Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Bronze Medal

More questions about next year from Second Suitor. --PGS

Okay. So I have a question and recognize that it probably doesn’t have a clear answer. How do conferences factor in? It’s a line on the CV. I mean I’m working on the publishing thing, but that’s clearly going to take a while. In the meantime applying to conferences feels like something I can do. Clearly presenting at something fancy like the APA must be good, but I’m under the impression that at least some faculty seem to think graduate conferences are about as impressive as undergrad conferences.

Right now I’m kind of using conference deadlines as fake ‘real’ deadlines for relatively self-contained 10 page chunks of the dissertation. It’s a strategy that’s definitely helped me make progress on the diss, but it would be nice if actually going to any of these conferences would help on the job market.

Also, I hear conferences area good place to network. Makes sense. Throw a lot of philosophers in a room and we have to talk to each other. That said, it’s not really clear that chatting with people at conferences in fact helps on the job market. I have no idea if that’s right, but I’d like to find out from people who know.

--Second Suitor

52 comments:

tenured philosophy girl said...

Hi Second Suitor and PGS:

I (and most of my friends) don't count grad conferences for squat, frankly. It's really not that hard to get a paper accepted at a professional, non-student conference. Most conferences have acceptance rates well over 50%. So just send to the real thing.

Also, conferences are indeed important networking opportunities - meet and hang out and drink with people in your field, etc. And this really can have job market payoffs, both direct and indirect. But grad conferences are next to useless for this as the faculty members who are in a position to help your career don't go, so you're just talking to your powerless competition.

Sorry for the blunt response - but the solution is, luckily, obvious. Send your papers to conferences that are not marked as student conferences. Then waste no time turning them into journal articles, which will help your cv at least 10 times as much.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of good reasons to present at various sorts of conferences, but in terms of adding a line to your CV that will help with jobs? Probably only a few rather elite ones will do any good: APA, PSA, SPP, stuff like that. Even these are not substitute for publications. Grad conferences are worth virtually nothing on your CV--except maybe for taking up what might otherwise be some embarrassing white-space.

Anonymous said...

as a long time sc member, i'd say it has some positive value as a line on the cv. not huge, but some--it indicates that you are starting to take your membership in the profession seriously, and that you want to get your work out.

probably the better reason to do it is not for the direct effect on your cv, so much as for the effect on the quality of your presentations once you get on the market. practice has a huge effect on the smoothness of your job-talks, and prior to that your apa spiels, and giving talks at conferences will generally help your presenting skills.

plus, yeah, the networking stuff can't hurt.

ass. prof. said...

It depends on the conference, of course. Some graduate student conferences are much better than any APA.

Kenny said...

I feel like the graduate conferences that I presented at were quite helpful (UT Austin, and USC/UCLA) - all the papers at both conferences were quite good, and it seems that they must have had to do some serious refereeing of the papers, so I would guess it should have a certain amount of prestige associated. Of course, it's less than the amount one would get for being accepted to present at a fully professional conference. (I assume some conferences count for more there than others - it sounds like APA is in fact not as prestigious as more specialized conferences.)

And regardless of the prestige, going to these conferences is very useful. For one thing, you get someone whose job it is to comment on your paper, which is often very useful for feedback on your work. You also get the more general feedback of audience questions.

I suspect that networking at conferences has also helped me out on the job market, though at the moment that's seeming like it's more indirect. But it's also great just to get to know some grad students from different places.

Also, there are difference between the different graduate conferences - I know the Berkeley/Stanford/Davis conference has had varying amounts of refereeing from year to year, so it's probably more helpful in terms of being a place where you can present your paper, get feedback, and meet people from different schools, rather than some of the other ones that might perhaps be more of a sign of having a very good paper.

Mr. Zero said...

I think grad conferences are useful as practice, but it's my understanding that you probably shouldn't list them on the CV. There are plenty of "real" conferences that are much easier to get into than your average grad conference, though. A couple of years ago I sent a paper out to a bunch of places that was rejected from all the grad confs but accepted at a real one.

