About

My name is Catherine V. Howard, independent academic editor and sole proprietor of Social Research Editing Services. If you need structural, stylistic, or copy editing of your social research manuscript, I invite you to consider how my skills and experience can improve its chances of getting accepted for publication.

I earned my Ph.D. in cultural anthropology in 2001 from the University of Chicago, where I was trained by renowned anthropologists such as Terence Turner, Nancy Munn, John and Jean Comaroff, Marshall Sahlins, and David Schneider. For my doctoral research, I conducted four years of fieldwork in Brazil, mainly among the Waiwai Indians of northern Amazonia, researching ethnic identity and exchange relations. Because language is key to understanding cultural concepts, I became fluent in Waiwai and Portuguese and conducted linguistic surveys of five indigenous languages spoken in Waiwai villages, some on the verge of disappearing.

While writing up my dissertation, I supported myself through teaching and translating Portuguese manuscripts into English, including Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s book, From the Enemy’s Point of View: Humanity and Divinity in an Amazonian Society (University of Chicago Press, 1992). After teaching cultural anthropology (with a heavy emphasis on writing skills) for a decade at Bennington College, Vanderbilt University, Fisk University, and Gettysburg College, I decided to return to Brazil in 2002 to catch up on developments underway in Brazilian anthropology, indigenist advocacy, and indigenous communities. I taught a course at the Universidade de São Paulo, conducted socioenvironmental fieldwork among the Waiwai, Katuena, and Hixkaryana Indians, and translated articles and grant proposals for nongovernmental organizations and fellow anthropologists.

After my return to the U.S. in 2005, I expanded my language skills through courses, professional associations, and hands-on experience. Much of my work began to shift from translating to editing as my clientele shifted from Portuguese speakers to English ones, reflecting the intensifying pressure on university professors in the U.S. to publish more articles more frequently. Since their teaching and service responsibilities have not seen a corresponding decrease, academics sometimes lack the time to do the final rounds of revising and polishing needed on their research manuscripts. They also realize that having a second pair of eyes look over their work brings fresh insights from a dispassionate perspective that can only help improve their writing. I have thus received a mounting number of requests from native English speakers to help them edit their manuscripts to ensure they will get through the multiple hurdles on the path to publication.

At the same time, English has become even more dominant in academic publishing at the international level (for better or for worse). An increasing number of universities in non-English-speaking countries are imposing requirements on their faculty members to publish in upper-tier English-language journals. This leaves researchers whose primary language is not English at a distinct disadvantage. I have therefore been contacted by more and more non-native English speakers for help with their manuscripts. Some need into-English translations, which I offer for texts written in Portuguese, Spanish, and French; others have written in English and need stylistic and copy editing, since their English skills are good but not quite good enough for publication. I take great pleasure in working with them to make their texts not only grammatically correct but also eloquent and persuasive; I take even greater pleasure in celebrating with them when their manuscripts are accepted for publication by prestigious English-language journals and university presses.

If you would like to inquire further about my services, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will respond promptly.