Sometimes Dragons

On Publishing: Congratulations, Dr. Holterhoff!

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Last week Dr. Kate Holterhoff, our newest RedMonk analyst, celebrated the publication of her book, Illustration in Fin-de-Siècle Transatlantic Romance Fiction.

Slide detailing the Table of Contents and cover of Kate Holterhoff’s llustration in Fin-de-Siècle Transatlantic Romance Fiction (2022), as presented in a March 9 book launch event.

Slide detailing the Table of Contents and cover of Kate Holterhoff’s llustration in Fin-de-Siècle Transatlantic Romance Fiction (2022), as presented during a March 9 book launch event.

During the online book launch event (the recording of which you can watch here) Kate explained the origins, purpose, and structure of the book, which builds on her education and experience as an artist, her work in literary and cultural studies, and previous projects such as her excellent Visual Haggard site. Kate also had an interesting slate of academic guest speakers lined up, and their expertise helped provide additional insight into some of the texts, themes, and context involved in the different chapters that constitute the book.

Kate then took questions from the audience, which, in addition to various other academic colleagues (including a few members of Kate’s and my shared Brittain Fellow cohort), included most of the current RedMonk team. The resulting discussion was interesting and engaging, and I for one will be very disappointed if we do not see a follow-up talk from Kate sometime in the near-ish future on the influence of fin-de-siècle illustration on the Marvel MCU.

The chatter on our internal slack–as expected–praised the event per se, which to my mind was an exemplary book launch event in a 2022 where the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to shape the ways we interact with the world. However, some of the questions and comments from my RedMonk colleagues also reminded me that while many of the rhetoric and conventions at play during the book launch were familiar to attendees with academic backgrounds, they were less recognizable to Kate’s and my tech industry colleagues.

Having spent over a decade negotiating the differences between how the tech industry and academia see, speak, and write about the world (and having written on some of those differences), I thought it might be useful to surface a few points about academic publications that may not be well-known to non-academic audiences, and so I started drafting up a post. About 2400 words in and with a lot more to say on the topic, I realized (with some helpful advice from my colleagues) that it might be a better use of the blog format to carve out a space to regularly think about publishing more broadly.

And with that, consider this the first in a tentative series of posts on publishing.

I would like to close this post, however, by returning to Kate’s impressive accomplishment in both publishing and launching her first book. Or, to borrow a phrase from our colleague Rachel, Congrats on the book launch, friend!

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