HubPro Editor: Meet Katie Harper

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You have a history degree. What is your favorite time period to learn about?

My undergraduate degree and my in-progress Ph.D. are both in 20th-century European and British history. I like thinking about how societies deal with enormous change or sudden catastrophe, and modernity’s recurring dream of rebuilding society from the ground up. To that effect, my dissertation centers on the recasting of British society in the aftermath of World War II. I also have an ongoing fascination with utopianism and social experimentation: Robert Owen’s worker cooperatives, anarchist communes on England’s rural fringes, experimental boarding schools, urban squats, and even public housing projects and urban planning in the twentieth century.

Could you briefly tell us a little bit about your previous experience doing professional editing?

Most of my experience as an editor has been in a university setting. This past year, I assisted a Berkeley professor with his forthcoming textbook in British history. I proofread, fact-checked, and did a little supplemental writing. I’ve also been a graduate student instructor since 2010, and have been part of the writing and rewriting process for about 300-odd undergraduates.

Could you also talk about your academic qualifications?

I received my B.A. in history from Wellesley College, a women’s college near Boston. I graduated cum laude and with department honors in history for my thesis about Indian and Irish intellectuals in London in the early twentieth century. After working for a year I started a Ph.D. in history at the University of California at Berkeley. I received my M.A. from Berkeley in 2011 and advanced to Ph.D. candidacy in 2012. I’m still an active historian and continue to research, write, and present my work while being an editor at HubPages.

What’s your favorite thing about working in the editing industry?

My favorite thing about editing is also my favorite thing about teaching. I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of helping someone organize and communicate their thoughts effectively. Everyone is an expert in something, as showcased on HubPages. An editor is just another kind of expert who can help lend language to ideas and intent.

What do you like most about editing Hubs, specifically?

This is corny, but I like learning new things. My favorite Hubs to read and edit are tutorials for fixing, crafting, or building. I’m not very handy or mechanically-minded, and I really enjoy following an expert through the steps of making something. I just worked on a great one about building beautiful wooden-gear clocks which made me want to try my hand at woodworking!

Could you tell us a little bit about your personal process for working on Hubs?

My process is pretty straightforward. First, I read through the Hub and take notes. I ask myself, what does it seem like the author trying to say? Where do they succeed? Where do they fail? At the same time, I try to put myself in the position of a weary Internet traveler in anguished search for answers. How can this Hub serve their needs as well?

Is there anything you’d like Hubbers to know about you?

I think editing is a collaborative process and I value open communication with writers.

4 thoughts on “HubPro Editor: Meet Katie Harper

  1. It’s great to read about you, Katie. I share a common interest in enjoying history. It is great what you do for Hub Pages and I appreciate your hard work!

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