Writing for NEPCA

One of our goals here in NEPCA is to provide a platform for members to share their academic thoughts about popular culture through a variety of ways.


Book & Other Media Reviews

Assignment vs. Request

In general, we are happy to entertain requests to review books, documentaries, audiobooks, podcast series/seasons, popular culture resources such as websites or exhibits, or other interesting resources that are new and recent works (and sometimes, even older works). In such cases of requests, the responsibility will be upon the reviewer to acquire access to the work being reviewed.  

If you are interested in reviewing and open to what works we have available, be sure to sign up to be a reviewer and let us know what your preferences are:  https://goo.gl/forms/JUQmF7QyeUgOuTKi2

Brevity

500-1000 words. Ideally, your review should be no more than 700 words and shorter is preferred.  

Style and content

Avoid jargon and write clearly. NEPCA is a diverse organization with scholars from many specialties.  Our goal is to inform our membership, and much of it will not be aware of the subject about which you write. Tailor your review towards a more general readership than you might for a specialty journal.  Please write in straightforward prose even if the author does not and even if the book’s approach is abstract and/or theoretical.

Please include the following:

  • A brief summary of the content and the author’s affiliation/identity/qualifications (Well-known? First book/documentary/work? Academic specialty? Journalist?)
  • An overview of the work’s argument(s)
  • An assessment of the methodology and research. (Does it break new ground or does it plow well-tilled soil?)
  • An assessment of how well (or badly) the argument is sustained
  • An assessment of the object’s usefulness.  Who would want to engage with it? (If strictly for specialists, say so.) Could it be used in a classroom? If so, by whom?  NEPCA members are particularly keen to find resources that work well in a college classroom.

Format

Please submit your review to me via email as a Word attachment with the following parameters:

Share in a Google Doc that allows for suggestions/comments to be made.

  • 12-point Arial.  
  • Reviewed item’s details should be single space
  • Review should be double-spaced.
  • Header should use this format
    • Name of item being reviewed.
    • Author/Creator
    • Format: (book, audiobook, graphic novel, website, documentary, etc)
    • Length: (pages, hours)
    • Publisher/Production:
    • Publication Date/Year:
    • Link to the publisher’s product site/resource
  • Byline:
    • Name
    • Institution (if relevant)
    • Website
    • Social Media Handle (Twitter or LinkedIn)
    • 2 sentence byline.

Example for header:

  • Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

Example for Byline

  • Lance Eaton
  • Brandeis University
  • http://www.ByAnyOtherNerd.com
  • @leaton
  • Lance Eaton is an instructional designer at Brandeis University, a doctoral student at UMASS Boston, and a part-time instructor at North Shore Community College.  He teaches courses on history, literature, popular culture and digital technology.

Quotes

Please keep these at a minimum and simply place the page number from which you have quoted in parentheses at the end of the sentence. Example: (38) We are unable to format footnotes into the reviews, so quote only from the book you are reviewing (if at all). Paraphrasing is best in most cases. Make sure all quotes are essential.  

Style expectations

  • Please be formal.  Refer to subjects by their last name rather than assuming familiarity. (Example: Addams, not “Jane.”)  
  • Please proofread your work to make certain that modifiers are properly placed, that syntax is correct, that all words are properly spelled, and that sentences are clear.
  • When possible, use direct language. Avoid overly complex sentences.

Editorial Consideration:  NEPCA reserves the right to edit reviews for space and clarity.  If changes are minor, we will send the review back to you for approval only if you ask that this be done in advance.  In all cases of major revision, or where intent or content is in question, the review will be sent back to the reviewer for approval and/or clarification.  Reviewers should respond to queries within 48 hours.


 

Teaching Ideas

We are looking for how you use popular culture in your teaching.  Many of us are educators and employ pop culture in cool and interesting ways.  Maybe you’ve found a way to leverage the Harry Potter books into your discussion of Chemistry or you have a great way of students understanding Shakespeare through House of Cards?  We want to hear from what you’re doing so that others can learn and put your work into practice.

The post must include

  • Title
  • 400+ words describing
    • What is the course
    • When you started doing this/frequency of having taught it this way
    • What is the pop culture being used
    • How the pop culture is deployed
    • How it enhances the learning
    • Any (anonymized) feedback from students
  • Recommendations for others instructors (2 or more recommendations or lessons learned)
  • References (any pedagogical, pop culture, or academic materials that helped you create/fine tune this project).
  • Byline (30-50 words about you).
  • Social Media/Website links

If possible to include

  • Any visuals or video clips that are relevant to the idea (making sure you have covered a fair use analysis to be able to use them)
  • Link to materials, guides, assignment sheets, or any other material that you may have put online for the purpose of this.
  • If you cannot provide any imagery in association with your post, you will need to accept the images that we choose to go with it.  

The piece should be entered into a Google Doc and shared (with Edit capabilities) to northeastpopculture@gmail.com.  In addition to sharing the document, you should include a follow up email with “Teaching Ideas: [Working title]” in the subject.  In that email, you should give us the gist of the piece and let us know who you are.