The networking angle seems right, but, again, probably only at "real" ones. And I think you have to be pretty good at it in order for it do have any concrete effect. Several people I know have solicited research letters of rec. from people they met at conferences, but I've never gotten to know anyone well enough to do that.

akratic Irishman said...

I don't think that the main benefit of presenting papers at conferences is 'social networking'. At least it never has helped me (as far as I can tell), and I've presented papers at many conferences (although it could very well be the case that I'm simply crap at 'shmoozing').

Presenting papers at conferences does indicate that you're philosophically active, i.e., writing stuff and trying to get it 'out there'. It demonstrates a certain drive. So it's certainly not a bad thing! And presenting papers at conferences is a good way to get immediate feedback on potential articles.

The quality of the conferences at which you present is (I think) something to consider. Graduate conferences simply are not that impressive. On the other hand, presenting a paper at the APA is probably as impressive as publishing an article in a 'mid tier' journal.

I've never served on a SC, however. These are all my impressions based on my experiences as a job candidate (multiple times).

Anonymous said...

It is very impressive, I think, for one to present at the main program of the APA. As far I'm concerned, if you can present there, it is worth a publication. That is, it is a litmus test for me whether a thing can be published if it is accepted for presentation there.

In my field, it is especially important to be able to show a certain kind of legitimacy for my place in the field of philosophy in general, since I work in history of philosophy. So, such a presentation helps me to stand out.

Anonymous said...

I eagerly await opinions on this as well.

Anonymous said...

There is some value in going to graduate student conferences, in that you get better at delivering your work as a talk and you can get useful feedback. However, conferences with professors not only improve your work but are also professionally beneficial in other ways. Networking is hugely important for every stage of the job application process: getting letters from good outside people, having someone take a second look at your file when it reaches their SC, smoothing things out in an interview or on a campus visit, etc. The more people you know, the better. Also, I have heard SC members look at a cv and note, "X has given talks at some really good places." I'm not sure how much weight that ultimately has, but it may be noted.

Prof. J. said...

Probably a graduate conference paper doesn't count for a whole lot on a CV -- a SC is not apt to know how the grad conference is refereed, and let's face it, a lot of SC members never went to graduate conferences, since there were almost none ten years ago.

But, giving papers or comments at conferences makes your philosophy better, and over time it will make you a better philosopher. And you'll enjoy it a lot. The networking will be helpful over time, if you go to a lot of conferences and you're impressive. And the graduate conferences will give you good practice for other conferences (preparing the papers and giving the presentations).

But do it because it will make you better, and because talking about philosophy with new people is really fun.

Anonymous said...

I am doing fairly well on the market this year, and I think that conferences have had a (fairly large) hand in my success: specifically, conferences that include both faculty and grad students and are in one's specific subfield (other kinds, such as grad-only conferences, might help as well, but I can't speak to that, because I haven't been to any). I know these exist in a lot of subfields: ancient philosophy and philosophy of science come to mind, but I'm sure there are others.

They have helped both in getting to know people in my subfield (profs and grads) who could helpfully comment on my work and who knew me going into the market, and in allowing me to keep up to date on what's going on in my subfield.

This is all antecdotal, of course, and probably the faculty on this blog know better.

Anonymous said...

I'm at a Leiter "below 20" university and we've done some hiring since I have been here. Out of all the candidates who came to campus, none had more than a few conferences listed on the CV. A couple of candidates had no conferences listed at all. My impression has been that they don't have a large effect either way. But, I'd assume they do play a couple of significant roles (i.e. - helping you get used to presenting your work, etc.).

Anonymous said...

"Clearly presenting at something fancy like the APA must be good, but I’m under the impression that at least some faculty seem to think graduate conferences are about as impressive as undergrad conferences." This seems about right, though it is probably better to have at least that one line than a totally blank cv. There are, however, a large range of conference prestige levels between the APAs and grad student conferences. In particular, some fields have their own high-prestige specialty conferences, like the Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

I think that there are important instrumental values for doing conferences. You've noted one -- it gives you a structure for completing pieces of your work. It also yields some feedback and commentary on your work, which is at least somewhat helpful (even if, often, only at revealing how badly your paper can be misinterpreted). Practicing giving professional presentations will be very important if you get a campus visit interview at a place that wants a job talk. And the networking is valuable in all sorts of diffuse ways -- it certainly makes the APA smokers a lot more bearable, if you spot the occasional friendly peer face in the crowd.

