Sprout- Daniel Hajdacki

We are thrilled to announce that Recursive will have a new book review section focusing on higher ed pedagogy!

This new section will be edited by Rebecca Weaver, who brings to this role previous experience in writing about pedagogy for Recursive, Hybrid Pedagogy, the Hope Center’s #RealCollege Blog, the Chronicle’s ProfHacker, and TechStyle; book reviewing for Rain Taxi and other publications; editing a literary magazine and a digital pedagogy magazine; developing faculty pedagogy through Digital Pedagogy Lab and Georgia State’s CETLOE; and teaching at Perimeter since 2015 (and at other institutions since 1996).

She will also be the interim Managing Editor for Recursive for Fall 2021, responsible for overall editing and working with authors. Katy Crowther, Recursive’s founder and Editor-in-Chief, plans to remain in that capacity and will collaborate in encouraging and editing submissions.

Recursive wants to publish book reviews because we’re in a moment where more and more faculty are searching for better ideas about teaching college students. Reviews can help all of us know what’s going on and to get to know books we might not get a chance to see on our own. We hope to join the small and lively community of folks already doing pedagogy book reviews, such as Elon University’s Center For Engaged Learning’s book review blog, Teach & Learn Inquiry, and The Journal of Higher Education Policy and Leadership. There are so many books about teaching that have already come out or will be soon, and so many books that a new generation of higher ed pedagogues will want to know more about. The core strength driving these reviews is your experience and expertise as teachers in higher ed.

We aim to publish three reviews per quarter, in October, January, April, and July. We’d like to have one feature (900-1300 words) and two shorter reviews (500-900 words) per quarter, though we are not opposed to adding more reviews or publishing review essays in the future. We plan to smart small.

Pitch us! We want you to review a book about teaching in higher ed! We especially want you to write for us if:

  • You teach more than one or two classes a semester at a “teaching institution”
  • You’re a new professor
  • You’re new to writing about teaching
  • You’re an experienced professor who read something that made you change the way you teach
  • You re-thought your pedagogy during the pandemic
  • You’re in an administrative role and teach or are in regular contact with professors in your unit/your sphere

Like other book reviews, we would like reviews of new and forthcoming books on higher ed pedagogy, but will also encourage reviews of older books that you think deserve a new reading or one that is a “foundational text” that new higher ed faculty hear of / read sections of but want to know more about. We are willing to consider books about higher ed more generally, if you can make an argument that they somehow touch teaching. Here are a few (but there are so many more!) random examples of new, forthcoming, or older books we’d be interested in reading reviews of. If you have an idea for a book not on this list, pitch us!

Pregnant Girl: A Story of Teen Pregnancy, College, and Creating a Better Future for Young Families, by Nicole Lynn Lewis
Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (And What to Do Instead), by Susan Blum
Sustainable. Resilient. Free: The Future of Public Higher Education, by John Warner
Teaching Machines, by Audrey Watters*
Hybrid Teaching: People, Pedagogy, Politics, by Chris Friend*
Above the Well: An Antiracist Argument From a Boy of Color, by Asao B Inoue
The Lifespan Development of Writing, By Charles Bazerman, Arthur N. Applebee, Virginia W.  Berninger, Deborah Brandt, Steve Graham, Jill V. Jeffery, Paul Kei Matsuda, Sandra Murphy, Deborah Wells Rowe, Mary Schleppegrell, and Kristen Campbell Wilcox
Lives on the Boundary: The Struggles and Achievements of America’s Educationally Underprepared, by Mike Rose
Teachers as Intellectuals: Toward a Critical Pedagogy of Learning, by Henry Giroux
Teaching To Transgress: Education as The Practice of Freedom, by bell hooks

*spoken for, as of August 2021

How to pitch us (email rweaver [at] gsu.edu):

  • Read our Style Guide to get a sense of what we want
  • Submit electronically through attachment, link, or in the body of an email
  • Read and abide by our ethical and editorial submission guidelines
  • Tell us what book you want to review, and answer the following questions: why do you think it should be reviewed? Has it been reviewed elsewhere? What experience do you bring (as an instructor, writer, editor, or combination) to writing that review?
  • If you’ve already completed a review, attach it to an email which answers the questions above
  • Tell us if you’ve published other things (or send a CV or website link)
  • Tell us if you need help getting the book
  • Tell us if you’re open to suggestions as to which book to review
  • Tell us if you think this would fit as a longer or shorter review
  • Tell us if you want to do a review essay and why these 2-4 books should be reviewed together (maybe they’re from the same press, maybe they’re by folks discussing the same topic, maybe they grok in some other way)
  • Tell us if you know the author of the book, and how you know that person (as per the guidelines)
  • Tell us if you want to review something that isn’t a book but should be reviewed–we’re open to interesting ideas!
  • Tell us if you’re interested in reviewing but have never written a review before–that’s cool–we can work with that!

Send us ideas! We look forward to hearing from you!