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17183reply to Martin Votruba

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  • dgoska
    Nov 26, 2006
      For Martin Votruba

      You were quite thorough in listing what in the linked article that you
      did not like and that you found flawed and that, in your opinion,
      required your corrections.

      In your list, you did not mention anything positive about the article.

      *You did not even address its main idea.*

      No piece of writing is perfect, and all scholarship benefits from

      There are more and less successful ways of offering feedback, however.

      I have to wonder what positive end your list of flaws accomplishes.

      You've alienated me and denigrated an honest attempt to present
      Slovaks to readers who may be unfamiliar.

      I wrote that article eleven years ago, and have been trying to get it
      published ever since.

      One editor kept it for a year and declined to send it out, finally
      reporting at the end of that year that "no one cares about these
      immigrants who came so long ago and nothing new can be said about them."

      Another editor accepted it, kept it for a year, and then disappeared.

      I gave it to a successful Slovak American scholar and he kept it,
      again for a year, and never did anything with it.

      I continued to believe in the article, though, because it won a
      prestigious award, and readers I shared it with saw something of value
      in it.

      In general it has been my experience that Slavic Americans don't
      support each other in academia.

      As a writer and scholar, I have experienced support -- people who send
      me encouragement, congratulate me when I manage to publish something,
      offer help when I'm researching something -- but, sadly, that has
      often not been the case with Slavic Americans in Academia.

      This is rather sad, because, in the same way that it takes a village
      to raise a child, it takes community to create scholarship. As long as
      Slavic Americans in academia fail to behave as true colleagues to each
      other, we keep each other down, and sabotage scholarship one would
      think we would like to advance.
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