KateNorlock said...

As a sc member of a four-year college, I would add that listing conferences confirms to us that you are engaged in scholarship and exchange, willing to get out there, probably collegial. It seems bizarre to me not to list something on your cv, but maybe graduate student conferences vary a great deal? I guess if you went to one that barely rose above coffee-klatch level, it's not worth listing, but at least note a couple which are representative of the sort of exchanges you took part in. No sc will hold it against you, and some of us would appreciate the information. (I know, mine is only a lib-arts college, but I find it hard to believe that a Leiteriffic sc member would say, "Oh, forget it, we can't hire him because he spoke at Grad Con X.")

Doubly agreed, though, that 'tis better to just submit to non-grad-only cons. I believe my participation in professional society conferences got my own interview.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is interesting, and I'm surprised. I (an MA student) submitted to the NYU-Columbia and Princeton-Rutgers graduate student conferences. I was rejected at both. NYU-C accepted 4 papers out of 120, and R-P accepted 6 out of 135. Those presenting at R-P are from MIT (2), Oxford, Pitt, Brown and UMass. It seems like an acceptance there would show real talent.

second suitor said...

These comments have been really helpful.

Prof J., I wanted to second your comment about conferences being fun. I've really enjoyed all the conferneces I've been to (though I'm not sure I've done enough 'networking' at them).

Another question I have about conferences (that I may post sometime on the main board is PGS keeps letting my hijack the blog) is about presentation style. Do people prefer someone reading a tightly argued paper or a more 'off the cuff' talk on the topic that isn't so tight?

Is it fair to say we have consensus? Grad conferences are probably helpful for 1st - maybe 3rd years since it gets us in the habit of submitting and presenting, but after that it's worth submitting to bigger conferences.

Sisyphus said...

Our grad advisor recently told us that conferences were only useful for us grad students insofar as they helped us network or produce publications.

That said, grad and small regional conferences are a great way to pick up the unwritten etiquette of presenting and work out your butterflies. Start with them, or on-campus presentations, and then work up to larger national conferences. But don't "go backward" back down to piddly stuff --- I'm told that doesn't look good on the market.

Another thing conferences are useful for is contact with editors and academic presses --- some people even get solicited for their papers from academic journals if they are lucky enough to have an editor in the room. I'm told it's not a guaranteed "in" but if they already like your work and are intrigued by it, that is to the good.

And the small-but-immovable deadlines for dissertations might be the best reason to go. But go with whatever works best for your writing style ---- I learned the hard way that I can't use a conf. deadline to push myself from unwritten to written ---- I completely freak out if I have to get on a plane and deal with travel with the paper still not finished. If deadlines energize rather than paralyze you, then you're good to go.

Anonymous said...

tenured philosophy girl writes:

"I (and most of my friends) don't count grad conferences for squat, frankly. It's really not that hard to get a paper accepted at a professional, non-student conference. Most conferences have acceptance rates well over 50%. So just send to the real thing."

Hmmm. My rejection emails from the more competitive grad conferences (e.g. NYU/Columbia, Princeton/Rutgers) have indicated that their acceptance rates are much lower than 50%. They're more like 5-10% (and sometimes lower). So--notwithstanding that there may be post-grad-level competition at the 50% acceptance rate conferences tpg has in mind (though, of course, the grad student stipend-relevant review process for the APA wouldn't involve this sort of competition)--I'm left wondering why anyone should care about them (wrt cv lines) if conferences with one tenth the acceptance rate don't count for squat (wrt cv lines).

I'm inclined to agree with Kenny that grad conferences like NYU/Col, Harvard/MIT, Prince/Rut, Oxford, USC/UCLA, Brown, Texas, etc. involve some very serious refereeing (albeit by other grad students). I got the same impression at the one to which I was lucky enough to get a paper accepted.

My guess is that the grad conferences I've named have become more and more competitive in the last several years. In light of this, I'm not so sure that tenured philosophy girl's attitude isn't a little outdated. Whether it accurately reflects the attitudes of most of her peers on SCs is another issue.

