Professional indexing, copy editing, and proofreading
of academic, trade nonfiction, and TTRPG books


Robert Dees
The Power of Peasants

Co-President of the Indexing Society of Canada/Société canadienne d’indexation, I specialize in scholarly embedded and back-of-book indexing, copy editing, and proofreading in the humanities and social sciences, as well as materials relating to role-playing games and scholarly-adjacent trade non-fiction. I am a member of ISC/SCI, the American Society for Indexing, Editors Canada, and the Editorial Freelancers Association.

I also offer an Index Review and Edit package for authors who have indexed their own books but would like a set of professional eyes on the index before sending it off to the publisher. Cheaper than hiring out for the full index, this package includes evaluation of the index for consistency and the application of best practices to the index.

I am an expert in history, particularly medieval European history, in which I hold a PhD. I was an assistant professor of history before moving into indexing. My academic knowledge is interdisciplinary, stretching from history into literature, archaeology, anthropology, religious studies, philosophy, and theology. Trained as a medievalist, my subject knowledge covers late antiquity through the early modern period, Iceland to China. I have taught and studied world civilizations and modern history, particularly that of the Middle East. As a research academic, I am familiar with the structure of academic writing, the audience it looks toward, and the needs a scholarly index must serve.

Outside of academia, I am broadly read and have particular familiarity with manuals for writing as craft, trade nonfiction (including the hard sciences and mathematics), gaming books, and travel books.

I do not use generative AI (ChatGPT and its ilk), nor do I subcontract. When you hire me, you get my work.



Dr. Alexander J. B. Hampton
Assistant Professor
University of Toronto

Recent Projects

Cover for the book St Antoninus of Florence

St Antoninus of Florence on Trade, Merchants, and Workers, Jason Aaron Brown

Saint Antoninus of Florence was a Dominican friar and archbishop of Florence from 1446 to 1459. He composed one of the most comprehensive manuals of moral theology, the Summa, which has long been counted among the more copious, influential, and rewarding medieval sources.


She Changed the Nation: Barbara Jordan’s Life and Legacy in Black Politics, Mary Ellen Curtin

In She Changed the Nation, biographer Mary Ellen Curtin offers a new portrait of Jordan and her journey from segregated Houston, Texas, to Washington, DC, where she made her mark during the Watergate crisis by eloquently calling for the impeachment of President Nixon.

Recognized as one of the greatest orators of modern America, Jordan inspired millions, and Black women became her most ardent supporters. Many assumed Jordan would rise higher and become a US senator, Speaker of the House, or a Supreme Court justice. But illness and disability, along with the obstacles she faced as a Black woman, led to Jordan’s untimely retirement from elected office–though not from public life. Until her death at the age of fifty-nine, Jordan remained engaged with the cause of justice and creating common ground, proving that Black women could lead the country through challenging times.


Fixing the Liturgy: Friars, Sisters, and the Dominican Rite, 1256-1516, Claire Taylor Jones

Jones opens a window into the daily practice of medieval liturgy, uncovering the astounding breadth of knowledge, the deep expertise, and the critical thinking required just to coordinate each day’s worship. Focusing on the Dominican order, Jones shows how changes in medieval piety and ritual legislation disrupted the fine-tuned system that Dominicans instituted in the thirteenth century.

World-historical events, including the Great Western Schism and the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, had an impact on the practice of liturgy even in individual communities. Through a set of never-before-studied records from Dominican convents, Jones shows how women’s communities reacted and adapted to historical change and how their surviving sources inform our understanding of the friars’ lives, as well. Tracing the narrative up to the eve of the Protestant Reformation, this study culminates in a multi-media reconstruction of the sounds, sights, and smells of worship in the rightfully famous southern German convent of St. Katherine in Nuremberg.

Blog

The Importance of a Sense of Humour
27 February 2024

Indexing textbooks for funerary professionals comes with its own peculiar set of challenges (especially when dealing with the before photos), but it’s helpful when the authors have a sense of humour. To wit,

Supercilium (eyebrows). As mentioned, cilia means “lashes” or “eyebrows,” and of course “super” implies they were bitten by a spider or exposed to radioactivity and now don a costume to fight crime.

This was all the funnier in combination with the authors’ reference elsewhere to “Cadaverine: the undead Wolverine’s alter-ego” and their description of the sphenoid bone (“the name is Latin for ‘bat-like,’ and, as the diagram shows, is indeed shaped like a bat. Imagine the Romans projecting that into the night sky to summon their favorite crime fighter.”).

For more dad jokes, see Creating Natural Form by Benjamin Schmidt, Sean Sweetman, and Briana Garcia.


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