What we have in academia, in other words, is a microcosm of the American economy as a whole: a self-enriching aristocracy, a swelling and increasingly immiserated proletariat, and a shrinking middle class. The same devil’s bargain stabilizes the system: the middle, or at least the upper middle, the tenured professoriate, is allowed to retain its prerogatives—its comfortable compensation packages, its workplace autonomy and its job security—in return for acquiescing to the exploitation of the bottom by the top, and indirectly, the betrayal of the future of the entire enterprise. Graduate school as suicide mission,
in the Nation.
posted by gerryblog
on May 8, 2011 -
In over 35 years of friendship and conversation, Walter Michaels and I have disagreed on only two things, and one of them was faculty and graduate student unionization. He has always been for and I had always been against. I say “had” because I recently flipped and what flipped me, pure and simple, was Wisconsin.
When I think about the reasons (too honorific a word) for my previous posture I become embarrassed. ... The big reason was the feeling — hardly thought through sufficiently to be called a conviction — that someone with an advanced degree and scholarly publications should not be in the same category as factory workers with lunch boxes and hard hats. Wisconsin has taught Stanley Fish that academics are workers too.
Marc Bousquet (author of How the University Works
) responds at the Chronicle of Higher Education
with five lessons for academics from Wisconsin.
posted by gerryblog
on Mar 23, 2011 -
Professor Sheila Addison was fired from John F. Kennedy University for performing in a burlesque revue.
Steven Stargardter, president of the university, said that her actions brought “public disrespect, contempt and ridicule to the university”, although she never publicized the show on campus, discussed it with students or identified her affiliation with JFK when she performed. Meanwhile, a male colleague in another department was performing at the same time in a one-man show in which he was partially nude, and he publicized his show on campus and invited students and colleagues. He was not disciplined.
posted by kyrademon
on Mar 16, 2011 -
Some Social Scientists Claim Pervasive Bias in the Academe
Discrimination is always high on the agenda at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s conference, where psychologists discuss their research on racial prejudice, homophobia, sexism, stereotype threat and unconscious bias against minorities. But the most talked-about speech at this year’s meeting, which ended Jan. 30, involved a new “outgroup.”
posted by modernnomad
on Feb 9, 2011 -
Real Men Find Real Utopias
Historian reviews new book by bigshot sociologist Erik Olin Wright and gives it a thorough drubbing. Wishes sociology could be like it used to be, with more history and better English. Via ALDaily.
posted by Philosopher's Beard
on Jan 21, 2011 -
PhDChallenge.org proposed a challenge
: To have the phrase "I smoke crack rocks" included in a peer reviewed academic paper. The winner is Gabriel Parent from Carnegie Mellon, who included it in his paper
posted by reenum
on Dec 16, 2010 -
Sabotage in the lab.
"As the problems mounted, Ames was getting agitated. She was certain that someone was monkeying with her experiments, but she had no proof and no suspect. Her close friends suggested that she was being paranoid." Scientific research collides with human nature.
posted by bitmage
on Oct 4, 2010 -
One psychology professor, looking at the oversupply of PhDs for a very limited number of academic jobs, thinks that programs should simply stop admitting PhD students
, and has decided not to add any others to her own lab.
posted by grouse
on Aug 18, 2010 -
As translation contretemps go, the one surrounding French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir (1908-86) and her foundational work of modern feminism, Le Deuxième Sexe, first published in two volumes in French in 1949, remains one of the most tempestuous and fascinating. For decades, Beauvoir scholars in the English-speaking world bemoaned, attacked, and sought to replace the widely used 1953 translation by H.M. Parshley (1884-1953), a zoologist at Smith College who knew little philosophy or existentialism, had never translated a book from French, and relied mainly on his undergraduate grasp of the language. A few years back, they succeeded in getting the rights holders [...] to commission a new translation. [... But] Norwegian Beauvoir scholar Toril Moi, a professor at Duke and one of the foremost critics of Parshley's translation, savaged the new version in the London Review of Books. [...] How everyone involved got from vituperative discontent to hopeful triumph and back to discontent makes an instructive tale in itself and offers some lessons for what matters and doesn't in the evolution of a classic.
posted by No-sword
on Jun 27, 2010 -
The Real Science Gap:
“There is no scientist shortage,” declares Harvard economics professor Richard Freeman, a pre-eminent authority on the scientific work force. Michael Teitelbaum of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a leading demographer who is also a national authority on science training, cites the “profound irony” of crying shortage — as have many business leaders, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates — while scores of thousands of young Ph.D.s labor in the nation’s university labs as low-paid, temporary workers, ostensibly training for permanent faculty positions that will never exist.
posted by ennui.bz
on Jun 14, 2010 -
is a cross-platform research management tool which features article databasing, PDF annotation, online backup, private, shared and public collections, metadata lookup on Google Scholar, direct exporting of multiple citation styles to Word, OpenOffice and BibTex, the ability to add documents directly from a web browser, and social networking with other members in your field of study. Like Zotero
), but out of the browser and with note-taking abilities. For Windows, Mac and Linux.
posted by l33tpolicywonk
on Jun 11, 2010 -
"What are the new liberal arts?
", asks SnarkMarket
, inspired by Jason Kottke's tagline
. The blog post has turned into a pitch for a new collaborative book, with spirited discussions and over 100 suggestions
including photography, design, relationships, mythology, intuitive thinking, synthesis, knowledge mastery, search, archiving, play, and home economics.
posted by divabat
on Feb 4, 2009 -
has just launched PhilPapers
, a directory of nearly 200,000 online papers in philosophy. This is a jawdropping and amazing resource for philosophical research. For evidence of the scope of this project and the care that has been given to it, see the taxonomy of philosophy
that was developed for the site.
posted by painquale
on Jan 28, 2009 -
A math professor
was explaining a particularly complicated calculus concept to his class when a frustrated pre-med student interrupts him. "Why do we have to learn this stuff?" the pre-med blurts out. The professor pauses, and answers matter-of-factly: "Because math saves lives." "How?" demanded the student. "How on Earth does calculus save lives?" "Because," replied the professor, "it keeps certain people out of medical school."
posted by cthuljew
on Nov 9, 2008 -
Bioculture critiques Cultural Critique Until literature departments take into account that humans are not just cultural or textual phenomena but something more complex, English and related disciplines will continue to be the laughingstock of the academic world that they have been for years because of their obscurantist dogmatism and their coddled and preening pseudo-radicalism. Until they listen to searching criticism of their doctrine, rather than dismissing it as the language of the devil, literature will continue to be betrayed in academe, and academic literary departments will continue to lose students and to isolate themselves from the intellectual advances of our time.
posted by jason's_planet
on Apr 7, 2008 -
is a pioneer in virtual reality
, a computer science professor
, a Disney Imagineer
, an innovative teacher
, and the co-founder of the best video game school in the world
. One year ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and after a long and difficult fight he's been given just a few more months to live
. This week he gave his powerful, funny, and life-affirming last lecture
to a packed auditorium at Carnegie Mellon University, entitled "How to Live Your Childhood Dreams". The WSJ's summary
, and a direct link to the complete video of the lecture
(2 hours, and unfortunately streaming WMV). Warning: hilarious jokes about dying.
posted by xthlc
on Sep 20, 2007 -