Hooray! Finally, after months of revising and agonizing, we’ve sent out the first wave of our call for submissions to the OSU community. It was suddenly scary as we began pressing “send”–exciting and a relief, but there was certainly a moment of “Wow — who do we think we are?” A bunch of grad students with a good idea and a catchy name… what right do we have to think that we can be publishers, let alone that undefinable “public intellectual”? I prefer to think of it in terms of responsibilities rather than rights (if only it didn’t sound so pretentious! but why should it?). And in a less altruistic vein, I think Harlot springs from a real need for some extracurricular application of our scholarly work.
As I said, though, the first wave only. We’ve given ourselves permission to keep our expectations and ambitions reasonable for the pilot issue this fall. But in order to get the sort of variety we want, we will have to reach much further afield — and, as the gracious genius Cheryl challenged us, to revise our notion of the very genre of the call in light of our goals of reaching “public” thinkers: why should it be print? where and how shoud it be distributed? We have dreams of video calls released to YouTube, notices in local community papers… Other ideas?