Tag Archives: Journals

New Journal Debuts

Earlier this year, JHU press published the first-ever issue of ASAP/Journal, a new journal from The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present. The quarterly journal promotes intellectual exchange between artists and critics across the arts and humanities. The inaugural issue focused on “Art & the Commons.” Amy Elias and Jonathan Eburne, editors of the journal, joined our podcast series to talk about this exciting new venture.


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Emily Dickinson Journal publishes its 25th volume in 2016 under the guidance of a new editor. James R. Guthrie, Professor of English Language and Literatures at Wright State University, now helms the journal. He joined us for a Q&A about his new role and the journal’s anniversary.

How did you come to take the editor position at the journal?

I was invited to take the position by Cristanne Miller, the EDJ‘s previous editor.

EDJ_front_coverWhat is one surprising thing you have found in the transition?

Learning to use ScholarOne. (Ed: An online system for manuscript submission and review) I was quite intimidated by ScolarOne when I took over the editorship. But now, with two issues under my belt, I’m much more comfortable with that program. ScholarOne is still not as user-friendly as I would prefer, but I’ve come to appreciate what it can do for me, as an editor.

Emily Dickinson Journal will publish its 25th volume in 2016. What does that milestone mean for you?

Twenty-five years is indeed a milestone for the EDJ. Personally, those 25 years coincide roughly with my own scholarly interest in Dickinson. It has been a real pleasure to watch Dickinson move from the fringe of recognized American writers to canonical status. My wife jokes now that she can rarely open an issue of the Sunday New York Times or the New Yorker without coming across a reference to Emily Dickinson. She has definitely entered the mainstream of American culture and literary history.

What kind of plans to you have in the short term for the journal?

Now that I’m more comfortable with the position of editor, I look forward to using the EDJ to encourage growth in particular areas of Dickinson scholarship. For example, I’m interested in encouraging interdisciplinary approaches to her poetry. I also like cultural materialist / new historical approaches. Also, there’s a good deal of interest among Dickinson scholars these days in looking more closely at literary kinships between Dickinson and other 19th-century American writers such as Melville and Thoreau. Then too, Dickinson scholarship has become increasingly international in scope. Foreign scholars have much to offer about the reception of Dickinson’s work in their countries, translations of the poems, and similarities between her work and that of local celebrated authors.

What kind of advice would you give to scholars looking to publish in the journal?

I would certainly advise scholars considering submitting work to the EDJ to go ahead and do so — we welcome any sort of scholarship concerning Dickinson. And Dickinson is something of a hot property these days in scholarship and the media — so young scholars may boost their own careers by focusing more intently upon Dickinson’s work. The network of Dickinson scholars is (drawing upon my own experience) welcoming, receptive to new ideas, and friendly. So, take a chance on Dickinson — I think all of us practicing Dickinson scholars are happy that we did.


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A Closer Look at the German Studies Association

A group of scholars in the western United States got together 40 years ago to celebrate their shared interest in German studies. Now, the German Studies Association continues to grow in size and influence. An interview with GSA Executive Director David E. Barclay, Ph.D. about the organization’s current state.

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Confronting Child Death

Late last year, the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth published a special issue which took a look at the thorny subject of child death. Kathleen Jones organized a discussion of young people and death at the 2013 conference for the Society for the History of Children and Youth, the sponsoring organization for the journal. This event drove the creation of the special issue. Jones, Associate Professor of History and Director of Graduate Studies at Virginia Tech, served as guest editor for the issue with Vassar College Associate Professor of History and Director of Victorian Studies Lydia Murdoch and Tamara Myers, Associate Professor of History at the University of British Columbia. The trio provided collective answers for a Q&A session.

This issue emanated from 2013 conference panel. How gratifying is it to see some of that work published?

hcy.8.3_frontImmensely gratifying. For the seventh biennial meeting of the Society for the History of Children and Youth, we proposed a group of panels about child death. The conference theme, “Space,” shaped our panels – the papers explored the places of death, the ways that space and place of death shaped the cultural meanings attached to dead children. Publication gave us the opportunity to collect ideas from the conference papers, expand and develop them, and, most importantly, share them widely. The opportunity to publish them also reinforced for us how important, and yet still relatively understudied, the responses to the deaths of children are for the history of childhood. Death provides a cultural frame for the value attached to children. It’s a point Viviana Zelizer made so clear over thirty years ago in her discussion of life insurance for children (Pricing the Priceless Child, 1985) It’s a perspective that the journal publication now invites others to build from and add new understandings to in the future.

