What We Publish

First Publics publishes:

  1. First-person “Reflections” on teaching as public sociology. Reflections should be short (800-1000 words), and accessible pieces that engage in some way with the politics and practices of teaching as public sociology, particularly from first-hand experience.
  2. “Dialogues”, or curated conversations, roundtables, and interviews on particular topics of interest to a community of teacher-scholars, students, and the public.
  3. “Class Notes”, or short notes describing emerging practices and approaches that support teaching as public sociology (400-500 words).
  4. “Connections” which link to teaching as public sociology content from around the internet, other publications and media outlets including from TSP.

Submissions & Review Process

First Publics welcomes original submissions for Reflections and Class Notes for review. Complete submissions (including original photos or images, when appropriate) should be sent to firstpublicssociology@gmail.com. Submissions will be reviewed by the First Publics editorial team in close collaboration with authors.

Our review process is collaborative and driven by a desire to help writers express and elaborate their own experience of teaching as public sociology. Our editorial team is committed to providing a generative review process focused on helping authors revise their submissions to best convey their message, whether by aiding the author in making important linkages, conveying the connection of their work to teaching as public sociology, or suggesting ways to improve the article’s language and tone. In doing so, First Publics aims to maintain authors’ originality and unique voices while also ensuring that pieces align with our mission to create a community of practice around teaching as public sociology.

Tips for Reflection Authors: 

Reflections submitted to First Publics should be first person accounts that elaborate on the personal  experience of teaching. Reflections on the political or personal commitments teachers bring to the craft of teaching as public sociology are especially welcome. We are looking for reflections that are “in-the-making”; those that raise interesting questions rather than provide neat answers. Our goal is to provide a space of reflection, a place to pause ant think together about teaching. 

  • Reflections should be no longer than 1000 words (800-1000 words is ideal) .
  • Reflections should be written in first person, use active voice and accessible and approachable language wherever possible.
  • Authors should avoid jargon and unnecessary complexity common to academic writing.
  • Authors should provide references as hyperlinks whenever possible and avoid linking to paywalled or otherwise restricted content. 

Tips for Class Notes Authors

Class Notes should focus on a specific approach, activity, or concrete dimensions of teaching. Remember that readers will turn to class notes for inspiration and will look for something to try in their own teaching.  First Publics is interested in publishing accessible introductions to teaching approaches that 1) problematize or work against inherited pedagogical practices or assumptions that reproduce all forms of inequality and racism in higher education; 2) take the students as a capable collaborators and co-constructors of their education and learning experiences; 3) provide thoughtful innovation grounded in practice or theory; and 4) that engage students in dialogue with publics beyond the university and invite new ways of thinking about “service” or “applied” learning (and its others). 

  • Class Notes should be no longer than 600 words. 
  • Class Notes should include at least one hyperlinked reference that directs readers to further reading or relevant resources. Avoid linking to paywalled or otherwise restricted content.
    • Be judicious in the links that you choose – link to key, most important and useful resources to help readers 
  • Class Notes should be written in first person, use active voice, and accessible and approachable language wherever possible.
  • Authors should avoid jargon and unnecessary complexity common to academic writing.

Tips for Pitching a Dialogue:  

Dialogues are curated by the editors sometimes in collaboration with readers of First Publics. If you have an idea for a conversation, roundtable, or interview around a teaching as public sociology, pitch it to us. Conversations related to timely questions or which take up controversial or provocative questions about teaching as public sociology (broadly defined) are welcome. 

  • Pitches should include a brief summary of the question/topics to be discussed and its link to teaching as public sociology. 
  • A list of participants in the conversation and the medium/format (e.g., roundtable, interview, audio, text).
  • A description of the intended audience. This should answer the question of who would be interested in this dialogue and why. 

Tips for Contributing to Connections

First Publics welcomes and encourages readers and contributors to forward links or suggested content from around the internet, other publications, and media outlets that are connected to teaching as public sociology for further dissemination via our platform! Please include the link and a brief explanation of the connection to teaching as public sociology.