To add to Mr. Z's anecdotal evidence: I'm directly aware of one person (I guess I wouldn't know whether it is Mr. Z, but chances are it isn't) who has had a great deal of success in grad school getting papers accepted at the APA, but who has been 0-for-X (for a fairly large X) submitting papers to the aformentioned grad conferences.

Finally, it should be recognized that the feedback/shmoozing element varies from conference to conference. The conferences I've named always have at least one, and sometimes more than one, very big name philosopher there to deliver the keynote address. And in my experience, (s)he interacts with the student presenters a great deal. Better than that, my understanding is that at the Oxford conference (and perhaps others?) the commentators are faculty members, not grad students.

Anonymous said...

Each individual conference hasn't been particularly important for my CV, but conference attendance has been more important than anything else for bumping up those other parts of my CV. From my attendance at conferences, through people I met there, I have gotten the opportunity for:

-Two excellent adjunct positions (necessary because I live too far from PhDville to teach as a TA)

-Three publications, including a chapter in a book from Ivy UP

-Two invited lectures

-One committee position in a professional association

-One research collaboration

-Many wonderful, lasting friendships

Pretty much my entire professional life has been a result of going to conferences and meeting people. Regardless of the prestige of those lines on your CV, I would strongly recommend going to as many professional conferences as you can, and to go up and talk to people. Don't be shy. Smile and be outgoing. You won't be sorry.

Anonymous said...

"it certainly makes the APA smokers a lot more bearable, if you spot the occasional friendly peer face in the crowd"

Can I just put in a vote for schmoozing-at-the-smoker-has-no-impact -on-your-job-prospects-and-might-even-annoy-the-hapless-committee-members-you-try-to-schmooze -with?

Seriously. I skipped the smoker one of the nights and it didn't make a difference (in fact, I actually got more flyouts from that day). I talked to a faculty member later and she remarked that all the work at the smoker is done by your professors talking you up to other professors.

Did anyone feel like it helped them??

Also, when I'm a faculty member, I'm just going to want to talk to all my friends that I haven't seen in months. Presumably everyone else feels the same way.

So can we all just agree to abolish the smoker as a social networking event for job-seekers and revive it as a good old fashioned get-shit-faced-and-do-something-you'll -probably-regret event?

I know this has very little relation to the topic at hand, but it needed to be said!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe some of the things people have been saying above. Of course conferences matter! Let me dispel some of the misinformation that has been given out. First of all, I have never refereed for or been accepted at a conference with an acceptance rate "well over 50%." Many conferences, including graduate ones, are highly selective. Secondly, yes if you are at an awesome school working with awesome people you probably don't need them. But as for the rest of us, start filling up that CV as soon as possible. My advice is to apply to all the grad conferences in your locale--most are worth it for a 3 hours or under drive--and apply to as many professional conferences as you can. Chances are that you'll get into about a third of all that you apply to, and this is why you should apply to many.

The benefits of going to conferences are numerous, but here are just the most important. First, often you can find some back-door route into publishing your paper by going to a conference. Probably proceedings aren't worth much, but not all publications that come out of conferences are proceedings. Secondly, the networking thing is important esp. at professional conferences, and its not unheard of that one could network oneself into a future job interview. Thirdly, supposing you are not from an awesome school, the only thing worse than having graduate conferences on your CV is not having anything on your CV at all.

That said, do your best to get your stuff out there and try to ignore some of the posts above.

here's a secret said...

If you don't have any pubs yet, then you definitely should pick some "low hanging fruit" in conference presentations.

As has been said, quality of the conference counts, but grad student conferences are better than nothing and, at the least, good practice.

But here's a SECRET: See if you can expand the relevance of your paper to non-philosophical fields and then submit to THOSE conferences. This not only shows that your work has broader appeal (interdisciplinary, integrative, etc., which opens the door to other possible funding sources), but also your phil SC will typically not know whether those industry/other academic conferences are actually good or not.

