As a researcher, you’re always looking for ways to amplify your research impact. It’s vital for funding, not to mention career prospects. But working on your own, you can only make so much noise. Working with a society helps turn up the volume.
This is the story of Arnaud Schmitt, professor at the University of Bordeaux, France. It tells of the five ways his relationship with The Autobiography Society amplified his research impact and boosted his career.
5 ways societies can amplify your research impact
1. Reaching a wider audience
Arnaud Schmitt’s first contact with The Autobiography Society was through its journal, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies. In 2010 he published an article, ‘Making the Case for Self-narration Against Autofiction‘.
This was the conclusion to years of research on autofiction and cross-genres. It was also Arnaud’s first article published in English in a major academic journal.
He had worked for many years, publishing his research in a range of French journals. This, however, “was a great opportunity to reach a wider readership”.
2. Making new connections
The reception to Arnaud’s research was “radically enhanced” once he had published in The Autobiography Society’s journal. It initiated various collaborations and fruitful exchanges with colleagues from different countries. And it therefore had a significant positive impact on his career.
3. Fostering research collaborations
From the various conversations Arnaud’s article sparked, one was to stand out. It led to a very rewarding collaboration with a Danish colleague, Stefan Kjerkegaard of Aarhus University. The two ended up co-authoring an article, ‘Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle: A Real Life in a Novel’, which a/b: Auto/Biography Studies also published.
“This joint publication was a major satisfaction for me in terms of research, but also of friendship,” says Arnaud.
4. Getting recognition for your work
The “icing on the cake” came when The Autobiography Society awarded the pair with the 2016 Hogan Prize. It was “an unexpected honor,” says Arnaud.
The Hogan Prize is one of many that Taylor & Francis Group helps to support and showcase. We work with societies to recognize, reward, and support researchers at all stages of their career. This annual award is for an outstanding essay published in a volume of the a/b: Auto/Biography Studies journal. It recognizes ingenuity in scholarly research and supports critical work that advances the field.
5. Raise your profile
Arnaud and Stefan went on to attended and present their prize-winning paper at the 2017 IABA Europe conference. It was an opportunity to meet new colleagues and, as Arnaud says, “to realize how dynamic but also welcoming The Autobiography Society is”.
Thanks to the network and support of The Autobiography Society, Arnaud’s work was now well and truly on the international stage.
Arnaud Schmitt is very grateful for his special relationship with The Autobiography Society and its journal, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies.
“It has greatly impacted upon my approach to autobiography and life writing in general in such a positive way,” says Arnaud. Not to mention the impact it’s had on his career. “In other words,” he says, “thank you Autobiography Society!”
Arnaud Schmitt is a professor at the University of Bordeaux. His field of research is American literature and autobiography. His latest book, The Phenomenology of Autobiography: Making it Real has just been published (Routledge, 2017).
Explore the journal, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies.