From Dissertation to Book: A Few Things I Learned Over the Past 10 Years


History From Below

I don’t tend to get overly personal on this blog very often. Although I adore social media (clearly), the first person singular is an uncomfortable voice when I address the public as a historian. I have always used banter about ancient or medieval history as a kind of protective tortoise shell that makes me seem extroverted. However, I did want to post a blog today that reflects a bit on the process of transitioning your book from a dissertation format to a published monograph–along with some personal anecdotes. The occasion? After ten years of ruminating on Greco-Roman disreputable tradesmen and the socio-legal construction of dishonor, my book, Trade and Taboo: Disreputable Professions in the Roman Mediterranean, has come out with the University of Michigan Press. Here are a few things I learned:

5. Take a Break From the Dissertation: After you defend your dissertation, you need to put the book in a drawer for a…

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