In the introduction, it was mentioned that response to the original panel was overwhelming. Why do you think that this area has so much interest?

As the history of childhood has developed in the last thirty years or so, the field has been shaped by questions about agency – questions about what role children played in the past, about what they experienced as they grew up, and about how adults interpreted those experiences and used childhood for political purposes. Getting away from seeing the child as “victim” or “object” has been a part of the rationale for the history of childhood and youth. The same perspective permeates new studies of child death. Earlier histories tended to focus on the question of whether parents developed affective bonds with children and mourned those who died in periods or places with high child mortality. Following Linda Pollock (Forgotten Children: Parent-Child Relations from 1500 to 1900, 1983), numerous scholars have demonstrated that parents deeply mourned the death of children in the past, leading us to explore new types of questions. Whereas death has often been blended into a history of medicine and disease or the history of mourning rituals, the conference theme opened the possibility of exploring the political, social, cultural, and emotional issues associated with risk and death, whether the death of one or of many children. Historians have shown how adults used the threat of death to discipline the young, and how state interventions developed at moments of heightened awareness of child endangerment. At the same time, historians of child death have tracked the emotional loss attached to the death of a child and the ways death has been rendered meaningful for children as well as for adults at both a cultural and a personal level.

Interest was also generated because of child death’s contemporary relevance and our (western) perspective that any young death is premature and demands explication. While death in childhood is an unusual occurrence in many cultures in 2016, it is an all-too-prominent part in others where disease and violence relentlessly attack the young. Where growing into adulthood is the norm, representations of dead and dying children pull at heartstrings, making those images powerful tools for political agendas. Current interest in the history of child death can’t be divorced from the powerful imagery in these contrasting life experiences of children and their prospects for growing into adulthood.

How hard was it to choose what would end up in the journal issue?

Our goal for the issue was to include articles that looked at death in different times and places; we were fortunate to work with panelists who brought such diversity to the conference. In identifying a table of contents that would ensure an issue with broad appeal we also invited additional contributions – notably David Pomfret’s reflective essay on the state of the field. But the underlying theme in the issue was always one of meaning. When a child dies, how is that death explained? When many children die in similar circumstances, how and why are the deaths given a purpose? We think the articles in this collection demonstrate the historical contingency of answers to questions about how we understand and process child death and the ways child death shape the life experiences of children.

We also wanted to show with the issue how researchers are approaching issues of childhood and death from a variety of methodological perspectives. The essays in the volume defy easy categorization, blending methodologies from cultural and social history, oral history, visual arts and material culture, archival studies, and social work. Taken together, though, they suggest the many opportunities for further research on the history of child death.

What did you three learn from working on the issue?

One of most important takeaways from editing this issue is how little we know about the experience of and the meanings attached to child death. The articles here only begin to scratch the surface and leave us with more questions than answers: How did young people themselves understand death? What were the ways that death was made real to them? How did they weave the prospect of death into expectations of their adulthood? We are particularly interested in how answers to these questions changed over time, or in different contexts. For historians of childhood, the role children played in history may well be found in the ways they balanced the prospect of the future with the possibility of death.

How important will it be to revisit this topic in the future?

We hope the experiences of death in childhood and the meanings adults and children give to those experiences will be revisited often as we continue to write the history of children and youth. The articles in this issue remind us that even though death is our universal fate, how we die and how the living are affected by death cannot be captured by that one word. The meanings we attach to death are bounded by the many adjectives we call on to distinguish one death from another… violent death, self-inflicted death, accidental death, epidemic death, slow death from disease or neglect. The articles in this issue begin to address the complexity of this multifaceted word. We expect that scholars will build from these articles to explore the range of experiences, emotions, and meanings associated with child death, and show us the many ways the deaths of some children have shaped the lives of others.

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Remembering Ralph Cohen

By Anne E. Bromley, UVA Today Associate

Longtime University of Virginia English professor Ralph Cohen, who founded the internationally known scholarly journal New Literary History, died Feb. 23 – his 99th birthday – in Charlottesville.

Cohen joined the UVA faculty in 1967 and retired 42 years later as William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of English. He founded New Literary History in 1969 as a new type of academic journal devoted to the role of theory in exploring literary and cultural questions.

