The Art of the Review Podcast

The Art of the Review - Episode 32 Revelry

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In this episode, The Art of the Review takes a field trip to Sanford, Florida to attend Revelry, a poetry event organized by Dr. Stephen Caldwell Wright to honor the life and legacy of poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Robert speaks to Dr. Wright about the review process that goes into judging poetry submissions for Revelry.

The Art of the Review - Episode 31 Introducing H-Law's Legal History Podcast

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In this special summer episode, we take a step back from reviewing to introduce listeners to H-Law's new legal history podcast.

The Art of the Review - Episode 30 Art Criticism

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In this episode, Yelena speaks with Natasha Kurchanova, an art historian specializing in the Russian avant-garde, a critic and curator of contemporary art about the connections and differences between art history and art criticism. Natasha received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. the City University of New York, where she studied modern art, photography, and film.

The Art of the Review - Episode 29 Reviewing Games

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In this episode, Robert speaks with Ron Weaver, a game programmer and designer and the Technical Design Director at the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at the University of Central Florida, about game reviewing and specifically reviews of the game That Dragon Cancer.

The Art of the Review - Episode 28 Matthew Friedman Talks Academic Podcasting

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This week, The Art of the Review takes a hiatus from reviewing to feature instead a conversation with historian Matthew Friedman, lecturer of history at Rutgers-Newark and producer of the No Sounds Are Forbidden, about his new show, the state of academic podcasting, and tips for listeners who may be thinking about producing a podcast of their own.

The Art of the Review - Episode 27 Film Festivals

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This week's episode is a little bit off the beaten path of academic book reviewing...but not too far. Robert Cassanello speaks with Dr. Lisa Mills, a documentary filmmaker and Associate Professor of Film at the University of Central Florida, about film festivals. Turns out, film festivals are a form of peer review for new films, a collective review process apart from individual critics' picks. Dr.

The Art of the Review - Episode 26 Welcome to the Book Channel

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This special episode of The Art of the Review features an interview with Jeremy D.

The Art of the Review - Episode 25 Reviewing Children's Liteature

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In this episode, we consider the art of reviewing children's literature with Mark West, Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, book review editor for Children's Literature Association Quarterly and former editor of The Five Owls.

The Art of the Review - Episode 24 Hiring a Professor

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In this episode, we speak with Jean Stuntz, Professor of History at West Texas A&M University and current H-Net President about the process of academic job hiring. Jean first joined H-Net as a subscriber in 1994 and is now editor of the H-SAWH and H-Texas networks.

The Art of the Review - Episode 23 Training Review Editors

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How does one come to edit book reviews for H-Net? In this episode, Yelena and Robert share with listeners how to apply to become a review editor for H-Net Reviews.

The Art of the Review - Episode 22 The Voice of the Reviewer

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In this episode, Robert speaks with Michael Munnik, Lecturer in Social Science Theories and Methods at Cardiff University and review editor for H-SAE, the H-Net network associated with the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, a section of the American Anthropological Association focusing on European communities and contexts.

The Art of the Review - Episode 21 H-Net History, Part 2

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In this second part of our series on the early days of H-Net, Robert speaks with long-time H-Law editor Charles Zelden about the earliest book reviews on H-Law, which included both reviews published elsewhere and 

The Art of the Review - Episode 20 H-Net History, Part 1

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In this episode, Robert speaks with H-Net's first Vice President for Research and Publications, a Habsburg list editor from 1994 to 2009, and World History Bibliographer at Rutgers University Libraries, Jim Niessen.

The Art of the Review - Episode 19 Reviewing Culture

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This episode was inspired by a previous episode of The Art of the Review, in which we discussed Professionalism in Tone with Vladimir Solonari and H-Net copyeditors Charlotte Weber and Basia Nowak.

The Art of the Review - Episode 18 Reviewing Digital History

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In this episode, Robert speaks with Seth Denbo, Director of Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives at the American Historical Association, about the Guidelines on the Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians, released in June 2015.

The Art of the Review - Episode 17 Reviewing Comics

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In this episode, Robert and Yelena talk about the academic treatment of comics and comic books, from art history to comic book studies, and Robert interviews Julian C. Chambliss, Associate Professor of History at Rollins College, about reviewing comics for scholarly and popular audiences.

Links to some of the things mentioned in this episode:

The Art of the Review - Episode 16 Reviewing as Criticism

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This episode is a special treat, as it features Robert's conversation with Barry Mauer, Associate Professor in the Department of English at UCF and a former music critic, speaking about music criticism as a form of reviewing. The topic of the conversation turns to Bob Dylan's 1970 album Self-Portrait, which was famously panned by Greil Marcus in Rolling Stone. And finally, Robert and Barry talk about "meta-criticism."

The Art of the Review - Episode 15 Citations

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This episode is one of an occasional series where Yelena and Robert speak with H-Net's copyeditors Charlotte Weber and Basia Nowak about the nuts and bolts of reviewing at H-Net. In this installment, we discuss the use of citations in scholarly book reviews, which Charlotte and Basia explain are usually kept to a minimum.

