Yes. First of all, ALWAYS put your name and e-mail address at the end of every posting. (It is important that people be able to contact you privately if they wish, and some mail systems do not identify the writer anywhere in the header.)
Also, please include a meaningful subject heading, so that people will know whether your message deals with a topic of interest to them. (MANY people automatically delete messages with no subject heading or with one that doesn't interest them.)
Finally, if you are replying to someone else's posting, BRIEFLY quote or summarize that posting before you offer your reply. Doing so will make your message clearer and avoid confusion. (New subscribers are continually joining the list; they may not have read the original message. And since a number of topics are often being discussed on the list at any given moment, even long-time subscribers may not remember what prompted your remarks unless you remind them.)NOTE: if you're replying to a long message, do NOT quote it in its entirety! Include just a few relevant lines.
WMST-L has a fairly narrow focus on Women's Studies teaching, research, and program administration. Most messages concerning gender-related politics or social issues lie outside the list's scope. There are many other lists for such messages and discussions.
Even with WMST-L's narrow focus, the list often has high mail volume, and this poses a problem for many subscribers. If we were to broaden the list's focus to include political/societal issues, the volume of mail would increase dramatically, especially since we have subscribers from 47 countries, each with its own set of important gender-related problems. If the mail volume were to increase substantially, many people would be forced to unsubscribe, and WMST-L would cease to be a valuable professional resource.
If you want to discuss political issues and societal problems relating to women, there are other lists where you can do so. You can find a listing of almost 600 women- and gender-related email lists at http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/forums.html .
Please restrict discussion on WMST-L to women's studies teaching, research, and program administration. Researchers wishing to post recruitment announcements for current studies may do so as long as the study has a clear and explicit connection to Women's Studies and has been approved by the institution's Institutional Review Board. Studies that do not meet these two criteria should not be advertised on WMST-L.
Even though we teach about political and societal issues, discussing the issues themselves (as opposed to how to teach about them) lies outside the list's admittedly narrow focus. The list's narrow focus is in no way meant to suggest that gender-related political and social issues are unimportant. Far from it! Surely everyone concerned with Women's Studies cares deeply about such issues; many people subscribe both to WMST-L and to other lists that focus on gender-related political and social issues. Having different lists for different purposes enables people to tailor their subscriptions to their needs and interests.
Also, please do not send messages to WMST-L about the list's focus. This issue has been given a lot of thought and discussion in the past. For more extended discussion of this issue, see WMST-L's Focus: An Explanation .
If you find that WMST-L's focus does not meet your needs, you can unsubscribe by sending the message UNSUB WMST-L to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU .
WMST-L is a public forum with over 5000 members in more than 40 countries. It is an open list that anyone may join. This does not mean that anything goes, or that people are free to be hostile or abusive. It does mean that you should not send a message to WMST-L or to any other public forum that you would not want the world to see.
WMST-L does not have a "no-forwarding" policy. Indeed, the forum provides much valuable information about books, films, conferences, calls for papers, teaching suggestions, and the like, and people often forward this information to others. Controversy has at times arisen, however, when people have quoted in blogs or elsewhere statements made by others on WMST-L without their permission. As a practical matter, there is little that WMST-L can do about this. Such quotation is generally covered by the policy of "fair use," which permits quotation without permission in many different situations, such as in commentary, criticism, teaching, and scholarship. However, WMST-L expects people to behave responsibly when they quote from others' messages; one should never quote someone else's words in a way that misrepresents or distorts the writer's intent.
All messages posted on WMST-L are automatically saved in the WMST-L logfiles. Only current WMST-L members who have set a password with the WMST-L web interface can access these logfiles. Search engines do not have access, nor do people without a current WMST-L subscription.