UVA President Emeritus and University Professor John T. Casteen III, a colleague of Cohen’s in the English department, noted that the journal “has served a dual purpose: it has been both the touchstone for the community of scholars of literature within this one university and a global forum for wide-ranging scholarly discussion and debate among writers and critics in every place and of every persuasion.”


Ralph Cohen was honored in 2010 for founding and editing New Literary History for 40 years. (Photo courtesy of UVA Today)

The current New Literary History editor, Rita Felski, who now holds the William R. Kenan Jr. Professorship, took the helm from Cohen in 2009. He “transformed the field of literary studies, thanks to New Literary History, whose extraordinary impact resonated around the globe,” she said.

New Literary History, a quarterly published by Johns Hopkins University Press, was the first-ever journal of literary theory, raising challenging questions about the aims and purposes of literary studies, Felski said.

“It was followed by many other journals of a similar kind,” she said. “It has a huge international reputation and put UVA on the map in many ways.”

W.J.T. Mitchell, the editor of one of those other journals, Critical Inquiry, called Cohen “the father of criticism and theory in our time.”

Through translations into English, often for the first time, the journal introduced numerous thinkers from France, Eastern Europe, China and elsewhere to an Anglo-American academic audience. In turn, New Literary History became the first English-language literary journal to be translated into Chinese.

Specializing in 18th-century British literature and philosophy – though his intellectual reach ranged well beyond British literary studies – Cohen developed an original theory of genre that connected literary theory with analysis of historical change across the disciplines. He published six books and more than 100 essays.

In keeping with his scholarly interests, he created the Commonwealth Center for Literary and Cultural Change, which operated from 1988 to 1995. This interdisciplinary research center, Cohen wrote, “had as its primary aim the study of change and continuity in individuals and institutions in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.”

During the same time period, Cohen served as the first chair of the international Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes.

A fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 1984) and the British Academy (since 1987), Cohen received numerous fellowships and scholarly awards and was visiting professor at universities across the United States and around the world.

For more than 60 years, he was a professor of English and considered himself first and foremost a teacher. Before coming to the University of Virginia, he taught at the University of California, Los Angeles for 17 years.

After retiring from UVA, he joined James Madison University’s School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication and helped establish the Cohen Center for the Study of Technological Humanism in 2013.

Cohen graduated from the City College of New York in 1937, received his master’s degree from Columbia’s Teachers College in 1946, taught at CCNY from 1947 to 1950 and earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1952. He served in the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps from 1942 to 1946. Before the war, he met and married Libby Okun, his wife of more than 70 years. She died in 2013.

Cohen is survived by his daughter, Ruth; and son-in-law, David B. Morris; and son David and daughter-in-law, Mary Cohen, all of Charlottesville.

A memorial event will be held on UVA’s Grounds later this year.

Reprinted with permission from UVA Today

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An Examination of Diagnosis

pbm.58.1_frontAt first glance, medical diagnosis might seem like a cut-and-dry topic. However, much more goes into this aspect of medical practice than most people think. Annemarie Jutel, co-editor of Social Issues in Diagnosis and author of Putting a Name to It, recently served as guest editor for an issue of the journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. The first issue of Volume 58 took a special look at diagnosis through a combination of traditional articles, 55-word stories and images. Jutel, a professor in the Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, Jutel joined our podcast series to talk about diagnosis and the special issue.

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Digging Into Graphic Narrative

Late in 2015, the journal South Central Review published a special issue on “Graphic Narrative.” The issue featured seven essays and two book reviews on the growing field of scholarship focused on this area of publishing. Nicole Stamant, assistant professor of English at Agnes Scott College, served as guest editor and joined us for a Q&A to take a deeper look at the issue.

How did this issue come together?

scr.32.3_frontNS: In 2013, the Editor of South Central Review, Joe Golsan, was visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London. That year, there was a special, interactive exhibit that featured graphic narratives and it got him thinking about how the journal could engage these kinds of stories. The journal is devoted to the intersection of culture and academia, and this special issue is a great manifestation of such dedication. After this experience at the Victoria and Albert, Joe spoke to Nicholas Lawrence, the journal’s Managing Editor, who got in touch with me. Much of my research and teaching revolve around graphic narrative, and when Nick indicated that there was a desire for South Central Review to assemble a special issue on graphic narrative, I thought it was a fantastic idea.

