“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Queer Ecology 200

Two hundred citations for "Queer Ecology" today! Very very happy about that. The essay was in jeopardy at first, because the editor of the journal got freaked out, having invited me to put some more detail on an argument I'd made in Ecology without Nature. Her husband was a geneticist and she unfortunately ran the arguments past him--just because you do science doesn't mean you have a right to talk about reality (haha); and I was employing Joan Roughgarden's work (amazing person, have you met her? was awesome when I finally did).

You can download it here.

The editor was a specialist neither in ecological humanities nor in queer theory, and suffered from an anxiety disorder. Towards the end of a half hour phone call about the essay, she was talking about pulling it, and getting very anxious. So I said "Please, please just give me a week and I'll fix it for you." I was pretty upset because I was really, really into the topic and had poured everything into writing the essay, as it was for a big venue.

I won't tell you what I did (tricks of the trade) but it was incredibly minimal. When you're working for an editor, try to do the minimum effort required, for the sake of your poor ego. It was nothing to do with the content, but to do with how I conveyed it. One week later she wrote back, "I don't know what you did but it's amazing...so much better..." It was exactly the same argument. Again, I just changed how I put it across.

1 comment:

J. Ahlroth said...

Thank you! This is a great story, and inspiring for all of us who write and work with editors.