Friday, October 10, 2008

Nothing is fucked

A couple quick thoughts on reading the JFP for the first time when I'm actually going on the market:

1. Every time I cross out a job I can feel some opportunity slip away (this is worse when I cross out a whole page).

2. Seriously William and Mary? You want applications the day after tomorrow? Where I come from that's the Lord's day.

3. Somehow in my mind this was more of an all-at-once thing. I'm going to end up writing cover letters for the rest of the semester.

4. This year's JFP is 4 pages shorter than last year's ...

--Second Suitor

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love you all and consider all of you compatriots and promising young philosophers. That being said...

I Must Break You.

Anonymous said...

It turns out the Universite de Montreal is outside of Canada this year.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:37 -

Well, yeah, you say that now, but things didn't turn out well in the end for the last guy who said that.

Anonymous said...

Damn, the JFP spelled "Nova Scotia" wrong.

I know there's only one job posted for Nova Scotia, but c'mon...

Anonymous said...

Whoops.

Not only is Université de Montréal outside of Canada, but the posting is actually for a completely different (and far inferior) school, the Université de Québec à Montréal.

Anonymous said...

ad #229: "seeking a curious generalist"

wtf?

Anonymous said...

we just did a detailed comparison to last years, taking into account such lovely ads as the Marist college "we need ten adjuncts and no one can take more than one or two classes" stuff. There are about 20% fewer jobs this year than last year.

sigh.

and what's up with all the ancient jobs?

Anonymous said...

they've taken down the jfp we've all accessed/downloaded.

Here's hoping they'll add more to the updated official version.

more likely, there'll be many fewer jobs than there were this morning.

Anonymous said...

I'm working on a cover letter for job #188:

"Dear Search Committee Members,

I would be a really good fit for your department. Not only do I work in ethics, but I also have extensive experience filling out Vehicle Use Agreement forms. It should also be noted that I have an outstanding driving record."

Huh?

Anonymous said...

First of all, Université de Montréal is the best francophone philosophy department in Montreal, especially in the area of social-political philosophy (note: they have the Centre de recherche en éthique, many joint conferences with McGill and some superstar faculty, such as Daniel Weinstock). Secondly, if you speak to a separatist, s/he will agree that Quebec is outside of Canada (note: Weinstock is a federalist).

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:45, if you actually read the posting (and the comments above) it's not a Université de Montréal job, it's a UQAM job.

Not only is UQAM shit, it's on the verge of bankruptcy.

And "separatism" was replaced by "sovereigntism" about 25 years ago, where have you been?

Anonymous said...

...living in the slums of Montreal.

Separatist: Viva le Quebec libre!

Sovereigntist: Well, let's see, what should we call ourselves, how about something ending with an 'ism'? That will make us sound like what we are: intellectuals.

Anonymous said...

Poor UQAM

That hulking, unfinished dormitory is an ugly mess of concrete and it might still pull the school into the abyss.

No matter what pay they're offering, teaching CEGEP at $5000 a course is probably a better investment of your time. At least you'd have time to do research and look for a real job.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is the deal with double-listing half the web only ads? They're already listed in #179. Beefing up the numbers? If so, it takes about 3 seconds to realize the ruse.

Does anyone else feel like they're on the fucking titanic?

Anonymous said...

Last year was the Titanic. This year I feel like I'm at the bottom of the Ocean.

Anonymous said...

Um... what about, EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY, New London, CT ??

Anonymous said...

Um... what about, EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY, New London, CT ??

That would be VERY Eastern Michigan University.

Anonymous said...

Both this and last year seem to the same number of choice jobs and shitty jobs, but this years seems to have fewer "meh" jobs.

Anonymous said...

I know that the * abbreviation indicates a "possible" position. But does anyone understand why some jobs have two numbers one with an asterisk and one without.

Does this means that the school is advertising for one fully funded position and one possible position?

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:09 - that is my understanding.

Anon 4:54 - I would expand on that claim, and say there are fewer of the "not Leiteriffic, but promise a really nice way of life" jobs, jobs where you might not be in a decent PhD producing program, but would have smart students and live in a relatively nice part of the country. I personally was gunning for one of those jobs. Bummer.

Anonymous said...

Should have done a dissertation on "bioethics", I guess . . .

Jesus fucking Christ -- what a joke.

Anonymous said...

Bioethics?!? Hell fuckin' yeah, AOS Ancient. Thank fucking Christ. As long as I can stop cursing long enough to interview, things are lookin' up...

Anonymous said...