You should pick at least reputable, major conferences where possible. And you might have a better-than-expected chance at getting accepted, since they may not be used to seeing submissions from philosophers.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Be creative and persistent.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is interesting, and I'm surprised. I (an MA student) submitted to the NYU-Columbia and Princeton-Rutgers graduate student conferences. I was rejected at both. NYU-C accepted 4 papers out of 120, and R-P accepted 6 out of 135. Those presenting at R-P are from MIT (2), Oxford, Pitt, Brown and UMass. It seems like an acceptance there would show real talent.


Remember that grad conferences are refereed by other grad students. So, its not really the acceptance rate that matters. If I'm on a search committee, I can basically judge your work in three ways, a)by reading it myself, b)by reading what your letter writers say about it and c)by seeing where you've been able to place it.

C) counts for a lot if it means that your work has been vetted by other experts in your area--which I can expect if you've submitted it to a top journal. But C counts for little if its being vetted by other amateurs--which, sorry, is what other grad students are. Even at top conferences, which can be quite competitive, the review process is not as focused as it is at journals, its carried out by a program committee, not by experts in the topic of the paper, it is sometimes based on an abstract, it might not be blind reviewed, etc. In any case its not something I am going to trust more than A or even B. But if its a top journal, I probably would trust it more than even A (unless I am myself an expert on the topic).


Just to be clear: I agree that having some presentations on your CV is important. But as evidence of activity, collegiality, energy, etc. Not as (very much) evidence of the quality of your work.

tenured philosophy girl said...

Anon 7:49 - I am very curious how you know that you haven't been accepted at a conference with an acceptance rate over 50%? Do you check up on the acceptance rate at each one with the organizers or something?? I call your bluff.

I don't know how senior you are so I don't know if I have more experience than you or not. But I have refereed for and/or helped organize over twenty conferences, and the acceptance rates have ranged between 20% and 90%, with most over 50%.

Now I entirely believe that good grad student conferences have much lower acceptance rates. And maybe, as someone suggested, my view towards them is somewhat outdated - I was giving a descriptive rather than a normative answer to the question.

But I am not about to change my attitude at the moment. I know for certain that gobs of MA students from Northern Buttfuck State submit semi-literate abstracts to grad conferences, so you're competing against all of those, and none from senior respected faculty members etc. - the acceptance rate has to be put in the context of the application pool. And as someone pointed out, the reviewing is done by grad students, and I count faculty reviews as more telling than grad student reviews. (Probably some people will hate me for that and think I am a Big Snob. But honestly, if y'all didn't think that we get *better* at philosophy and sharpen our philosophical judgment over time, why would we even be doing this? You all know you learned a lot as a student, right? Why in the world would you think you stop learning and getting better the instant you defend your diss?)

Anyhow, the main point is that rightly or wrongly, your cv will be helped much more by a professional conference, and it will be a way better networking opportunity. So given that it's not that hard to get accepted to one, just do that.

tenured philosophy girl said...

Before I get flamed for my last post... Let me just add that I know there are plenty of wonderful students tucked away in terminal MA programs at Northern Buttfuck State U. Let me also add that I have absolutely nothing against buttfucking, which is an honorable pass-time and usually fun for all involved. In fact, it's probably a great hobby to take up if you end up stuck teaching in Northern Buttfuck and miss city life.

amateur said...

Anon 7:51:

"But C counts for little if its being vetted by other amateurs--which, sorry, is what other grad students are."

It's not terribly uncommon for some more accomplished grad students to referee for highly respected journals. In light of this, I think the more informative distinction is committee/expert, not grad/non-grad. But, as 7:51 notes, most conferences, whether grad or not, are vetted by committees whose vetting criteria are set in large part to respect the interest of a general philosophical audience.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:51,

There are two relevant questions here: first, *is* getting a paper into one of the "top" grad conferences any evidence for the quality of the paper, and (b) will SC's *think* it is any evidence.

I'm a grad student at one of these "top" places with a grad conference, and I referee for it every year. I've *also* refereed a few times for "top" journals. So, maybe I'm just an amateur, but if so, that means that journals (as well as grad conferences) are being refereed by at least some amateurs.

