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This lecture takes a closer look at the nature of scholarly publication. Publishing is a prerequisite for success in the modern university, but there is very little discussion among humanities scholars about the characteristics of publishable scholarship. In this talk, Professor Leonard Neidorf attempts to identify the implicit criteria that editors of top international journals use when they evaluate the merit of submissions. He then identifies some respects in which the journals’ criteria are at odds with current humanities pedagogy, and he recommends some ways to bring publishing and pedagogy into greater harmony. Beyond this philosophical discussion, the talk offers practical advice for increasing one’s success in journal publishing based on Professor Neidorf’s experience with more than twenty different international journals.



Leonard Neidorf is Professor of English at Nanjing University. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and his B.A. from New York University. He is the author of two monographs—The Art and Thought of the Beowulf Poet (Cornell University Press, 2022) and The Transmission of Beowulf: Language, Culture, and Scribal Behavior (Cornell University Press, 2017)—as well as the editor of three books. In 2020, Neidorf was awarded the Beatrice White Prize by the English Association for his research on medieval literature. Neidorf has published more than 90 papers in A&HCI journals. His work has appeared in a wide range of journals including ELH, Folklore, Neophilologus, Review of English Studies, Tolkien Studies, Journal of Germanic Linguistics, and Nature Human Behaviour. Neidorf is an Associate Editor of English Studies (Taylor & Francis) and the Editor-in-Chief of The Explicator (Taylor & Francis).