Ideas on Fire’s 2016 Year in Review

Dec 27, 2016 | News, Publications

This article was originally published at Ideas on Fire on December 27, 2016.

December is a time for reflection, when we look back at what has happened throughout the year and make plans for what we want to bring into being in the new one. For us at Ideas on Fire, 2016 has been a whirlwind. We’ve grown enormously in terms of our team, our content, our programs, and the range of interdisciplinary, progressive projects (both our own and our clients’) we’ve been able to get out into the world. Here we offer a brief “year in review” highlighting some of the most exciting things to come out of IoF in the last 12 months.

The most noticeable (and exciting) change this year was the 7 amazing folks who joined the IoF team

Terry Park, Julia Jordan-Zachery, and Kate Drabinski joined the team as coaches for our Grad School Rockstars community. Their stellar guidance for our graduate student clients and their creative approaches to community pedagogy, performance, and feminist and anti-racist self-care made it possible to expand Grad School Rockstars.

Michelle Velasquez-Potts became our junior editor and Sarah Grey became our senior editor and indexer. Their commitment to altac/postac careers and radical editing enabled Ideas on Fire to increase the number of social justice-oriented books and articles we helped get out into the world, many of which you can see here.

Priyanka Kaura came on board as our new administrative assistant. She kept the day-to-day work of IoF running smoothly and her awesome work on show notes enabled us to expand the Imagine Otherwise podcast featuring the phenomenal work happening at the intersections of art, activism, and academia.

Alexandra Sastre wowed us as our new content manager. Her editorial expertise and creativity revitalized our blog and editorial strategy and helped up exponentially increase the audiences we could reach and help.

We also bid farewell to Stephanie Maroney and Julie Lenard, but are very excited to support their new endeavors—Stephanie is finishing up her dissertation in Cultural Studies at the University of California, Davis and Julie is helping folks tell their stories at The Storyologist.

We produced 27 episodes of the Imagine Otherwise podcast, showcasing folks using culture for social justice, including

Cathy’s new guide Book Marketing for Academics was published (it makes a great holiday or New Year’s gift!)

Get your copy of Book Marketing for Academics here.

We also hosted and spoke at several events

Our Grad School Rockstars community offered guidance, accountability, and career coaching for grad students who want to change the world

Our Rockstars worked through topics such as when to let go of dissertation chapters, how disability and chronic pain necessitate redefining productivity in academia, how to find themes across your archival objects, working with difficult or distant faculty advisors, how to identify and ask for the specific kind of feedback you need on a draft, why deadlines and plans are necessary but also how to let them morph and change in the face of family or health issues, and ways to write/grade/teach/survive after the election.

Many of our Rockstars kicked off strong friendships and professional collaborations—we’re always jazzed to see our Rockstar community spur publishing collaborations and activist events!

Several Rockstars earned their PhDs this year and went on to exciting social justice-oriented jobs both within and beyond the academy!

Alexandra Sastre revamped our blog so we could bring you posts to help you rock your interdisciplinary career, including

We worked with 42 clients on 47 projects, on topics including

  • Sex classification as transgender discrimination in prisons, education, sports, public accommodations, and identity documents
  • Gendered nationalism and the making of East Bengal
  • How Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Arab artists are resisting imperialism through public art
  • The use of AIDS activist video footage from the 1980s and 1990s in contemporary Hollywood films
  • Radical queer and transgender choreographers, dancers, and audiences
  • Transnational reverberations of the Spanish Civil War that energized theater productions around the globe
  • The history of feminist domestic violence activism in Israel
  • Korean diasporic performance art
  • An African American feminist playwright’s phenomenal career
  • How visual culture shapes cultural ideology and ways of knowing
  • Race, gender, and sexuality in medical discourse and military practices
  • The role of “big data” in recent health care policy and its threat to patient privacy

And 8 Ideas on Fire clients published their books this year!

Thank you SO much to all of you who supported us, hired us, appeared on or listened to our podcast, wrote for or read our blog, or created your own world-changing social justice work.

We are looking forward to an awesome 2017, thanks to you.

You rock!

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