The only messages that are available publicly are those that appear in the WMST-L File Collection or messages from the early-to-mid 1990s. The logfiles from the early-to-mid 1990s were made available to the public for ease of use; however, that practice ended in the mid 1990s. The WMST-L File Collection--which is different from the logfiles--makes available to the public a very small selection of discussions that have taken place on WMST-L on topics such as books, films, teaching strategies, and the like that might be of use to Women's Studies professors and students. Each time a file is added to the File Collection, an announcement is made on WMST-L. Requests by the writer that a name be masked or a message removed are always honored.
Internet privacy is an evolving and contentious topic on which reasonable people may disagree. This section of the User's Guide is intended to inform/remind WMST-L subscribers that messages on this and most other large forums are part of a public, not a private, conversation. Awareness of this should give rise not to fear but to common sense.
Like many other lists, WMST-L has two addresses--an address you should use for messages you want everyone to read (WMST-L@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU), and an administrative or Listserv address you should use when sending commands about your subscription (LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU). They serve very different functions, just as your phone number and your fax number do.
WMST-L@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU should be used ONLY for messages that you wish to send to all WMST-L subscribers.
Messages concerning your WMST-L subscription should be sent to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU and must use special commands. If you wish to unsubscribe, for example, send the message UNSUB WMST-L to the LISTSERV address, not to WMST-L. All commands should be put in the body of the message, not in the subject header.
Here are some additional examples of messages to send to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU (NOT to WMST-L-- NEVER send a message about your subscription to WMST-L):
Subscribe to WMST-L: SUB WMST-L Your Name
Stop receiving mail temporarily: SET WMST-L NOMAIL
Start receiving mail again: SET WMST-L MAIL
Switch to the digest: SET WMST-L DIGEST
Switch from digest to individual messages: SET WMST-L NODIGEST
Unsubscribe from WMST-L: UNSUB WMST-L
NOTE: You can now use WMST-L's web interface to subscribe, unsubscribe, switch to or from the digest, stop mail temporarily, and more. For information about how to use the web interface, see http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/interface.html .
Please note, too, that you must send all mail to Listserv and to WMST-L from the address the Listserv software recorded when you subscribed. If you send mail from an address Listserv doesn't recognize, it will tell you you're not a subscriber and refuse to process your message. For this reason, you should be sure to go to WMST-L's web interface and set a password NOW, before your address changes. Once you've set a password, you'll be able to communicate with Listserv and WMST-L even if your address changes. You can find the web interface at http://www.listserv.umd.edu/archives/wmst-l.html .
If you encounter difficulties using the web interface, contact the list's moderators at WMST-L-Request@listserv.umd.edu and explain the problem. However, please do not ask the moderators to cancel your subscription if you can do so yourself.
If you have a question about your subscription that you want a human being to read, do NOT send it to either WMST-L or LISTSERV!! Instead, send it to the list's moderators at WMST-L-Request@listserv.umd.edu. However, if you have a question, please first consult the User's Guide to try to get the answer for yourself.
WMST-L is set up so that in most cases replies will automatically go to all subscribers. If you respond to a WMST-L message by hitting a reply key or typing "reply," everyone will read your response. This is appropriate when the contents are likely to be of interest to a number of subscribers (most suggestions for reading lists and teaching strategies fall into this category). However,
NOTE: many e-mail systems make list mail look as if it is coming from a private person. If you use such a system, be VERY CAREFUL when you want to reply privately--be sure your message is going only to the private person, not to WMST-L. CANCEL your reply if any line is addressed to WMST-L or to "multiple recipients." Section 11 below may be helpful regardless of your mail system: it tells you how to get the Listserv software to add "[WMST-L]" to the Subject header of all messages from the list.
if you are writing to request a copy of a paper someone has mentioned or to respond to a job announcement or a call for papers, please send your message PRIVATELY, NOT to WMST-L.
Similarly, comments directed at a particular person (e.g., "Right on, Rhoda. Good point," or "Thanks for the info," or "What a horrendous experience that must have been. I don't know why people do such things," or "Hi, Jane, I'm glad to see you've joined the list. Write to me," etc.) should be sent PRIVATELY, NOT to WMST-L.