Second, when I referee for a journal, my job is to answer: "Should this paper be published? Why or why not?" When I referee for the conference, my job is generally to report back which papers are the *best*. Some years (not all) I've read several papers that, were I refereeing for a journal, I'd recommend at least an R&R, or better -- but they didn't make it into the conference because quite a few other papers were *even better*.

I'm inclined to think that the answer to (a) is "yes, it's *great* evidence" -- perhaps better than an APA read (most APA papers are great, but I've seen at least two embarrassingly bad papers at every APA I've been to; not so with the top-tier grad conferences.)

In answer to (b), though: if enough SC members think the way 7:51 does, then the answer will be "no". I'll let others debate what conclusion to draw...

Anonymous said...

I have an unrelated question: once you get an offer, are you supposed to tell other schools you are interviewing with about that offer?

Anonymous said...

I have a related question. If one gives a job talk at a department, should one list this talk on one's CV in the future? Does this have any positive/negative effect on SC's?

Anonymous said...

I heard through the grapevine that one of the APA interviews I had this year was in part due to a professor on that department's SC having attended a talk I gave at the Pacific APA. Not that I got the job...

7:51 said...

Fair point that grad students do refereeing for top journals. I refereed a couple in grad school myself.

But, I would assume top journals rarely accept a paper on the basis of the recommendations of ONLY grad students. Much more importantly, when a grad student is asked to referee a paper for a journal, it is because that student is known for doing good work on that subject. When grad students review papers for inhouse conferences, its because they happend to be there, they are willing to put the time in, or whatever. Its just not the same thing as peer review. A related point: when a grad student is asked to review a paper for a journal, they are being asked by a professional. its not amateurs all the way down.

anyway 12:27 hits the nail on the head: what matters is perceptions. I am reporting mine to you, and I offer my reasons not spo much by way of justification, but by way of evidence for my belief that others like me will share my perceptions. I think they do.


Finally, there are embarassingly bad papers in every possible venue-conferences, journals, even anthologies of "classic" papers. No vetting process is perfect.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:46,

I've wondered this, too. I've seen on some people's CVs separate lists, one for "Job Talks" and one for "Invited Talks (not job talks)" or something like that. Anyone know of any hard-and-fast rules?

Anonymous said...

"I have an unrelated question: once you get an offer, are you supposed to tell other schools you are interviewing with about that offer?"

You should definitely tell the schools you've already interviewed with about the offer, and, most importantly, your deadline. This will put them under pressure to make up their minds in a more timely manner. Some schools you might just want to withdraw from, if you'd prefer the offer-school to those schools.

I wouldn't recommend calling the schools at which you have campus visits scheduled in the future, unless those visits are going to take place after the deadline for the offer you have. I would mention the offer on your visits, of course. You might well get asked. In my experience, finding out that you already have an offer will often only increase your appeal to the other schools.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 12:27: well said.

To Anon 1:46: I think you've raised a point that a lot of people have missed. Sure, conferences help you get better, and sure, they help you network, and sure, they may or may not be seen as impressive on your CV. But if your presentation impresses someone in the audience who later sees your dossier in a stack, that is going to help you. They've already seen something like a "job talk" from you, and liked it. And while presenting your own papers is of course important, commenting on influential people's papers, if you can land such an assignment, is one way to get other influential people in your audience.

Whatever you do, don't blow off your commenting assignment or presentation. It will NOT help you if someone saw you previously and thought, "Ho hum."

Anonymous said...

The tone of the last comment from tenured philosophy girl really disturbs me. I'm not sure why gratuitous sexual vulgarity is really necessary here.

She might be trying to prevent herself from getting flamed, but her comments don't actually indicate any level of respect for the people in question.

Anonymous said...

As far as grad conferences go, my experience is that they count for very little if you are coming out of one of the departments that are organizing the conference, and that they count for more if you are more clearly at arms-length from the group organizing it.

There are a lot of graduate conferences now, and some are clearly more competitive than others, and if you do present at one of the more competitive graduate conferences, it is good to let your supervisor (or at least one of your letter writers) know what percentage of the papers made it in. If NYU-C, or R-P are really accepting less than 5% of the papers submitted, then that is a pretty easy thing for an advisor to work into his or her letter, and it will mean a lot more coming from them than coming from you.