Note to Second Suitor:

William & Mary doesn't require an application by the 12th, so don't panic (at least over that!). There is no application deadline, but the department will read applications as they come in, beginning as early as the 12th. Also note that the ad asks only for a 2-page research statement, a cv, and a list of references, all to be submitted on-line. Presumably, any one going on the market this year has these things ready to upload.

Anonymous said...

"Secondly, if you speak to a separatist, s/he will agree that Quebec is outside of Canada (note: Weinstock is a federalist)."

No they won't. Otherwise they wouldn't be separatists. (Everyone agrees that Canada is outside of the United States. That's why no one advocates separating.)

Anonymous said...

11:42: Minnesota State Morehead is another one of those schools, like Ithaca, that posts the same fucking ad every year. I don't know whether they never get funding to actually fill it (it says "pending approval") or whether it's such a shitty job that people keep leaving. Maybe it's gotten to the point that they assume every new hire is going to leave after a year, and repost the ad on this assumption. Or maybe the APA gives a bulk discount if you post the same ad for five consecutive years.

Would anyone from either school like to enlighten the rest of us why you keep posting the same ad?

Anonymous said...

If I apply for the job at Toronto (#479-481) and answer the question "Is the object of our scholarship - Humanity - still a valid category?" with a resounding NO, do you think I'll get the job? What a fucking joke. Does Toronto have that much money to waste? Navel-gazing expostfacto pandering. If I was a legislator in ON I'd cut their funding by 20% for even posing such a question. If you've got a lot of professors who do shit for research, at least keep your goddamn mouth shut.

Anonymous said...

Several people have commented about the number of jobs in ancient and bioethics. There also seem to be more jobs than in the past in feminist philosophy, race theory, non-Western and non-Asian philosophy (e.g., Indigenous), African-American, etc. Just thought I'd point this out.

There are a lot of people with AOS or AOC in feminist philosophy, I think, but probably few in the other areas. This is another trend that will probably continue, so early-stage grad students and interested undergrads, take note.

Anonymous said...

This might be helpful advice for some. After a brief skimming of 179 and 179W, there were at least 70-80 jobs for which I was at least minimally qualified. I used the following deal breakers to narrow that down to less than 40. Not all of them may be relevant for you.

1. Location, location, location (partners get veto rights here, especially for jobs overseas). Basically it becomes a classic east coast vs. west coast battle.

2. No school makes the cut if I can reasonably seeing myself going back full-force on the market despite having a TT job there--planning my escape before I even start.

3. Religulousity. No statements of faith...ever.

4. No Philosophy and Religion and Classics and Human Studies all dumped into one department.

5. No places that have fewer than 5 permanent philosophy faculty (see #4 as well).

6. No places requiring AOCs for which given 30 minutes I couldn't on my own come up with the readings for an introductory class (sorry Asian Philosophy).

7. 3-3 load max.

Once I did this, I actually felt good about the job market (and saved about two hunny in postage). I now have time to tailor my dossier to each job, and if I get a job, then it will be a job that I really want. If I don't then, I'll suck it up until VAP-uary, where I will have to be less selective.

Anonymous said...

Well, not many of us go to (or went to) departments offering such exotic areas of study

Anonymous said...

I think the real winners this year are folks with an AOC in Chinese philosophy.

But "Native American philosophy"? Has anyone ever heard of a single philosopher doing research on such a topic?

Anonymous said...

I've gone through a process similar to 1:06. However, I've also added an additional qualification. I am not going to waist my time applying to most Leiterrific depts. So my list is just a bit shorter.

Anonymous said...

About Ithaca College, there are probably lots of different kinds of factors that led to their job postings. Among them, however, are probably these: 1) three faculty members have retired in the past three years, and one faculty member moved on to another department, one by one in past 3 or 4 years, creating four new job postings, 2) three or four of the the most recent TT offers by the college were made to people in VAP-like positions (one year full-time, multi-year full-time, etc).

Anonymous said...

"But "Native American philosophy"? Has anyone ever heard of a single philosopher doing research on such a topic?"

Yeah, John Boatman taught it at UW-Milwaukee for 32 years. James Maffie does it at Colorado State.

The question you should ask is whether the departments currently hiring in it can explain the philosophical justification for adding it to their roster when they no doubt have other gaps they aren't trying to fill. My guess is that it's either because 1) the school has a noticeable Native American population in their student body, 2) they've got a lot of rich liberal kids in their student body, 3) they've got a lot of rich liberal kids who got Ph.D.s and joined their faculty, or 4) they have no idea what it is, but it sounds like a good idea and they're advertising to see if the specialization actually exists. There are plenty of good reasons to fill such a position, but none of #1-4 counts as a good reason.

m.a. program faculty member said...

On ruling out departments that "have fewer than 5 permanent philosophy faculty."

