U.S. Intellectual History Blog

The Pub Com Chair’s Corner

Hello!  I plan to make “The Pub Com Chair’s Corner” a regular feature during my chair tenure. Although this comes a day late, it will be integrated into my Thursday posting cycle—perhaps once per month. The things I want to bring to your attention today are idiosyncratic, so the following is in bullet point format:

1. New Bloggers: The Publications Committee continues to seek applications for new bloggers. This past year we happily added Lora Burnett and Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn—both of whom have immensely improved the weblog in terms style, wit, content, and brain power. Although we have seven regular bloggers who currently post during each week day, I envision up to 14 regular bloggers doubling up the weekly calendar.  If you’re interested in becoming a regular blogger, please apply by sending the Pub Com two things: (1) a statement of interest containing your embryonic thoughts on post content, and (2) your CV. 

2. Pub Com Committee Members: As of today both Ben Alpers and Lora Burnett have expressed an interest in remaining on the Pub Com. In the interest of continuity in relation to a young society, I have unilaterally reappointed them to the Committee without a broad search for new members. I realize that this appears unwelcoming in relation to new folks interested in participating. Given that appearance, I want to emphatically state that I welcome additional volunteers. Although Lora, Ben, and I fill out the S-USIH Constitutional requirements for Pub Com membership (Article III, Section 7), we are not constitutionally restricted from soliciting volunteers from the S-USIH community for various endeavors. We might, for instance, solicit the S-USIH President, Paul Murphy, to create an Ad Hoc committee, working in coordination with the Pub Com, for any special task we feel warrants the move. In sum, if you’re interested in serving on the Pub Com, please write. There is plenty to do!

3. Duties–Blog, Book Reviews, Newsletter: Both Ben and Lora have tentatively accepted Pub Com duties (Ben as Blog Editor, Lora as Book Review Editor). As one of his last acts as outgoing Pub Com Chair, Ben took charge of composing a set of blog rules and guidelines. We hope to publish them soon. His work on that task, as well as his strong interest in moving us from the Blogspot platform, made him a natural for the Blog Editor position. As incoming chair, I could not continue as Book Review Editor. The task has grown in terms of quality and quantity, so Lora agreed to take over. In addition to chair duties, I currently plan to be the Newsletter Editor (S-USIH Notes) for the coming year. Despite our best intentions, we published only one S-USIH Notes last year. Per the 2011-12 Executive Committee’s Final Report (p. 3, point #6), I plan to publish at least two this coming year. In addition to content mentioned in the Report, I welcome suggestions and proposals from S-USIH members on other content.

4. The Journal: The Society is considering the creation of a journal. The Pub Com discussed this possibility internally last year—i.e. platforms, exemplary journals, philosophy, staffing—and the Executive Committee, via Ben Alpers, picked up on those conversations. As such, in the Ex Com’s final report (p. 5-6, point #12) the outgoing leadership team indicated wide support for continuing this effort. What now? The outgoing Ex Com suggested the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee to deal directly with the journal question. A Pub Com member will likely be a part of that committee.  I will use the The Pub Com Chair’s Corner to keep readers and members updated on that effort.

That’s it for today!  Please feel free to write me (timothy.n.lacy-AT-gmail.com) directly or comment on this post in relation to anything mentioned above. – TL