing basically the same phrase echoed today, but with the dissertation in the past tense--well, it was very gratifying.

All right; I think that counts, doesn't it? I'm so eager to be done with the diss, at this point. And lucky enough to have the end in sight. Making those last revisions will be a unique challenge in their own right (it's always most tempting to stop working right when you're almost at the end, isn't it?), but in two months' time I'll be FINISHED. I already have my private day-after-defense celebration planned out. (Nothing racy, I swear. In fact, it might even qualify as tame, but that's okay; I'm looking forward to it.)


Tiruncula said...

Hi, JB! On the journal response time: there is some information on turnaround time in the listings in the MLA directory of periodicals, I think, but a better route is to ask those what know, i.e. people in your area who can help steer you to the right combination of promptness and prestige. I've found the best people to ask for advice are those who are only slightly more senior than I - i.e. well-published, but well aware of the pressures of time. If you happen to have a buddy who compiles the annual bibliography in your subfield, all the better: they'll know everything there is to know. (There was a bit of a thread over at Michael Drout's a while ago about response times from specific journals, but now I can't find the post.)

jb said...

Good stuff--thanks! I'll hunt around on Drout's site, and check out the MLA list. I'm also thinking of a few people I know who might be helpful; unfortunately, my university is rather short on medievalists (and none of the medievalist faculty are junior; they're all pretty deep into tenure), but I've got some friends at other schools I can contact. Thanks again!

Tiruncula said...

Oops, realized I did find the post at Drout's and forgot to delete the part of the sentence where I said I couldn't find it!

I tend to know more about the very philological journals than lit-and-late-ish ones, so can't be more help on that front.

jb said...

Ah ha! Thanks. The stuff in the Drout blog is a little before my time, but is a useful start, regardless.

medieval woman said...

Hola - I can tell you definitely to steer clear of Speculum and SAC (not anything about your article, but I've heard that they have psychotic wait periods!). Sometimes the journal has the turnaround time on their website. With my most recent journal article (email me about which journal if you're interested!) told me they'd get back to me in 3 months. It took much longer than that, but I began my program of kind harrassment at the 4 month mark. By the end of the summer, I emailed the editor and told him frankly that I was going to be going out on the job market that fall and that, for professional reasons, I would like to have this article placed. Eventually, it worked out with them. But, if the article won't work for their journal, they should let you know in a timely manner so that you can submit it somewhere else. Have you also considered Medium AEvum or Mediaevalia? I think their turnaround times are reasonable!

Karl Steel said...

Not sure what kind of work you do--just followed the link over from DV--but I'm ABD and have submitted only one article (accepted) so far, to Exemplaria. IIRC, they said 6 month turnaround, and they were right, pretty much on the dot.

jb said...

Thanks, MW and Karl! I'm working primarily on 14th century stuff at the moment; the article in question is on an English poem from the latter half of the century. Probably not theoretical enough for Exemplaria, but maybe I'm judging too hastily. (At any rate, I'm pretty confident that Speculum is out of my range....)