I can't let this publication question drop just yet. The question is, what makes some profs think publishing isn't really important for grad students going on the market?
Let me go back to James Pryor's comments for a second. He says he never pushes his grad students to publish, and presumably, they do just fine on the market or he'd change up that advice. Now, what could explain the fact that when Pryor's students go on the market with no publications, their applications get more than 90 seconds of attention? Does raw potential pulsate through the paper their CVs are printed on, distracting search committees from the big nothing under the "publications" heading? My guess is no. My guess is, search committees see names like "Princeton," "NYU," and "James Pryor," and get as giddy as a bunch of 12 year old girls at an Aaron Carter show. Remember, there's people out there who think your department's rank and your advisor's fame are the most important qualifications you can have.
That's fine. That's the way of the world. But just like yesterday my question is, what the fuck made my profs think they could give me the same advice Pryor gives his students?
When you put the question that way, it almost answers itself, doesn't it? Our senior profs want to think our department's in the same league as Princeton and NYU. They want to think their names ring out. And so until the a little over a year ago, we got told we didn't need to publish.