A New Kind of Symposium
In yesterday’s post I discussed pitching law reviews instead of submitting “finished” manuscripts. A few more comments
As Orin Kerr points out, symposiums operate to some degree along these lines — they operate by invitation. But there is a crucial problem: there is no pitch involved. The editors just find a bunch of people reputed to know something about the field. Who then have a guaranteed slot.
The upside of this approach is that scholars are often flattered and show up. The downside is that the review sometimes ends up with pieces entitled
“A few thoughts on [field]”
or perhaps “musings on”
Such pieces have their place, particularly when delivered orally, but rarely makes for good scholarship, in my opinion.
Instead, what symposiums could do is send out invitations to pitch something on, a given field, and take the best 6 pitches.
You’d only pitch or propose something if you actually had something to write.
That way you’d in theory at least, the result would be a symposium volume full of interesting articles.