[csaa-forum] My lost CSAA posting

apmartin at netspace.net.au apmartin at netspace.net.au
Wed Jul 16 14:56:26 CST 2008

Hi Ned - I replied to your recent CSAA post on-list a few days ago,  
but received
a note back implying it probably wouldn't appear because I am no  
longer a paid-
up member (although I still get the emails)! Feel free to post this  
to the group
yourself, to keep the conversation going:

LETTER TO CSAA list (12/07/08)

Ned, you predict the possible/likely demise of journals including  
Scan, Meanjin,
M/C and Rouge. Since I co-edit Rouge, and write for most of the other
publications on your list, I have a special, vested interest in  
commenting on
this! For I have also, with my colleagues at Monash Film and TV, been  
out a response to the crazy ERA rankings. (The initial list contained  
journals that have not been published in 10 to15 years!! And a  
Russian one that,
when translated, turns out to be a 'Journal of Night Photography'!!  
Joke for
Greg H : that one may publish our future articles on Philippe  

Well, the good news first: I can't speak for any other journal, but  
ROUGE will
go on, despite the ERA! Why? Because we three editors want it to,  
because we are
not and have never been a 'peer review' journal (so ERA will never  
come near us,
even though we regularly publish Rosenbaum and Brenez andd Bellour  
and Marias
and Biro and Morris and ... ), and, perhaps most important of all,  
because we do
not depend on university (or indeed any institutional) subsidy: it's  
a cheap-as-
chips operation (which can only exist on-line, in that sense). A  
labour of love,
as they say.

Why will ROUGE, or any of the other titles listed by Ned, go on  
existing (if any
of those others do, as i think at least some will)? Precisely for the  
reason I
am sure Ned would agree with: because there remains a 'hard core' of  
people who
want to read them and write for them, despite the fact that  
'immediate pay off'
in academic terms may be slight or non-existent. Everyone now and  
again I hear
of someone (such as John Armstrong at Melb Uni) militating within the  
system to ensure that writing for newspapers and the many non-referee  
'matters': good luck to them, but I am not holding my breath. Most of  
writing I have done in my life does not 'count', in strict  
institutional terms.
for my current university job. Especially as I write a lot, these  
days, in
translation for those foreign-language journals that will in most  
cases never
make the rankings cut (as the articles in THE AUSTRALIAN have pointed  

However, there is also a 'career reason' - for whatever it's worth,  
beyond the
immediate pleasure and importance of a thoughtful and lively journal/ 
culture - for writing in places like HEAT and so many others. The  
career reason
is that, by building up a body of work, of writing, in this way, you can
eventually, over the long haul, get invited to write book chapters,  
speak at
conferences and even - yes! - appear in fine and (I think) finely ranked
journals like INTER-ASIA CULTURAL STUDIES or SCREEN! Look at all the  
fly-by-night publications where Meaghan Morris first published the  
essays that
were gathered in PIRATE'S FIANCEE: do you think any or many of these  
matter in the ERA era? But that what's she built her work (and her  
'name') on.
We need to remind ourselves of these local writing histories - and  
take heart
from them, too, if we can!

Adrian Martin

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