Also, short general statements of approval, disapproval, or puzzlement (e.g., "Hooray! I'm glad someone finally said that!" or "I can't imagine how anyone can believe such nonsense" or "Why did you send that message?") should NOT be sent to WMST-L.
Finally, please also send privately most expressions of thanks, congratulations, or apology. If you accidentally send an inappropriate message to the list, do not send a follow-up apology when you realize your mistake. We will assume your regret and you may assume the list's forgiveness.
There are a number of messages that should NEVER be sent to WMST-L. For example, most newspaper and magazine/journal articles are covered by copyright. Do not send articles covered by copyright unless you have written permission from the copyright holder to do so. The fact that the article may have appeared on another list is NOT in itself sufficient justification for sending it to WMST-L.
Here are some other messages not to send:
1) Warnings about computer viruses. The "Good Times" virus is a tired hoax, and most other messages about viruses are equally unfounded. NEVER SEND A WARNING ABOUT A VIRUS TO WMST-L!! Instead, check with the computer support staff at your institution or check to see whether your "virus" is listed among the hoaxes described on any of the following sites:Symantec Anti-Virus Research Center
McAfee Virus Hoaxes
Virus Hoaxes and Realities (from Snopes)
If you find there IS some cause for concern, write to WMST-L's moderators at WMST-L-Request@listserv.umd.edu.
2) Most discussions of politics, male-female relations, gender-related societal problems, and the like are not appropriate for WMST-L unless they focus specifically on teaching or research. We are not trying to suggest that discussions of political issues, gender-related societal problems, etc., are not of concern to Women's Studies. Far from it! We are simply saying that forums for such discussions already exist. Since many people have limited time and, in some cases, limited e-mail space, we'd like to reserve WMST-L for the sorts of professional discussions of Women's Studies that are not available elsewhere.
3) Since WMST-L is intended primarily as a professional tool, messages from novices and others seeking explanations or rationales for feminism or for Women's Studies do not belong on the list.
4) Because heavy mail volume is a persistent problem, most inquiries from undergraduates seeking help with papers should also not be sent to WMST-L, nor should anyone send a message to WMST-L as part of a class assignment. Tens of thousands of undergraduates take women's studies courses each semester. If only a small fraction of them sought help from WMST-L, the list's mail volume would become excessively heavy.
5) Attachments of any sort should NOT be sent to WMST-L. Some people can't read attachments, and since attachments are one of the few ways in which viruses can be transmitted via e-mail (only if you open the attachment, not if you simply delete it), that's yet another reason for the list's policy. More information about why and how to stop sending attachments to WMST-L can be found in the file How to Stop Sending Attachments.
6) Also, please do not send jokes, whether or not they relate to Women's Studies. Jokes tend to precipitate an avalanche of messages: more jokes, complaints about the content, complaints about the complaints, complaints about the resulting excessive mail volume. So...NO JOKES.
7) Petitions should NOT be sent to WMST-L, regardless of how worthy their cause. They, too, tend to add unreasonably to the list's already heavy mail volume.8) Messages about Neiman-Marcus' or Harrods' or anyone else's cookies, stories about a poor child dying of a brain tumor who would like e-mail messages, and stories about the FCC's planning a modem tax are "urban legends" that have no business on WMST-L. For more information about urban legends, see the Snopes Urban Legend Reference Pages at http://www.snopes.com/ . If someone SENDS an inappropriate message, IGNORE it!!! DO NOT reply to WMST-L. If you wish to enlighten the sender, send her/him a message PRIVATELY. People who ignore the list's focus and persist in sending inappropriate messages or replies will find themselves removed from the list.
Only people whom the LISTSERV software recognizes as subscribers can post messages on WMST-L. To subscribe, send the following message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU : SUB WMST-L Your Name (e.g., SUB WMST-L Jane Smith). You will receive a response asking you to confirm your subscription request by replying to the response (use the "reply" feature; do not "forward" or start a new message). Your reply should not include anything but the expression ok (caps or lower case--it makes no difference). After you send back the reply, you should quickly receive a message welcoming you to WMST-L.