No specific direction or subgenre was indicated for the special issue, which I thought was exciting, too. As I write in the introduction, while we have seen a real increase in overall scholarship about graphic narrative, it’s a particular thrill to have as storied a journal as South Central Review take an interest in it. Frankly, such an interest is a testament to the journal itself—they’re committed to being on the cutting edge of contemporary scholarship. Although my own research focuses on life writing and graphic memoir, I quite liked the idea of an open discussion about graphic narrative and was optimistic that we would get a real variety of analyses. We put out a general call for articles about graphic narrative and received some great submissions. I organized the issue from there, based on trends featured in the essays: an investment both in the unique potential and power of graphic narrative and in how graphic narratives foreground negotiations of representation, of structure and form, of visibility, of the archive, and of publishing itself.

In the intro, you mention that this issue takes for granted that graphic narrative scholarship is needed. How important is it that this kind of analysis is more accepted now?

NS: To be honest, it’s enormously important. We are lucky to be in a literary moment of true proliferation, in a moment in which stories are being told by people who may have had a much more difficult—or impossible—time sharing their stories at other points, and in all kinds of ways. Graphic narrative is one such form, and the fact that we are taking this form seriously, in all of its variability, allows us as readers and thinkers new ways to understand being in this world. We live in a moment saturated with the confluence of text and image, and it makes sense that our storytelling strategies would reflect such intersections. So, paying attention to graphic narrative matters generally; in scholarship, it is perhaps even more crucial to consider issues of representation and diversity of storytelling. Graphic narrative is fundamentally cross-disciplinary, negotiating text and image, and graphic narrative scholarship has the potential to help articulate what it is that makes graphic narrative so special. In addition, scholarship can influence pedagogy, and one of the hopes for this special issue is that these articles allow those who may not be steeped in Comics Studies the opportunity to learn a bit more about what is happening in contemporary graphic narrative and how these kinds of texts can be incorporated into classrooms and shared with students.

What new ground is broken by the articles in this issue?

NS: Importantly, this issue includes articles about outstanding texts that do not yet have a large scholarly presence: Sinéad Moynihan’s analysis of Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece’s Incognegro and Jim Coby’s discussion of Josh Neufeld’s A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge do a lot of work in the service of these books and these stories. These articles substantively provide nuanced negotiations of history, experience, technology (as with Neufeld’s hyperlinked text), and literary tradition, and it is a real privilege to have had the chance to put them into print. For the contributions about texts that are more well known, the articles add complexity to the conversations: this is particularly true with Robert Hutton’s consideration of the publishing industry—he uses Art Spiegelman’s Maus as a test case for its significance in our understanding of graphic narratives—and Frederik Byrn Kohlert’s negotiation of trauma studies in Phoebe Gloeckner’s work. There are also articles that posit new theoretical foundations about graphic narrative; Nancy Pedri’s work on ocularity and focalization and K.W. Eveleth’s presentation of labyrinthine aesthetics are incredibly interesting and useful. They all work together to, I hope, present readers with a microcosm of the discussions happening elsewhere in scholarship and in classrooms, and they’ve already changed the way I understand and teach these texts.

What does the future hold for serious examination of graphic narratives?

NS: It is such a fantastic time to be reading, creating, and writing about graphic narratives! There are so many important works that academia hasn’t quite discovered, yet, or works that we haven’t given the real attention they deserve. Contemporary graphic narrative allows for untold new ways of considering experience, and continuing studies of comics and graphic narrative should demand close attention to issues of (re)presentation more generally. I hope that we will continue to recover comics and graphic narratives that are buried in the archives; that the myriad forms and modes of graphic narratives challenge our assumptions about lived realities and imagined worlds; and that there continues to be the kind of rigorous, careful consideration about graphic narrative that we’ve seen in the last decade.

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Four Journals Join JHUP Collection

The Johns Hopkins University Press will add a quartet of journals to its list. The diverse additions – ASAP/Journal, Dante Studies, Journal of Jewish Identities and Lutheran Quarterly – now bring the JHUP journals list to 83.

“The addition of these titles continues our growth in the Journals Division,” said Journals Publisher Bill Breichner. “We are happy to provide an outlet for outstanding interdisciplinary scholarship in a variety of important disciplines.”

