Dr. Alissa Jones Nelson

I completed my PhD at the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics at the University of St. Andrews in 2009. In 2011 I began my #alt-ac career, working first as the Acquisitions Editor in Religious Studies for De Gruyter and then as the Senior Editor and Head of the Publishing Department for the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute in Berlin.

I have acted as midwife to more than 300 publications, from monographs and edited volumes to white papers and special reports. My understanding of the shifting landscape of academic publishing — as well as the requirements of the market and the challenges of digital publishing — is second to none. I also have experience writing and editing for politicians, business people, and a wide variety of customer bases in markets from artificial intelligence and machine learning to librarians and book buyers.

I love helping people hone their ideas, clarify their writing, and win over their audience. And my clients say I’m good at it, too. Whether it’s a dissertation, a monograph, an edited volume, or a grant proposal; creative non-fiction, the perfect English text for your website, or marketing to potential customers — I can help you achieve your writing goals. I even occasionally write fiction, which has been shortlisted for several awards.

Education

University of St. Andrews
PhD in Religion and Politics
Dundee, Scotland
2006-2009

Supervisor: Prof. Mario I. Aguilar
PhD viva passed with no corrections

Azusa Pacific University
Bachelor of Arts
California, USA
1999-2002

Majors: Biblical Studies, English Language and Literature
Graduated Summa Cum Laude

Professional Experience

Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute
Senior Editor
Berlin, Germany
2016-2017

I managed and edited all DOC publications, including books, research reports, expert comments, and blog posts; developed author guidelines and internal publication policies and procedures; networked with individual scholars and politicians as well as academic institutions, funding bodies, NGOs, and government bodies; negotiated publishing partnerships with academic and policy-oriented publishing houses; and wrote grant proposals.

De Gruyter
Acquisitions Editor: Religious Studies
Berlin, Germany
2011-2016

I developed new scholarly publications in religious studies as well as project ideas and a publication program in digital humanities; copyedited and proofread manuscripts; negotiated publication contracts with authors, editors, institutions, and funding bodies; wrote texts for release online as well as for book covers and marketing materials; researched current issues in publication, including Open Access and multimodal publication formats; facilitated and lead workshops for colleagues and scholars on a variety of topics related to academic publishing.

University of Dundee
Project Manager
St. Andrews, Scotland
2009-2011

I managed three distance learning courses with more than 3,000 active participants; designed and supervised the redeployment of these distance learning courses online, including designing and implementing marketing tools for new courses, liaising and troubleshooting with course participants regarding new online submission methods, designing and editing a new course information brochure, and training academic staff in relevant e–learning technologies.

Portfolio

An image of a book cover
Peter Barthel and George van Kooten
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Peter L. Berger
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Anders Kostergaard Peterson and George van Kooten
An image of a book cover
Elias Muhanna
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Willem de Rooj
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Kocku von Stuckrad
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Frans Wijsen and Kocku von Stuckrad