Category: Ask Aphra

I have ever thought the asking of Advice to be one of the most satisfactory Ways in which to communicate Joys and Fears of my life and, by so doing, to benefit the Knowledge and Wealth of the World and avoid the Mistakes of others. To this end, I have gathered an assembly of amiable personages to discuss the possible Pitfalls, serious Distresses, and minor Confusions which surround the world of eighteenth-century Academia. Flora, who divides her time between the bounties of Nature in the tropical world and the study of Books, has devoted nearly two decades to work in this Field and has a fount of Advice to share. The next goes by the name Antipodea, a woman of international Perspectives and multiple Accomplishments, whose experience on two Continents offers Wisdom from the wide World. Another, Arabella, expands her rural Society through Correspondence and Travel and offers the enthusiastic and compassionate Perspective of one relatively new to the Field. Urania, daughter of Anna’s shining coast, devotes herself to the Delight and Instruction of the nation’s Youth and to the boundless Joy of seeking things that bury’d lye. Such personages offer their Experience, liberal Genius, extensive and diverse Knowledge, and flatter themselves that they might be both Useful and Entertaining to the Academic who finds her or himself in Quandaries personal, public, or otherwise. Such Essays and Queries as are presented to these Ladies and myself will be generally discussed and replied to with a single Mouthpiece under the auspices of Ask Aphra.

Please send your Inquiries, dealing with the academic profession in all matters personal, research, teaching, service related, or otherwise connected in the Field, to askaphra.journal@aphrabehn.org. Aphra adores Universal Communication and encourages her wider Readership to comment upon the questions and Advice given (do see comment boxes below established for your correspondence convenience). However, those who indulge in Scandal Sheets shall not be tolerated! Pith, wit, and economy are delighted in. Scandal and Gossip are shown only by those who indulge in Cards and Chocolate to excess!

Journal Prestige

Dear Aphra, I am a new assistant professor. Is it better to publish more articles but some of them in less-selective journals, or better to publish fewer articles in more selective journals? Eagerly awaiting your reply, Anxious   My Dear Anxious, Aphra suggests that the answer to this Most Excellent Question has much to do…

Ask Aphra Seeks Your Queries

I have ever thought the asking of Advice to be one of the most satisfactory Ways in which to communicate Joys and Fears of my life and, by so doing, to benefit the Knowledge and Wealth of the World and avoid the Mistakes of others. To this end, I have gathered an assembly of amiable personages…

Writing Conference Papers

Dear Aphra, A good deal of pressure is currently being put on the traditional academic conference paper format of reading papers aloud as the norm, pointing for example to the oddness of folks listening to something that could more effectively be distributed and read and that is in no meaningful way different than a text…

MA to PhD

Dear Aphra, I am in an M.A. program and love what I’m doing. I want to go on to a Ph.D. program, but my advisor is discouraging me from applying. What should I do? Simply Stumped Simply Stumped’s query raised earnest debate among the members of ABO’s cabinet, and so we provide two different letters…

Publication After Tenure

Dear Aphra, I have been focused on getting tenure for so long that, now once I have it, I’m unsure of how much power I have. What are my real freedoms once I get tenure? Can I really say no to anything? Can I really publish whatever I want? Thank you, Associate Professor Tenured and…

Finding readers

Dear Aphra, As a new and evolving scholar of the eighteenth century, I am always looking for ways to improve my writing.  I have been told that having other people review my work is a good way to improve my writing, but I have questions about this process.  For instance, how many people do you…

Timely correspondence

Dear Aphra, I appreciate your guidance! I particularly appreciate your sharing of K.T.S.’s letter, and my question follows from one of her suggestions to session chairs regarding acknowledgment of receipt. How quickly should one acknowledge receipt in professional correspondence? Or rather, how long can one delay before lack of acknowledgement deviates from best practices? I’d…

Conference etiquette

Aphra shall here communicate to the World a Letter of Interest, which she believes will give the Reader as good Advice as any that she is able to furnish her with, and therefore shall make no Apology for it: Dear Aphra, I am one of the Directors of the Society for the Expectations of Best…

Fashion and MLA

Dear Aphra, I have an MLA job interview coming up and I’m not sure what to wear. I’ve heard I should dress “professionally,” but I’m not comfortable in a suit, skirts, or heels. Do I need to go and buy an interview suit? Sincerely, Fantomina Fantomina, It is ever our opinion that Professional Attire is the…