ASAP/Journal is a new publication which will serve as the official journal of The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present. Edited by Jonathan P. Eburne (Penn State University) and Amy J. Elias (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), the journal will explore new developments in post-1960s visual, media, literary and performance arts. ASAP/Journal will publish three issues per year.

Dante Studies publishes annually in November and will join JHUP for Volume 134 in 2016. Justin Steinberg (University of Chicago) serves as editor for the journal, which is the official journal of the Dante Society of America (DSA) and the premier journal devoted to Dante in the English-speaking world.

Journal of Jewish Identities is edited by Helene Sinnreich at Youngstown State University. The interdisciplinary journal serves as a forum for contesting ideas and debates concerning the formations of and transformations in, Jewish identities in their various aspects, layers and manifestations. Published twice a year, the journal will publish Volume 9 in 2016 with JHUP.

Volume 30 of Lutheran Quarterly will introduce the quarterly journal to JHUP in 2016. Edited by Paul Rorem at the Princeton Theological Seminary, the journal serves the Evangelical Lutheran Church everywhere as a forum for discussion of Christian faith and life on the basis of the Lutheran confession.

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Pro-Nuclear Environmentalism

In the final issue for 2015, the journal Technology and Culture included an essay from Danish-based researchers Rens van Munster and Casper Sylvest called “Pro-Nuclear Environmentalism: Should We Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Nuclear Energy?” Sylvest, an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Southern Denmark, and van Munster, a senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, used the essay to examine the ideological commitments and assumptions of pro-nuclear environmentalism by performing a critical, historical analysis of the nuclear-environment nexus through the prism of documentary film. The authors now share some of their thoughts behind the topic in a Q&A.

How important is it for a journal like Technology and Culture to provide an audience for this essay?

tech.56.4_frontIt is immensely important. The list of inspiring essays and articles that have been published in T&C is a long one, and since we are interested in bringing the study of politics and the historical study of technology closer together, it is really an ideal outlet; it also brings our work to the attention of a new audience and we hope this piece can be part of an increased dialogue on questions of technology and global politics.

We are also extremely pleased to be publishing in T&C for an additional, perhaps somewhat more personal, reason. More than 50 years ago T&C published a piece that has been particularly important for the development of our own work; namely Lewis Mumford ‘Authoritarian and Democratic Technics’ (1964). Over the past 4-5 years we have run a research project on “Globality and Planetary Security” (GAPS), sponsored by the Danish Research Council, and the bulk of this project has been devoted to unearthing a new history of nuclear political thought, if you will. Mumford is among a group of thinkers that we designate nuclear realists, and who in response to the thermonuclear revolution of the 1950s formulated a global form of political thought that was as insightful in its analysis of nuclear weapons as it was resolute in its opposition to these weapons.

Writing about these nuclear realists has opened new ways of understanding the convulsions that atomic and thermonuclear weapons produced and it has allowed us to explore links between nuclear technology and the environment or between nuclear technology and understandings of the future. Most of our findings are included in the book Nuclear Realism: Global Political Thought during the Thermonuclear Revolution, which will be published by Routledge in April 2016.

How did you come to use documentaries such as Robert Stone’s Pandora’s Promise as the prism for your essay?

We have for some time been interested in visual representations of various forms of global politics, from war and law to migration and economics. We soon discovered that one of the most prominent forms in which such questions are mediated is the contemporary documentary. And yet, outside film studies few attempts have been made to understand the attractions and power of this genre and art form. So back in 2012-2013 we collected a group of international relations specialists and asked them to write on one or more recent documentaries of relevance to their field. We subsequently published these essays in an edited volume entitled Documenting World Politics (Routledge, 2015).

During this process we came to reflect on the politics of the documentary, its history, its strategies and its attractions to political actors. It also involved watching a lot of films, of course. And among them were the productions of Robert Stone, most notably Radio Bikini and Earth Days. Given the subject and openly political agenda of Pandora’s Promise, it invited deeper analysis.

What is the greatest difficulty in separating the vision of nuclear weapons from the promise of nuclear energy?

The short answer here is: history! Since the dawn of the atomic age – in fact, since way before 1945 when the potential of atomic energy was undeniably demonstrated to the world – it is a source of energy that has been shrouded in ambiguity. For every dystopian nightmare of atomic warfare there has been a series of utopian, redemptive visions of peace and prosperity.