If you've already subscribed to WMST-L and you run into problems, chances are that you subscribed under a different address than the one from which you sent your recent message--e.g., you subscribed under the address firstname.lastname@example.org and now your institution has shortened your address to email@example.com . The LISTSERV software recognizes subscribers by their e-mail address. If your address undergoes a change, Listserv will no longer recognize you, even if you're still able to receive mail sent to your old address. If the LISTSERV software doesn't recognize your address, you will be unable to post messages, stop mail, unsubscribe, etc.
Often, you can deal with this problem via WMST-L's web interface at http://www.listserv.umd.edu/archives/wmst-l.html (see instructions at http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/interface.html). If you try but fail to solve the problem via the web interface, contact the list's moderators at WMST-L-Request@listserv.umd.edu (not via a message to WMST-L).
Postings from all new subscribers (and old subscribers with new subscriptions) are now automatically sent to the moderators for approval. This cuts down on inappropriate messages from newcomers who haven't had time to read the welcome letter. After a few weeks, most subscriptions are quietly readjusted so that messages are no longer subject to prior review.
Normally, all WMST-L subscribers receive copies of the messages they send to the list. However, Gmail users do not receive these copies because Gmail does not accept them. Here is what WMST-L has been told about Gmail's policy:
> Gmail tends to hide messages you send to a list since it
> maintains the original in the thread as a sent message. Only if enough
> changes in how the message is processed and resent will Gmail show it
> to you again.
If you're a Gmail user and you want to know whether your message has been posted, your best bet is to set a password with WMST-L's web interface. That way, you can easily check the logfile for the current week to see whether your message has been posted. Information about the interface and instructions for setting a password can be found at http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/interface.html . Having a password for the interface also makes it possible for you to change your email address for the list (rather than your having to resubscribe and to write to the moderators asking that they delete your old subscription) and do a number of other useful things. See the file mentioned above for more information.
If you do receive copies of your messages but would prefer not to, you can also change your option via the web interface. You can arrange to get no acknowledgement or just a short message confirming receipt of your message. This might also be a useful alternative for Gmail users, but it can be used by anyone who doesn't want a copy of the message, just an acknowledgement that it was posted (or no acknowledgement at all). (Though there are many advantages to using WMST-L's web interface, it is also possible to change acknowledgement options via email. If you do not wish to receive copies or acknowledgements of your messages, send the following message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU: SET WMST-L NOREPRO . Do not say anything else, just those three words. If you would like to receive a mail acknowledgement of your posting but not a copy, add a second line that says SET WMST-L ACK .)
Yes. Because WMST-L has a total limit of 50 messages per day, it seemed wise to limit each subscriber to two postings per day. A "day" begins and ends at midnight, Eastern Standard/Daylight Time. This 2-message-per-day limit helps to assure that more people will be able to post, and it prevents any one person from dominating the discussion.
You can now handle this very easily via WMST-L's web interface at http://www.listserv.umd.edu/archives/wmst-l.html . You first have to set a password on the web interface; see instructions at http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/interface.html).
If you prefer to handle this via email, you can stop mail temporarily by sending the following message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU :
SET WMST-L NOMAIL [NOTE: NOMAIL is one word]
When you want mail to start arriving again, send the following message to the same address: SET WMST-L MAIL . These commands should be used both for individual messages and for the digest.
Note: BE SURE TO SEND THESE MESSAGES TO LISTSERV, NOT TO WMST-L! Also, if you receive a message back telling you you're not a subscriber, see the section about address changes, below.
Yes, there's a daily "digest" that doesn't condense the messages but does put all postings that have appeared on WMST-L in the past 24 hours into one large message. Depending on which form of the digest you choose, you can have all the postings placed one after another in one message, or you can have them come in one folder-like message that contains the postings as separate parts.
