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17200Re: reply to Martin Votruba

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  • cvargacvarga
    Nov 27, 2006
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      Danusha,

      Recently I wrote an article which is going to be published, 3 or 4 years after I submitted it,
      about the Susquehannocks and how many of them were Catholic. (It will be in the Winter
      edition of Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine.) While doing the research I came across
      accounts from "reliable sources" which when analyzed could not be true. "Facts" have to
      be held up to the light and given a hard look. Your experience with giving the article to
      editors and scholars is unfortunate and that seems to be where the real bitterness comes
      from and not Martin's critique. Martin did what a good scholar or reader should do and
      that is to read with a critical eye. I realize that by having my article published I am
      opening myself to criticism and I welcome it. If it means that someone calls my work
      poppycock, fine. I'm prepared to defend my work as it was done with the best research
      available and I consulted with scholars and I have cited the major points. However, my
      critics should also be prepared to defend their criticism.

      Colin

      --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "dgoska" <dgoska@...> wrote:
      >
      > 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
      > correction.
      >
      > 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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