I have a confession for my Wikipedia colleagues: I am an academic. I hope you won't hold it against me, and I hope we can work together on some of our common interests.
One of them is postage stamps, specifically those of Latin America, South American Antarctica, and the islands of the far South Atlantic (Falklands/Malvinas, South Georgia, South Sandwich). I use these stamps extensively in my academic publications, lectures, and Power Point presentations my students and I make. I am trying to nail down copyright issues concerning the use of postage stamp images on both the main Wikipedia page (in English) and the Commons. See the Wikipedia Commons page: "Commons talk:Stamps/Public domain".
Another project is to try and raise the use and respect for Wikipedia within the academic world I inhabit. It is no secret that many academics, especially at the university level, view Wikipedia as a not very legitimate source of knowledge. Many discourage (and even prohibit) use of Wikipedia in connection with term papers and projects, and will not accept a paper that cites Wikipedia sources. I strongly disagree with this approach, and in fact encourage my students to use Wikipedia, and develop an understanding of how it works. I also list my Wikipedia contributions in my annual reports for merit (and pay increases), much to the amusement of some of my colleagues. I think I am making some headway, and will keep trying to raise their appreciation of what Wikipedia can do for them and their students.
What follows is the abbreviated version of my "official" academic curriculum vitae (résumé), to which I append a representative list of some of my publications including several in which have used postage stamps as illustrations.
C.V. Dr. Jack Child (July 2006)
Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies, and Affiliate Professor of International Service, American University, Washington, DC, 20016. email: jchild@American.edu. Web page: HTTP://www.american.edu/jchild/lahal_home.html
Dr Child was born of American parents in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and lived in South America for 18 years before coming to the United States in 1955 to attend Yale University. Following graduation from Yale he entered the U.S. Army, and served for 20 years as an Army Latin American Specialist until his retirement as a lieutenant colonel. While on active duty he earned his Master's and Doctoral degrees in the international relations and area studies of Latin America from the School of International Service of American University. In 1980 he joined the School of International Service as Assistant Dean. Two years later he moved to the Department of Language and Foreign Studies, where he teaches a variety of courses (in both English and Spanish) dealing with translation, and Latin American studies, with an emphasis on popular culture.
His research has focused on cultural studies and conflict resolution in Latin America. He has received grants from the U.S. Institute of Peace and the International Peace Academy (United Nations) for research dealing with negotiations in Antarctica and the Falklands/Malvinas, and peace-keeping and confidence-building measures in Central and South America. His interest in high latitudes has taken him to Alaska, and on twelve trips as staff lecturer and guide aboard expedition cruise vessels to Antarctica and sub-Antarctic islands, including South Georgia and the Malvinas/Falklands.
BOOKS (partial list):
Miniature Messages: The Semiotics and Politics of Latin American Postage Stamps. (Under contract).
Antarctica: an Introduction and Negotiation Simulation, and Falklands/Malvinas: an Introduction and Negotiation Simulation. Text, CD-RoM. U.S. Institute of Peace/G2G Multimedia, Cambridge: 1998.
The Central American Peace Process, 1983-1991: Sheathing Swords, Building Confidence. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1992 (supported by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Peace).
Introduction to Spanish Translation. Lanham: UPA, 1992.
Antarctica and South American Geopolitics: Frozen Lebensraum. New York: Praeger, 1988.
Quarrels Among Neighbors: Geopolitics and Conflict in South America. NY: Praeger, 1985.
REPRESENTATIVE ARTICLES (partial list):
""Semiotics and Stamps: How the Academic Discipline of Linguistics can Help Us Understand our Stamps", accepted for publication by The American Philatelist.
"The Politics and Semiotics of the Smallest Icons of Popular Culture: Latin American Postage Stamps", Latin American Research Review, Vol. 40, no. 1, February 2005. Also LASA XXVth Congress CD-RoM, Jan 2005
"The Politics and Semiotics of Argentine Postage Stamps". Essays of the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies. March 2005, pp. 1-34.
"Researching the Politics and History of Latin American Postage Stamps at the American Philatelic Research Library, State College, PA", The Philatelic Literature Review, July 2003.
“Teaching Latin American Studies with Blackboard Software”, MACLAS Essays, Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies, June 2002.
“The Impact of Computer-Assisted Instruction in Undergraduate Latin American Studies Courses” in Computers in the Humanities, 1997.