Professional indexing, copyediting, and proofreading
of academic, trade nonfiction, fiction, 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 ACES: The Society for Editing.

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 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/predictive AI/LLMs (ChatGPT and its ilk), nor do I subcontract. When you hire me, you get my work.

Interested in a closer look at who I am, including my academic cv and resume? Learn more about me.

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

Recent Projects

Book cover to Asa Simon Mittman's Cartographies of Exclusion. The background image is a close-up from the Hereford Map.

Cartographies of Exclusion: Anti-Semitic Mapping in Medieval England, Asa Simon Mittman

In his close analyses of English maps from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Asa Mittman makes a valuable contribution to conversations centering the role of cartography in medieval Christian perceptions of Jews and Judaism.

Grounding his arguments in the history of anti-Jewish sentiment and actions rampant in twelfth-century England, Mittman shows how English world maps of the period successfully Othered Jewish people by means of four primary strategies: conflating Jews with other groups; spreading libels about Jewish bodies, beliefs, and practices; associating Jews with Satan; and, most importantly, cartographically “mislocating” Jews in time and space. On maps, Jews were banished to locations and historical moments with no actual connection to Jewish populations or histories.

Medieval Christian anti-Semitism is the foundation upon which modern anti-Semitism rests, and the medieval mapping of Jews was crucial to that foundation. Mittman’s thinking offers essential insights for any scholar interested in the interface of cartography, politics, and religion in premodern Europe.

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.


The Superheroes of Indexing and Editing

23 April 2024

Back in February I mentioned some of the dad jokes in funerary services books, such as undead Wolverine’s alter-ego Cadaverine. Today I am continuing to fill out my indexing and editing superhero team with a new mini-team: the Logistikons. Doesn’t that sound like a team of heroes from an 1980s Saturday-morning cartoon show? A spin-off of Captain Planet, perhaps. They’re a very nerdy, tech-savvy, and slightly bureaucratic bunch with a penchant for philosophy. If the TMNT could be named for artists, surely we can have a set named for philosophers. Their groupies and occasional friends probably have names like Meno and Thrasymachus.

Naturally, the Logistikons face off against the Epistêmikons.

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