Proposal Advice?

I’m excited about this call for proposals for an essay collection (scroll down to the very bottom of the page), mostly because the way it seems to ask for a drawing-together a lot of the things that I’ve been thinking about here, and because I think I would be able to put a good spin on it with my computers angle and maybe centering it around a class-based re-examination of Olson’s “Who Computes?” article twenty years after the fact, but also — although it asks about “the category and discourse of class in the U.S.” — because I’m interested that it’s coming from two people with University of Bergen email addresses, and I’ve written a little bit here in the past (with some helpful and generous feedback from Torill) about how American ideas about class and literacy, when connected to the world of the World Wide Web, do some interesting things. (And, although I don’t read Jill Walker’s weblog very regularly these days, the institutional affiliation made me think immediately of her, as well.) So, like, I really want to put something together, only there’s one thing that I’m wondering about: the CFP asks for a one-page CV, and I’m assuming they’re doing so because they’re looking for more published or authoritative figures in the field. And that ain’t me. I mean, I’ve got a chapter in an edited collection coming out, I’ve got a couple pieces under review, and I’ve co-edited a textbook: not much, really. So my question to more experienced scholars out there: how big a deal is that CV when they’re considering proposals? Not that it’s all that big a deal — I’m gonna submit something regardless — but what might your expectation-management advice be?

Proposal Advice?

3 thoughts on “Proposal Advice?

  • February 1, 2005 at 10:24 pm

    I’m not sure that the CV is a screening device. While it could be, it could also be a source of program info. They might want to do short profiles on presenters. Give it your best shot and see what happens.

    The Youngstown venue intrigues me. My last college roommate was from Youngstown, so I got there a couple times in the late 50s. The most memorable occasion was the first conference I ever attended, the Ohio Collegeiate Newspaper Association annual event, when I was a junior and News Editor of our campus paper.

    The featured speaker was the head of NBC’s Washington bureau at the time. Before he spoke, the mayor of Youngstown greeted us. Now this mayor had been disbarred as a judge before being elected mayor. He told us a story about big fish and little fish and how as journalists we should go after the big fish (i.e., the crooks in Washington were more important than the crooks in Youngstown). Then the NBC guy got up and told his own anecdote about the big bear and the little bear: the point was either way you got eaten up.

    The following year a classmates father was elected as the reform mayor of Youngstown. And since the Forty Niners have been owned by Youngstown folks for a long time now, the place stays in my consciousness.

    Also, Richard Pryor has a hysterical bit about being stiffed my the Mafia owner of a Youngstown club and tries to insist on being paid.

    Good luck on the proposal, Mike.

  • February 2, 2005 at 12:38 am

    Actually, John, I was talking about the call at the very bottom of the page, for the essay collection on Considering Class. Youngstown is pretty well-known among folks doing stuff on class because of the Center for Working-Class Studies, and I know it as another rusting steel town just a short ways from Pittsburgh. A friend of mine spent what he might characterize as a somewhat dissipated adolescence in Youngstown, contending that “There’s nothing to do there, except drugs.” I haven’t been there for nearly ten years, but it was pretty grim-looking the last time I visited.

    Anyway — thanks for the best wishes and advice.

  • February 3, 2005 at 3:19 am

    Ah, coals to Newcastle and all that. I read too hurriedly last night–but found an excuse for my Youngstown anecdote!

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