Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Let's Rap With Cap": a little validation


It's been a harried month or so. For those keeping score:

    • this semester was my third year review (which I passed)
    • I served as a senator in a semester in which the Faculty Senate (thanks to the Bush Library controversy) held a record number of meetings
    • I was appointed the chair of our division's curriculum committee
    • I wrote and presented a paper at the 8th International Symposium on Online Journalism
    • while at that symposium, I finished writing and submitted two papers to this year's AEJMC conference
    • both of those papers were rejected by the respective (though not always respected) divisions
    • both of the Web sites I submitted for AEJMC judgment were hacked to pieces with little explanation for their erratic scores
    • I coded and posted the first version of the new Skillman Church of Christ Web site

And of course, all of this happened in the normal context of teaching classes, serving as the faculty adviser to the, teaching classes at church and the other half dozen committees to which I inexplicably have been appointed.

Out of all of that, the AEJMC rejections were the low point. The Entertainment Studies Interest Group has suddenly caught new life as entertainment studies are becoming a hot area of inquiry. So I've been working on research I had begun earlier looking at how Captain America reflects the changing definition of "American Patriotism" over his 65-year comic run.

And could this be a better time to be completing some of this work? I mean Cap was
assassinated earlier this year, making a splash in nearly every major medium.

Last year, I submitted a paper about how letter columns in the 1960s and 1970s show the shifting cultural definitions of patriotism in that era. ESIG rejected the paper with one stellar review and one awful review.

Well, that same work (with only minor revision) was selected by the Journal of Popular Culture for publication. I submitted it in late 2006 (after recovering from the paralyzing numbness that comes with AEJMC rejection letters), and after almost six months of silence, I received the official word on Monday.

So now I'm feeling validated. The work was good, it just didn't seem to fit ESIG's culture.

So how should I feel about ESIG's rejection of my "A Cap For All Generations" piece earlier this month? Problematic piece or just another round peg in a square hole? Time will tell.


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