 

Research Notes

While we are not a publication for peer-review articles, we do want to promote the research and work that our members are doing and help them develop their own digital footprint of scholarship.  After all, between the applying for a position and the interview, there is the Google search. Sharing your current research projects allows you to establish that digital trail to illustrate you are actively engaged in academic discussion in your field.  To that end, we will be opening up the opportunity for NEPCA members to publish entries on our website called “Research Notes”–which can be considered extended abstracts of presentations or papers that you have recently delivered or published or are currently working on.  

Must include:

  • Title
  • 500+ words (but not more than 1000)
  • Tightly edited.
  • Citations
  • Works Cited
  • Byline (30-50 words about you).
  • Social Media/Website links

Style:  The writing style should be clear and accessible for the lay reader (While many of us study popular culture, it is rather enormous and for many of us, there are large swaths of it in content and theory that is unfamiliar to us).  

If possible to include

  • Any visuals or video clips that are relevant to the research (making sure you have covered a fair use analysis to be able to use them)
  • If you cannot provide any imagery in association with your post, you will need to accept the images that we choose to go with it.  

The piece should be entered into a Google Doc and shared (with Edit capabilities) to northeastpopculture@gmail.com.  In addition to sharing the document, you should include a follow up email with “Research Note: [Working Title]” in the subject.  In that email, you should give us the gist of the piece and let us know who you are.


 

Scholars Speak (Interviews)

We think our community can thrive when we hear more directly from scholars in the field about the work they are doing and learn directly from them.  To that end, we want to start interview scholars about their most recently published work, forthcoming work, or even their vast-range of works, if they are a well-established scholar.   

We also want to provide a platform for scholars to talk about their research and so we are looking for people who are interested in interviewing scholars who have recently published works.  The goal will be to engage the scholar in their work, its tenants and its relation to popular culture (when not entirely evident). For more established members, this may be an opportunity to talk with new colleagues or find people with which collaborate.  For newer scholars, this could be an opportunity to meet some of the scholars in your field and expand your network.

If you are interested in participating as an interviewer, there are two ways of going about it.  

  1. Find a particularly scholar who has recently published something that you are familiar with or read, and send us a pitch. In that pitch, you should include:
    1. Who you want to interview
    2. Why you want to interview them
    3. What they have recently published (or are about to publish–or why you think interviewing them about their life’s work in the discipline is important)?
    4. How likely you are to get a hold of the person directly (e.g. do you have an in or a friend of a friend).
    5. A list of the initial questions you plan to ask (i.e. be familiar enough with the person’s work to not ask superficial questions). Aim for 8-10 substantial questions in an interview.
  2. Let us know (northeastpopculture@gmail.com) that you are interested in interviewing and the particular domains you wish to interview.  In that email, you should also tell us a bit about who you are as a scholar so we get a good sense of how to match you.  We will keep an eye out for possible matches and even let potential publishers know who might be able to put us in contact with appropriate scholars.  

Recommendations for interviewing:

  • Work through official channels to contact the author such as the author’s website or institutional email.
  • Be clear about the intention of the interview and the publication.
  • If the scholar is hard to find, check social media.  If still no luck, contact the publisher of the scholar’s most recent publication.
  • When possible, interview live as opposed to email; these can get more substantial answers and encourage the opportunity to wander far (having more material is useful than having less).  
  • Respect the scholar’s preferences.
  • Send the questions in advance.  This is not investigative journalism, we’re looking to hear from the scholar, not play a game of “gotcha!”.  
  • Be sure to follow up immediately with a thank you.
  • When the interview is complete, share back with the scholar for a read through and allow reasonable edits.  

Submission

  • A clean and edited interview that clarifies questions asked and answers given.  You should have a minimum of 5 questions and answers and we don’t recommend going more than 10.
  • Contact information of the scholar (we be checking in with the scholar).
  • A photo of the scholar and/or their recently published work (note that the photos should be given to you by the author or publisher; do not just take from a google search).
  • Any additional notes (clearly marked as additional notes) about anything you think we should be aware of in the process.
  • Works Cited (where relevant)
  • Byline (30-50 words about you).
  • Social Media/Website links

The piece should be entered into a Google Doc and shared (with Edit capabilities) to northeastpopculture@gmail.com.  In addition to sharing the document, you should include a follow-up email with “Scholar Speaks: [Scholar’s Full Name]” in the subject.  


 

Compensation

As a scholarly organization, we offer no financial compensation for publishing on the NEPCA website but will promote your work across our social media platforms.  Additionally, in certain cases (e.g. reviews and possibly interviews) we may provide the books for free in physical or digital form, depending on how it is sent to us.


 

Rights

Works published on the NEPCA website will be covered under an Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons Licenses.  While the author still holds the copyright for the work, this license allows us and others to use/reuse your work so long as we give proper attribution to the author as well as make that re-use covered under a Creative Commons license.

Any additional questions, please contact NortheastPopCulture@gmail.com.