Routledge Supports the Arts & Humanities: Behind the Scenes Interview
Meet Routledge Humanities, Media, and the Arts Journals Specialist: Kath Burton
Routledge is the world's leading academic publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences. We publish thousands of books and journals each year, serving scholars, instructors, and professional communities worldwide. In honor of Arts & Humanities Month, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the people who work behind the scenes in bringing this important research to the public.
Please meet: Kath Burton.
Introduce yourself: what is your role with Routledge, Taylor & Francis?
KB: I am Kath Burton and I work in the journals editorial department at Routledge, Taylor & Francis specializing in development for our humanities, media and the arts portfolio.
How did you get involved in working with the arts?
KB: I’ve always had a wild imagination. As a child it didn’t take much for me to find a way to escape the present by fashioning a corner shop, art gallery, spaceship out of a couple of blankets, a few rickety chairs and a lot of artistic license. I left university and worked as a bookseller (antiquarian/specialist/local) before peeking behind the curtain to see how wild imaginings get published.
Why is working in the arts important to you?
KB: Helping others share their ideas and imaginings, no matter how wild, is what draws me to the arts and humanities. At present, I am looking at how arts and humanities researchers and practitioners conduct and disseminate publicly engaged work and how that contributes to an emerging narrative around public humanities within and beyond academia.
What is 'public humanities' and why is this important?
KB: This is a hard question to answer definitively! Whether one term like ‘public humanities’ can adequately encompass engaged practice within communities and strategies for supporting deeper engagement with a broader public, is very much to be determined. For me, the exciting thing right now is that there is a multi-disciplinary discourse that is advocating for the continued importance of the humanities in scholarly and public life. One thing that I am sure of is that whether you have a wild imagination or not, studying, researching and engaging with arts and humanities disciplines enriches the lives we all lead.
How do you art?
KB: I have dabbled in music for most of my life, but have given up the idea now that I am the next Janis… So, I mostly art (and I think pose important questions about humanity) through photos of my Boxerdog on Instagram (@Missmoodjang). When those dry up (likely never) and I need some inspiration, I turn to the words of Kurt Vonnegut:
I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.-- Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country
What is a piece of art/artwork in your office or desk area?
KB: Not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but I took this picture (right) last week and think it signifies some of the things I connect with art – gardening, flowers and beer. The flask was a reminder to head out to the pub after work and a perhaps, in a tangential way, to keep wild imaginings central and, oh, to fart around a little.