Eh, that seems a bit quick to me. I see the reason for it, and it's certainly nice to have a decent number of philosophy colleagues around. But imagine (say) a small, fairly selective liberal-arts school with 1,000 or 2,000 students.

Lots of those places would have only 3 or so permanent faculty, even if they have a 3/2 or 3/3 load and a decent number of majors. You could do a lot worse than going to such a place.

Anonymous said...

Bruce Wilshire at Rutgers has been doing Native American philosophy for years. The late Vine Deloria, Jr. though not a professional philosopher did some interesting work in philosophy of science and philosophy of religion (with regard to native worldviews.)

Many colleges, particularly those in places surrounded by large Native populations (or on traditional Native land) have recently been adding Native Studies programs to their rosters (as well as reaching out to local Native communities). More often than not, however, Native Studies faculty are faculty in other departments first. So, it isn't surprising to find more AOC demands for Native philosophy.

Anonymous said...

I know one person who has an AOC in native american philosophy. But, it seems to me that many of the job postings to which you are referring include indigenous philosophy with other non-western, comparative fields. So there will still be some competition for such jobs.

Also, my sense is that, in many of these cases, depts were able to get funding from the Admin. for these positions on the condition that the person they hire could contribute to an interdiscplinary program.

Anonymous said...

Wait -- what does having rich liberal kids in the student body have to do with Native American philosophy?

The place I teach has probably more than its share of rich kids. And the huge majority of college students are liberal. I think if there were some kind of pressure to offer Native American philosophy classes or hire a Native American philosopher, I'd probably know about it.

Anonymous said...

There's a place for American Indian philosophy in environmentalism, business ethics, temporally-extended justice..many important themes. Race less than cultural upbringing should be part of the qualification here--a mutt like me who identifies as an American Indian is better qualified to teach in the areas I'v mentioned--and others as well. I hope others will choose to focus less on the comparatively irrelevant tincture of "Cherokee blood" that apparently courses through every american 20-something (such claims are mad most emphatically after dowing the firewater). But philosophers raised in a way that allows them to not only idenitify but authentically internalize American Indian concerns are potentially a great assett to a university and philosphical community. It's a little late, to be honest. The casino thing was a repayment that, however large monetarily for certain tribes, doesn't translate into an expression of respect as easily as I would like.

Also, kindof like if you're a gentile, you're not really going to make it into the American Indian club. We're not evangelical so much as protective.

I hope I've raise some issues that don't seem bigoted but still strongly support the importance of us Injuns in the field of philosophy. An open mind is good here. Keep us away from the firewater, and we'll show ourselves to be plenty smart (smarter than some the the rest of the folks I see at our casinos drinking the "firewater"....)

TPG said...

I really hate it how on this blog, whenever people start getting nervous (for good reason) about their job prospects, they immediately turn to dismissing, teasing, and bashing any kind of philosophy that smacks of non-white-maleness - feminist philosophy, native american philosophy, etc. - and from what is obviously a position of total ignorance of the fields.

Sorta reminds me of recent McCain/Palin rallies...

Look, philosophy of quantum mechanics is really applied and specialized too, but I don't see people getting their panties in a twist when there's a job advertised in that, or assuming its stupid or that there are no philosophical issues there just because they haven't read or understood any of it (and don't lie, most of you haven't).

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:50 - I'm not proposing that all rich kids put pressure on the administration to offer Native American studies. My experience is that these courses would be liable to fill quickly if taught at least at some schools with rich, liberal kids. But I should have maybe emphasized the existential quantifier in my original post.

Comparing the New England school where I last taught (drew a lot of kids who couldn't get into the Ivies and brought Porches to campus) to the poor southern liberal arts college I'm at now (and enjoying much more), the former would be much more likely to fill such a class. Just my experience.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I don't have access to the list and I don't want to pay to see it. Are there any jobs for people who are interested in global justice? how many? thanks for the info

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:46,

Maybe someone else will do your research for you. I'd rather spend my time letting you know that I won't. I paid for the access to it, so I won't help someone who didn't. If that makes me an ass, so be it. But, presumably, issues of global justice would be covered by positions in ethics & political philosophy

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain ad #115, i.e. the one for Emory University that reads: "AOS: Philosophical Psychology, with a focus on the nature of the self and human nature (and not on cognitive science)"?

I get what they're trying to exclude (i.e. analytic mind/psych, esp. empirically informed). But what exactly are they aiming for? (I write that as someone who's had some graduate coursework in continental).

Anonymous said...

3:16 - Along the lines of Charles Taylor? That's all I could imagine on reading that ad.

Anonymous said...

can someone post that .pdf on a fileshare site, since it was originally made available without the need for APA membership access?