The Art of the Review - Episode 14 Peer Review & the Digital Humanities

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In this episode, we return to the topic of peer review, this time discussing the peer review process for editing and publishing scholarly editions. Robert interviews Mark Kamrath, a Professor of English at the University of Central Florida.

The Art of the Review - Episode 13 The Short Review

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In this episode, Yelena and Robert discuss the benefits and drawbacks of writing short reviews. Yelena mentions The New Yorker's regular Briefly Noted reviews, which prove without a doubt that writing skill matters in the short review.

The Art of the Review - Episode 12 The Long Review

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We start out the new year with a long interview with H-Socialisms review editor Dr. Gary Roth and reviewer Dr. Robert Barsky about Bob's review of The Open Mind: Cold War Politics and the Sciences of Human Nature by Jaime Nace Cohen-Cole. When Bob was working on his review last spring, he found that the "open mind" program that Cohen-Cole describes in his book, a program that "promoted to address the threat posed by Communism and ...

The Art of the Review - Holiday Hiatus

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Dear listeners,

The Art of the Review is going on a brief hiatus. We'll be back in January with all new episodes and conversations about

The Art of the Review - Episode 11 Obituary as Review

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This episode is about the scholarly obituary and presents two different approaches to the enterprise of reviewing a scholar's life. Tasked with "reviewing" the life of historian and his own mentor, Dr. Raymond A. Mohl, Robert interviews H-War editor David Silbey about his review of distinguished military historian John Keegan. Robert and Yelena then talk about some considerations, like what to include and the issue of objectivity. Links to the obituaries and interviews discussed are below.

The Art of the Review - Episode 10 Reviewing Translations

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In this episode, Robert and Yelena speak with Paolo Giordano, the Neil E. Euliano Distinguished Professor of Italian and Italian American Studies at the University of Central Florida about some things to consider when reviewing translated works. While few H-Net networks regularly review works of translations, a recent review on H-Buddhism did consider the issue of translation and cultural context:

The Art of the Review - Episode 9 Peer Review

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In this episode, Robert and Yelena talk about the internal peer review process that journals and academic book publishers undergo prior to publication. We speak about the expectations for peer reviewers in evaluating a manuscript and the work that publishers and editors do in recruiting such peer reviewers. In the second part of the episode, Robert interviews Derek Krissoff, Director of West Virginia University Press about the review process from a publisher's point of view. Don't miss that second half of the episode!

The Art of the Review - Episode 8 The Author as Audience

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In this episode, Robert and Yelena talk about what special considerations reviewers should make regarding a book's author. Robert shares his experiences of having his own book reviewed, and then speaks with Brendan C. Lindsay, whose book, Murder State: California's Native American Genocide, 1848-1873, was recently reviewed on H-AmIndian, about the ways that that review has been helpful to him.


The reviews we discussed were:

The Art of the Review - Episode 7 The Living Review

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This episode, which we are calling The Living Review, takes as its point of departure the idea of looking back to a review after some years or decades. Robert and Yelena discuss an interview Robert did with James Struthers, professor of Canadian Studies at Trent University in Ontario. Prof.

The Art of the Review - Episode 6 Professionalism in Tone

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In this second part of our two-part episode on professionalism, Robert and Yelena discuss how network advisory boards can help review editors vet a review's tone prior to publication.

The Art of the Review - Episode 5 Professionalism & Constructive Criticism

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This is the first of a two-part episode about professionalism in academic book reviewing. In this episode, Robert and Yelena look at H-Net's guidelines for professionalism and speak with H-Net copyeditors Basia Nowak and Charlotte Weber about two reviews that constructively critique the books under review. 

The Art of the Review - Episode 4 Quotes

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This episode dispenses some straightforward advice about the use of quotes in reviews. Robert speaks with H-Net copyeditors Charlotte Weber and Basia Nowak about some dos and don'ts of using quotations in reviews.


A review we mentioned in the episode was:

The Art of the Review - Episode 3 Reviews We Liked, part 2

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In this episode, Robert continues the discussion of reviews we liked with H-Net copyeditors Charlotte Weber and Basia Nowak. The reviews discussed are below.


More reviews we liked:

The Art of the Review - Episode 2 Reviews We Liked, part 1

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In this episode, Robert and Yelena discuss two reviews they liked and one review that was less than impressive. They conclude that judging a review is at least partly subjective, and that a preference for extended anecdotes, historical background, and discussions of the literature varies by reader. Below are the three reviews we discussed.

The Art of the Review - Episode 1 Welcome

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In this very first episode of The Art of the Review, listeners meet Robert Cassanello, Associate Professor of History at University of Central Florida and H-Net’s Vice President of Research & Publications; Yelena Kalinsky, Managing Editor of H-Net Reviews and H-Net’s Associate Director for Reviews; and H-Net copyeditors Basia Nowak and Charlotte Weber.