If even the digest contains more than you want, you can arrange to get just a daily Index of messages. The Index tells you who the poster is, what the subject header is, and how many lines the message contains. You can then choose which if any messages you want to view (with the HTML INDEX) or send for (with the NOHTML INDEX).
An illustrated guide with more information about the various digest and index options can be found at WMST-L Digest and Index Options
The easiest way to arrange for the digest is to use WMST-L's web interface at http://www.listserv.umd.edu/archives/wmst-l.html. See instructions at http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/interface.html.
The LISTSERV software recognizes subscribers by their e-mail address. If your address undergoes a change, Listserv will no longer recognize you, even if you're still able to receive mail sent to your old address. If the LISTSERV software doesn't recognize your address, you will be unable to post messages, stop mail, unsubscribe, etc. Thus, it is important that you be subscribed from your current address.
The best way to deal with this is--you guessed it--via WMST-L's web interface. Once you set a password on the web interface, you will be able to change your address on WMST-L as needed. You can find the web interface at http://www.listserv.umd.edu/archives/wmst-l.html (see instructions at http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/interface.html). However, you should set a password BEFORE your address changes. If you are no longer able to send messages from the address you used when you subscribed to WMST-L, you will be unable to set a password with the web interface.
If you try and fail to handle this via the web interface, contact WMST-L's moderators at WMST-L-Request@listserv.umd.edu.
Do NOT send messages about your subscription to WMST-L!!
If you have created a women's-studies-related book, video, film, etc. and wish to let subscribers know about it, you may announce it on WMST-L. Indeed, you are encouraged to do so. You may also mention other books and resources, even if you have a commercial interest in them, if you are responding to a specific query for which the books/resources are directly relevant. If you are a women's-studies-focused performer, you may let the list know about your performances, but not more than twice a year. Please do NOT send notices about books, films, performances, and other commercial resources that you have not created unless you are responding to a specific query.
It's true that such notices about works created by others might well be useful, but the dangers far outweigh the usefulness. The primary danger is that this already high-volume list will be INUNDATED with announcements from publishers, agents, friends, sponsors, companies, etc. etc. What publisher could resist free advertising to an ideal audience? Such advertising, with its concommitant increase in mail volume, could easily cause hundreds of people to have to sign off and could even imperil the list's use of the university's facilities. Hence, the list's policy.
Do not send commercial advertising to some or all WMST-L subscribers, either via the list or privately. People who use their access to WMST-L to gather e-mail addresses to use for commercial purposes, or to sell or give to others, will be removed from WMST-L and barred from resubscribing. See Section 8 above for more information about WMST-L's advertising policy.
Because of increasing misuse of subscriber lists by spammers, kooks, and well-meaning people with commercial interests, WMST-L's list of subscribers is not available.
Some mail systems show WMST-L messages as coming from WMST-L, while others make the messages seem to come from the individual posters. This latter arrangement can be confusing. If you find it so, you may wish to take advantage of the option to have "[WMST-L]" included at the start of the subject header. You can then tell at a glance which mail is from WMST-L even if your mail system doesn't give you other clues.
For example, I recently received a message from the list about the subject header "Seminar - Australian Women's Research Centre" . It appeared in my index of messages as "Seminar - Australian Women's Research Ce" . If I'd set the SUBJECT option, my index listing would have been something like "[WMST-L] Seminar - Australian Women's Res" . There's less information about the subject, but you can tell right away that the message is from WMST-L.
Not everyone will want to sacrifice part of the subject line in order to include [WMST-L], but if you do want to do that, you can arrange it easily from the WMST-L web interface at http://www.listserv.umd.edu/archives/wmst-l.html (see instructions at http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/interface.html). To arrange for [WMST-L] to be in the Subject header, choose "Join or Leave the List (or Change Settings)," and then click on the link "login with your LISTSERV password." Log in. Then, under "Mail header style," select "LISTSERV style, with list name in subject." Then click on "Update options."