Prof. J. said...

Most of us with some experience on this topic have pretty limited experience to generalize from, so I've found this interesting. I've refereed for fewer conferences than Tenured Philosophy Girl, but all the ones I've done had acceptance rates between 10% and 20%. On the other hand, I do not think that conference papers I've reffed are as good as journal papers I've reffed, and not even close. (I figure even very good philosophers will not submit their best stuff to refereed conferences, or if it does turn out to be some of their best stuff it's still a bit rough when they submit it for a conference.) But then again, there are some quite famous arguments that got their start at grad conferences (if I gave the details I'd like to give I'd put a large dent in my anonymity, and I'm not keen to do that right now).

Answers to questions:

I have an unrelated question: once you get an offer, are you supposed to tell other schools you are interviewing with about that offer?

Yes.

I have a related question. If one gives a job talk at a department, should one list this talk on one's CV in the future? Does this have any positive/negative effect on SC's?

Of course. List it as a colloquium talk. The time of year and your time of life will make it clear that it was a job talk, but unless you were hiding the fact that you were on the market, I don't see how it could have a negative effect.

tenured philosophy girl said...

Anon 2:29:

"She might be trying to prevent herself from getting flamed, but her comments don't actually indicate any level of respect for the people in question"

Which people would that be? Really, I honestly don't know which people you mean.

I am sorry if the vulgar term offended - goodness knows that I am FAR from the first person to use the f-word on this board! Others use it at one another regularly, which I find inappropriate - I would think my use would have been less offensive.

I do suppose I was trying to avoid getting flamed. While I was trying to be a bit funny, I wrote the follow up because I was honestly worried that someone might think I was maligning the sexual practice in question, which I emphatically was not.

More on topic: I suspect (from my armchair) that the large difference in acceptance rates that's emerging has lots to do with different types of conferences. Lots of the conferences I've been involved in are either in a very specific subfield where the people who submit self-select very heavily, or for large international conferences that are going out of their way to be inclusive. Conferences like the APA have lower acceptance rates, but still not as low as the numbers being thrown around on this board.

I am sorry I ever brought up the whole question of acceptance rates since the measure of a conference is not its acceptance rate, for all the reasons already hashed over here. I still hold that it's not at all hard to get a paper into a professional conference. Give it a try - you'll see.

Ted said...

Anon 2:29 -

You are right. As for myself, tenured philosophy girl has certainly lost my respect (not that she is the only one - lots of anons on this blog are as bad, if not worse than her.) What's sad is that I had a bit of respect for her based on her previous posts...but then people's true character always outs...

Anonymous said...

The acceptance rate for papers at the upcoming Central APA was 34%.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on. It's a sad, sad day when a community of random people on the internet is too up tight for a few ol' fashion buttfucking jokes. Tenured Philosophy Girl, ignore these thought police and keep the scatological remarks coming.

Anonymous said...

as someone who does not know tenured prof girl, i've just got to say:

anonymous 2:29 and ted 7:38, your comments are some of the most ridiculously sanctimonious displays of clucking harrumphery i have seen on the web. i've seen a lot of pearl-clutching and holier-than-thou haughtiness, but you guys take the cake.

fer chrissakes, tpg was just making a fucking joke, okay? the kind that gets made on blogs roughly three zillion times a day?

i suspect that this is the main problem--twits like ted simply don't read blogs much, and so don't have any idea of what an ordinary tone is.

"well, i've lost my respect for these low-life rabble, these foul-mouthed digital lynch mobs! this gratuitous sexual vulgarity makes my blood run cold! but what can you do--breeding will out. i told farnsworth this would happen if we let women go to college. it's so upsetting! i'm just going to retreat to my solarium and have the butler bring me a soothing drink!"

good. please fuck off, and don't come back. and if you don't like it here, then turn off your web--this is pretty much what it sounds like in the blogosphere.

ted said...

It's not that I don't like it here. Obviously there are interesting comments to be seen here. However, as with any blog, there is also the trash. And it's unclear why it is ridiculously sanctimonious to lose respect for people for certain things they say or do. But then, that's probably because I'm not a complete relativist. Shocking, isn't it!

