Reading Groups Experiment

David Prior's picture

Dear H-Nationalism Subscribers,

This network has been experiencing a lot of positive growth over the last few years, and in part because of that I’d like to try out an experiment that needs engagement from you, our subscribers. I would like to see the network help scholars of all ranks and all professional trajectories (faculty, independent scholars, public sector scholars) engage with each other and the literature. In particular, I’d like to create a proposal process whereby scholars can form temporary reading groups to catch up on recent studies and revisit older ones and then report back to our subscribers about their collective thoughts. I had a few different reasons why this would be helpful to the field, but preeminent among them is that we could all use a good reading partner to push us forward sometimes. Below, I sketch out a formal process for this, and will leave a version of it here, on our Resources Tab, for future reference. If the idea takes, we’ll try to make it a continuing part of our activities. If not, will retire it after about a year’s time. If any bold soul out there would like to help manage the project, please let me know—we’re always interested in taking on new editors.

H-Nationalism Reading Groups

Scholars of all ranks are invited to propose to form a reading group through our network. The guidelines for this process are as follows.

Proposals: A scholar may propose in approximately 150 words to form a group to read a predetermined number of works, ranging from as modest as two articles to as ambitious as three books. In the event that the proposer wishes to tackle a longer reading list, she/he may submit subsequent proposals. Reading groups should be no larger than four scholars. The proposer may either line up the group members in advance or recruit them through a message to our subscribers. If the former, indicate the names of the individuals and CC them on the email submitting the proposal. If the latter, please wait until we have approved the proposal. The proposer should include a schedule for completing the readings and holding the discussion, including a deadline, which will be final, for the reading group to complete its work by. The mode of discussion is at the discretion of the proposer, but should give all participants ample opportunity to share thoughts and respond to each other. Reading groups need not have mutually exclusive reading lists. Proposals should be sent to editorial-nationalism@mail.h-net.org.

Write-ups: individual reading groups will submit for publication on our network a brief write-up by the original proposer, of between 300 and 1,000 words, outlining the topic and arguments of the selected readings and the thoughts of the group. Such reports should be seen as reflection pieces: they can certainly note criticisms made by the readers but should not be treated as vehicles for extended critiques of an individual scholar’s work. All members of the group must affirm that the write-up accurately reflects the discussion of the readings. We will provide a standard form to structure and expedite the writing. We will publish the write-ups after reviewing them.

Logistics: Groups must complete readings, hold their discussion, and finalize their write-up through their own deliberations. We cannot provide copies of readings, but can offer the proposer some standard text with which to contact publishers to request review copies of books and articles. All participants should be prepared to purchase the necessary readings or otherwise have access to them.  

Categories: Announcement
Keywords: reading groups