Paying Chuck Forward

This landed in my email recently.

Your comments have shown me where I can improve on presentation and clarity, which is very much what this project needs.  I am also stunned that you are willing to read people’s work out of sheer good will (no pun intended). I feel like I owe you a beer, or at least a handshake.

The context is that Christian Davenport and I did not accept that paper for the Spring Conflict Consortium Virtual Workshop (CCVW), and we decided that we needed to get those papers some feedback, so we each took half of the papers and then wrote comments, getting everyone who submitted some feedback.

I wrote this in reply:

Hi, during my second year in grad I snail mailed a working paper to Chuck Tilly.  Eight months later I received written comments.  The working paper was horrible.  He gently said so, but also encouraged me.  His comments were pretty brief, but he did it.  You can’t pay that back.  But you can pay it forward.  We are a community, and that’s why Davenport and I created CC in general, and of course CCVW is an homage to Tilly.

Oh, and if you are wondering, yes, I am happy to accept a beer at a meeting.


[1] I met Chuck for the first time in 1993, when I was an Asst Prof at UC, Riverside.  I did the “You probably don’t remember…” thing as we shook hands, and he cut me off, saying (roughly) “Of course I remember.  You sent me that paper on xyz six years ago.  What happened to it?”  I would love to have a video of the look of shock on my face.  Oh, and please do not expect me to pay that forward.  As my PhD students will attest, the first thing they need to do when we meet to discuss their work is remind me that the project is.  Yeah.  It is in my brain, and I can recognize, but struggle with recall.

About Will H. Moore

I am a political science professor who also contributes to Political Violence @ a Glance and sometimes to Mobilizing Ideas . Twitter: @WilHMoo
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2 Responses to Paying Chuck Forward

  1. mdwardlab says:

    Will, you probably don’t know this but I have a post card that Chuck sent me when I was a graduate student. It was from France where he was at the time, it was written with a fountain pen, and it was in response to a paper I had sent him months earlier. A paper that I foolishly thought was ready for prime time, but wasn’t.


    • Will H. Moore says:

      Mike, I had not heard that story. Awesome. And if you end up putting your hands on it, please take a photo!


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