Publishing your PhD (or, the secret to a stressful life): Part I

A very thoughtful and poignant read!

The Clinic

In January, the monograph of my PhD was published. The process was neither short nor smooth, but it was a great learning curve. Now that the book is on the shelves, I can reflect on the experience with a certain equanimity. The finished product looks great (we’ll overlook a few minor typos and the suppurating syphilitic sores on the front cover). But at the time, my feelings oscillated between bemusement and exasperation.

My commissioning editor was wonderfully supportive throughout the whole, chaotic process, as were the series editors, Professor Michael Worboys and Professor Carsten Timmerman. But as I gear up for another book, I find myself reflecting on what I shall do differently. I hope my experiences will help other ECRs who are starting to think about publishing their own doctoral research.

The Book Proposal

It may seem obvious, but, before approaching a publisher, reconnoitre the terrain. Take stock of the books recently published in your…

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This is what precarity feels like: Early Career Researchers and “cruel optimism”

Extremely powerful!

All the Single Writing Ladies

The AHRC defines of “Early Career Researchers” (ECRs) as individuals “within eight years of the award of their PhD […] or within six years of their first academic appointment.” In practice, ECRs are a highly heterogeneous demographic comprising individuals in a range of employment circumstances, from hourly paid contracts and fixed term fellowships, to permanent roles. In this write-up of a paper I gave at the MeCCSA annual conference, I draw out some of the key themes arising from research on recent Arts and Humanities PhD graduates, individuals who often find themselves precariously employed.

In my research on Arts and Humanities researchers (published here), ECR respondents reported that their post-PhD career transitions were extremely challenging, for example using words like “tricky”, “tough”, or “emotionally dispiriting”.

In a nutshell, post-PhD transitions are characterised by:

  • Exploitative contracts (e.g. fractional, fixed term, zero hours, etc,)
  • ECRs conducting research unpaid, reliance on…

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Radical Health

Bill Booth kindly invited me on to his podcast to discuss health and medicine. Bill is one of the founders of Radical Americas, an academic network for scholars and activists with interests in radicalism in the Western Hemisphere.



New Editors at Social History of Alcohol and Drugs

The ADHS is pleased to announce that the editorship of its journal, *The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs*, will be taken over by Prof. Nancy D. Campbell (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Prof. David Herzberg (Buffalo) and Dr. Lucas Richert (Strathclyde). The society would also like to express its gratitude for the work that outgoing editor, […]

via New editors for SHAD — Alcohol and Drugs History Society

ADHS 2019

The ADHS is excited to announce that its next bi-annual conference will be held between 12 and 15 June 2019, at the David F. Musto Center for Drug Policy Studies, Shanghai University, China. The conference will be organised by Prof. Jim Mills, of the University of Strathclyde and Prof. Yong-an Zhang of Shanghai University, who […]

via ADHS conference at Shanghai, 12-15 June 2019 — Alcohol and Drugs History Society

Connect with ADHS at AHA 2018 in Washington, D.C.! — Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Today, historians begin descending upon wintry Washington, D.C., for the 2018 meeting of the American Historical Association. AHA is the largest annual gathering for such professionals and their affiliated societies. Among those represented again this year is the Alcohol and Drugs History Society, with two panels of original research and one roundtable discussion. The date, […]

via Connect with ADHS at AHA 2018 in Washington, D.C.! — Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Big Pharma Round-Up V (#Cannabis edition)


Large Indoor Marijuana Commercial Growing Operation With Fans, Greenhouse, Equipment For Growing High Quality Herb. Cannabis Field Growing For Legal Recreational Use in Washington State

Sara Pascoe on #Resolutions

Sara Pascoe on resolutions

For me it was a slang phrase that ruined it. A man was talking, and I was listening politely because he was a friend of a friend. “Friend of a friend” is an excellent expression, it passively clarifies: “I know them … but I don’t like them”. An “acquaintance” is someone we haven’t decided if we like or not yet. An “associate” is a drug dealer. A “friend of a friend” is an idiot at a party you must tolerate because apparently I can’t fulfil all Rebecca’s friending needs and she wants gatherings to be full of people from work and their boyfriends. This one was telling me that he wouldn’t move over from Sydney because that’s where his mates are. “Bros before hoes,” he says. A saying I thought even the most hardened misogynist used ironically. Of course, I admire the sentiment, saving our loyalty for friends over those we must tolerate because our genitals want to get to know them. But I was shocked that someone would speak like this. We were in a kitchen, not a poorly written sitcom. And then I became sad as I was reminded once again about the gulf of understanding that can exist between human beings even if they have a friend in common. And so already 2018 was ruined. Fifty-two minutes in.

When did yours go wrong? I wonder if you felt annoyed for expecting anything to be different? It all started out great with hugging and music, then at 1am you saw the Uber surge price was in double figures and wept as you realised: it got me again. Hope. We think newness can save us, we don’t realise that we haven’t changed – only the date has.

CFP. Temperance and Teetotalism.

RADICAL TEMPERANCE: SOCIAL CHANGE AND DRINK, FROM TEETOTALISM TO DRY JANUARY UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL LANCASHIRE, PRESTON, 28-29 JUNE 2018 FEATURING KEYNOTE ADDRESSES BY: Professor Scott Martin, Bowling Green University, Ohio Professor Betsy Thom, Middlesex University This conference seeks to explore the radical aspects of the avoidance of alcohol. We are looking for contributions […]

via From teetotalism to dry January (CFP) — Alcohol and Drugs History Society


To publish…

I wrote about Lambert Publishers last month. And they’ve come back at me again. They want to publish an article of mine. Lambert is, of course, a ‘predatory publisher,’ and the company is all about cashing in on other’s work.

Here’s what they wrote me earlier this month.

Again, I went to school for a long f****** time. I’m not super uptight about it, but get the salutation correct.

I’m told I should have some questions…why? Because publishing – i.e., with Lambert – is a major achievement. Love it.

I also love the closing line. All of us in this hyper competitive dog-eat-dog academic world find publishing “interesting.” Seriously.

Lambert is an interesting company…watch out.


Here’s another interesting Lambert.