[also useful for new subscribers]
Yes. All WMST-L messages are automatically archived and arranged in weekly logfiles. It is now possible to read these messages on the web through WMST-L's web interface at http://www.listserv.umd.edu/archives/wmst-l.html. Detailed, illustrated instructions are available at http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/interface.html.
NOTE: Logfiles are available on the web interface going back to 1998. Older archives can be found at the WMST-L archive at the University of Maryland, College Park, part of the Women's Studies Database..
IMPORTANT! You can read past WMST-L messages or search the WMST-L logfiles for specific subjects, dates, or authors without having to know when the messages were sent. Illustrated instructions are available on the web at http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/simplesearch.html. The search instructions apply only to logfiles on the Listserv server, not the very old ones that have been moved to the WMST-L archive at the University of Maryland, College Park.
See also the next section of the User's Guide for information about the WMST-L File Collection, which includes selected valuable discussions that have taken place on WMST-L.
Since its founding in 1991, WMST-L has created a substantial collection of women's studies files. Many are compilations of messages that have appeared on the list on such topics as "Men in Women's Studies Classes," "The Language of Feminist Theory," "Student Workloads," and "Radical Feminism." Also included are essays, interviews, bibliographies, and other women's studies documents. See the WMST-L File Collection for the current, ever-growing listing. It's a terrific resource for both faculty and students! Unlike the logfiles, the files in the WMST-L File Collection are available to everyone, subscribers and non-subscribers alike.
NOTE: WMST-L used to archive syllabi, but it no longer does. A very out-dated collection of web-based syllabi can still be found at http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/syllabi.html .)
Linda McAlister's WMST-L Film Reviews are available from the Women's Studies Database: http://www.mith2.umd.edu/WomensStudies/FilmReviews/ . The WMST-L File Collection (http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/wmsttoc.html) links to the reviews on the Database.
WMST-L welcomes announcements about jobs, conferences, talks, calls for papers, and the like, as long as the announcement has some explicit connection to Women's/Gender Studies. Announcements without such a connection should NOT be sent to WMST-L. The wish to reach more female candidates, however laudable, is NOT adequate reason to post non-Women's/Gender-Studies announcements. Heavy mail volume is a persistent problem on WMST-L; the list cannot accommodate the increased volume that a more liberal posting policy would bring. (Keep in mind that each year, there are literally thousands of academic job openings. Most institutions wish to show that they have tried to reach female and minority applicants. Whereas some commercial publications charge hundreds of dollars to carry even a small ad, WMST-L is free. Thus, unless we restrict postings, the list is likely to be INUNDATED with announcements that have no explicit connection [and often no connection at all] to Women's/Gender Studies.)
Some WMST-L subscribers have mail systems that do not identify the writers of WMST-L messages. All these subscribers know from the header is that the message is from WMST-L. Such subscribers may wish to take advantage of an optional feature called DUALHDR that provides the e-mail address and usually also the name of the writer INSIDE the mail message. If you choose this option, your mail message will begin with an INTERNAL header that looks like this:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -------------------- Sender: Women's Studies List
Poster: Joan Korenman <KORENMAN@NOSPAM.ADDRESS.COM> Subject: Professor seeks research funding ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Most of us don't need this additional header, since our mail systems provide this information in the normal header. However, for those whose mail systems won't cooperate, the DUALHDR option should be very useful.
The easiest way to implement the DUALHDR feature is by using WMST-L's web interface at http://www.listserv.umd.edu/archives/wmst-l.html . Illustrated instructions for using the interface can be found at http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/interface.html . To arrange for the DUALHDR option, choose "Join or Leave the List (or Change Settings)," and then click on the link "login with your LISTSERV password." Log in. Then, under "Mail header style," select "'Dual' (second header in mail body)." Then click on "Update options."
If you would prefer to arrange for DUALHDR via e-mail, simply send the following message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU :
SET WMST-L DUALHDR
Be sure to send this message to LISTSERV, NOT to WMST-L!! If you receive a response saying that you don't have a subscription, see the User's Guide section about address changes.
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