Asstro said...

Gotta pipe in here. I read TPG's post and thought it was fantastic. My first thought was that she would be an interesting person to meet and get to know. Don't get the wrong idea. This is expressly not because I have ulterior motives -- I'm neither a devotee of said sexual practice nor am I interested in upsetting my wife and son, whom I both love loyally -- but because I thought that she has the right kind of laid back attitude that philosophy could sure use more of.

Right on, TPG. Let these uptight midwesterners drown in their own propriety. (My guess is that you live and work in a large, east coast megalopolis.)

Anonymous said...

TPG:

"I don't know how senior you are so I don't know if I have more experience than you or not. But I have refereed for and/or helped organize over twenty conferences, and the acceptance rates have ranged between 20% and 90%, with most over 50%."

What I infer from this is that the conferences that TPG has been involved with are not particularly prestigious.

Anonymous said...

gee ted, how insightful: anyone who thinks you're a sanctimonious prick must be a "complete relativist". conversely, anyone who is not a complete relativist must welcome and applaud any pompous pontificating they encounter on the web.

yeah. well played, dude. i hope you don't try to participate in any sports that you haven't trained for, like, e.g., philosophy.

Anonymous said...

"I have a related question. If one gives a job talk at a department, should one list this talk on one's CV in the future? Does this have any positive/negative effect on SC's?

"Of course. List it as a colloquium talk. The time of year and your time of life will make it clear that it was a job talk, but unless you were hiding the fact that you were on the market, I don't see how it could have a negative effect."

i posted this question on the chronicle of higher ed's forums. most people said not to put the job talk on the c.v. of course, they were not necessarily in philosophy.

http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,46583.0.html

tenured philosophy girl said...

OK, now I am just finding this all really funny. I am still curious to hear who "the people in question" that I was disrespecting were. Really! Sodomites? (I explicitly stood up for them.) The good residents of Northern Buttfuck? (Since they are fictional, they can probably stand up for themselves.)

Thanks to those who defended me. I will leave my location a secret - I've shown too much of my hand already.


Anon 9:30 wonders if I am helping with unprestigious conferences. Someone else pointed out the APA has a 34% acceptance rate this year. Several conferences on my list of 20 or so are APAs, which fall well within the range I gave. You can decide for yourself if they are prestigious.

Some of the conferences I help with are, indeed, not especially prestigious, because as I mentioned in one post, I've worked on some international conferences with explicit missions of inclusivity. That is, we try to give scholars in developing countries, etc, a chance to interact with other philosophers and for everyone to be exposed to different kinds of voices in philosophy. I attach a positive value to this and I am happy to work on these conferences, even if they don't meet your 'prestigiousness' bar. And of course, my commitment to helping with such conferences says absolutely nothing about which conferences I myself am capable of getting accepted at, if that was your insinuation.

Some, however, are quite prestigious indeed, but they are highly specialized and self-selecting.

Anyhow, 9:30, what's your point?

Anonymous said...

Without weighing in on the pissing contest, I'd say my own sense of it is that the value of the graduate conferences is not in the immediate line on the CV, but in the practice presenting in a relatively low-stakes atmosphere and being part of the broader philosophical community. It's important not to lose sight of actually becoming a better philosopher (which good grad conferences can do) because of the focus on the job market. Forest for the trees, sort of thing.

At the handful of conferences I've refereed and attended, acceptance rates were between 10-15%. This doesn't alone say much about the quality of the work put out, however; at one at least 50% were rejected on a first read for being really hopeless.

Just Saying said...

Just for the record, the acceptance rate for the Eastern APA meetings is a lot lower than 34%. In recent years it's been between 10 and 15%. Obviously, the Easterns get a lot more submissions than the other two meetings, and I think the Pacifics manage to schedule more papers than the Easterns do.

m.a. program faculty member said...

Yeah, but my (totally anecdotal) impression is that the quality of the papers is generally better at the Central and Pacific APAs is higher than at the Eastern, whatever their respective acceptance rates.

Without questions the atmosphere at the Central and Pacific is a lot better for having worthwhile and enjoyable philosophical conversations.