In fact, the very distinction between military and civilian nuclear energy is the central point of contestation in nuclear politics. As the current debates about the Iran deal illustrate, the distinction is also fundamentally unstable and throughout the history of the nuclear age we can see how people have struggled to uphold, transgress or break down this distinction. Our conceptions of technology are at the very heart of this instability. Given the risks associated with technological failure and the inherent dual-use capacity of large parts of nuclear technology, the central question becomes whether humans indeed master human-made technologies, or whether anthropogenic technologies may change our values, aspirations and climate, either subliminally or more directly. This tension is exactly what is at stake in pro-nuclear environmentalism.

Where do you hope the conversation goes from here concerning pro-nuclear environmentalism?

Well, first of all, as we argue in the essay – we hope that those advancing the cause of nuclear energy will adopt a more reflexive and humble posture in the years to come. The nuclear age is filled with examples of technological utopianism and hubris. Climate change is the contemporary challenge, and it is also true that nuclear energy is part of the contemporary energy mix and likely to remain so for some time. But before we promote or adopt a strategy to fundamentally nuclearize global energy provision, we should think carefully about our history with this technology, with the risks and dangers it involves and about the political values such a strategy would serve. We don’t think pro-nuclear environmentalists have provided convincing responses to these fundamental questions. Perhaps this really is the time to imagine our future – including the future of energy – anew?

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Does SAT prep improve test scores?

The Fall 2015 issuerhe.39.1_front of The Review of Higher Education featured research from Julie J. Park and Ann H. Becks looking at who benefits from preparation for the SAT. Their research focuses on how high school resources are linked to participation in a variety of forms of SAT prep as well as the impact of SAT prep on SAT scores, both overall and for students of different races.

Park, an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Becks, a research analyst at Human Capital Research Corporation in Evanston, Ill., participated in a Q&A about their article.

JHUP: What sparked the idea for this research?

JP:  I had done an article that looked at trends in SAT prep for Chinese and Korean Americans. While SAT prep is usually the domain of higher income students, some low-income Korean Americans take SAT prep at a relatively high rate, which is not due to anything related to “Asian values” but a complex interplay between the ethnic economy and social capital networks. I also had some interest in how high school contexts might influence pathways to college.

AB: Similar to Julie, I had an interest in issues related to the K-16 pipeline. This study was appealing in particular because of the attention it paid to the influence of the high school context on a measure of student performance that has historically held significant weight in academic profiles and admissions decisions.

JHUP: How important is it to study these issues even when some schools say they are de-emphasizing tests like the SAT and ACT in admissions?

JP:  I think it’s pretty important. Only a small percentage of schools have gone SAT-optional, even though it’s seen as one of the most effective ways to support diversity and equity in admissions. There are a lot of hot topic conversations around who should get into college and people will compare SAT scores like they’re apples to apples, not realizing that a supposedly objective test is shaped by a myriad of social factors.

AB: When you lessen the “weight” of or altogether do away with standardized test scores in admissions considerations you look towards other measures of academic profile such as high school grade point average and rank to get a sense of the applicant. But these two pieces of data mean less if an understanding of the larger context (e.g., “quality” of the high school) is not sought. In other words, as standardized test scores are de-emphasized admissions considerations will emphasize other student characteristics that may be a proxy for success in college such as goal orientation and grit. School-based and out-of-school–based resources can shape these things in students.

JHUP: What was the most surprising of your findings?

JP: I was surprised that only one form of test prep—taking a private SAT course—was linked with significantly higher scores. It was also interesting that East Asian Americans were the only group where a form of test prep (a private course) was linked with higher scores. This made me go back to the literature on the effects of SAT prep; somehow, I had initially missed that it was a lot more mixed than I had assumed. You assume that because it’s generally so expensive, that it has to work. The reality is more complicated and has a lot of implications for how we should be viewing students’ test scores.

AB: I was surprised by the opposing influence of some of the individual predictors when we tested the equality of beta coefficients. If anything these results raised more questions about the nature of the differences in the interplay between ethnic economies and social capital networks that Julie mentioned earlier.

JHUP: What do you hope happens from here in the realm of SAT prep research?

JB: There are more studies needed with new data from students taking the most revised form of the SAT. The survey that we used is the best one out there, but it’s old. There’s also a need for randomized controlled trials assessing the impact of SAT prep. Finally there’s more qualitative research to better understand the complexity of students’ experiences with the SAT and SAT prep.

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