by Manina Jones, ACCUTE President
As scholars in literary and cultural studies, we do valuable work. It’s important to share our work with each other via professional conferences and publications, but it’s equally vital that we get the word out to a wider audience, enrich public culture, and inform public opinion.
Earlier this week, I attended a Federation webinar given by Scott White, Editor, The Conversation Canada; and Nicola Katz, Acting Director of Policy, Programs, Communications and Membership, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (Moderator) about The Conversation, a new venue (launched in 2017) where university scholars can make their research and expertise accessible to a wide public and connect with an extensive network of media agencies:
“The Conversation Canada is a new digital publication that brings together the expertise of academia and journalism, where all of the authors are from Canadian universities. The Conversation works with professional journalists to expose academic research to a wider audience, a model that serves as a ‘knowledge mobilization’ vehicle for academics who want to raise their profiles and share their expertise across Canada and around the world.”
This initiative is supported by SSHRC, as well as 18 of our home universities, media and technology partners. The site features articles on a wide range of subjects: science, health & medicine, education, technology, politics, arts, economics & business, energy & environment and culture & society. Articles that appear in The Conversation are often reproduced in major media.
The process: you pitch an article, or editors reach out directly to you in an area of expertise. Articles might address aspects of your research; a current event or controversy; an issue that needs thoughtful analysis; a popular cultural phenomenon; authors, books, or films of interest, etc. You then work with the editors to create a short piece that is put into wide circulation, including exposure to major national and international media outlets. Articles have been republished by the Canadian Press, Chronicle-Herald, Toronto Star, Maclean’s, National Post, Washington Post, Quartz, Salon, the Guardian and science/medical sites.
The Conversation also provides its authors with extensive publishing analytics on how widely and where their work is circulated. This is an important factor in assessing knowledge mobilization, often a key requirement for funding agencies.
See the links below for more information: