faculty

Recommendations for how marginalized academics can improve their editing (essay)

When moving from ideas to publication, if you don’t look, think and/or write like the dominant academics in your field, the path can be treacherous, writes Shannon Craigo-Snell.

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Study suggests Ph.D. supply isn't the problem when it comes to diversifying the professoriate

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Study suggests Ph.D. supply isn't the problem when it comes to diversifying the professoriate.

Exploring academics' modest utterances that are actually boasts (essay)

So you’ve published a paper on monetary theory, snagged that fellowship for research in Rome or received an award for best teacher of the year. Or maybe you’ve just served on seven committees this past semester, from tenure review to curriculum reform, and colleagues ought to appreciate that.

But they don’t, at least not to your face. And the pathetic “Faculty News” page of your department website just doesn’t cut it. (Take a look at the listing for Professor Dale’s publication in Southwest Annandale Historical Society Notes: doubly out of date, since both the professor and the journal are extinct.)

You want to be known as the foremost expert on forensic linguistics or the one who got a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to study Rilke -- back in 2011, but still. What to do? Think of Berkeley’s famous proposition, applied to academics: “If a paper is published in a journal and no one knows about it, does it make a sound?” Is it OK to toot your own horn? In this era of Facebook, are you kidding?

Consider the humblebrag, a seemingly modest utterance that’s actually a boast. The British have excelled in this charming self-deprecation for centuries: “Oh, I don’t suppose many people were in the running this year,” for instance, to explain why you won the London marathon. Only this is higher education in 2016, with access to Twitter.

Think brassier, think of that academic review coming up in 2017, and think within a 140-character limit:

Gosh, if I don’t send in that manuscript to Oxford by this fall, they’re gonna kill me!

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I don’t see how I’m going to get any work done during my fellowship in Belize.

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Darned if I know why the Fulbright committee chose my proposal over so many deserving others.

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You know, if it weren’t for all the grateful letters that I’ve gotten from students over the years, I’d’ve given up teaching a long time ago.

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Never mind all my publications. The Smoot Teaching Award I got this year makes me realize what really matters in life.

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I keep thinking there must be some mistake: Why would the Guggenheim committee even consider my work on medieval stairways?

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You know, I never set out to write a best seller. Everyone knows what people in academe think of that.

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Promotion to full professor isn’t much, I guess, but I try to see it as an affirmation of all I’ve done here.

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I don’t anticipate the deanship will give me much power, but I do intend to take the responsibility seriously.

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It’s not fashionable to talk about service, I know, which is why I don’t discuss all the behind-the-scenes work I do for the college.

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All that work for such a simple title: provost.

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I’m sure plenty of people could have delivered the keynote address at this conference, but I’m the one who got suckered into it.

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They said I’m the youngest program director they’ve ever had -- must be their code word for inexperienced.

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The students in my econ class all say that I’m their favorite teacher, but you know what that means.

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As an adjunct, I could just phone in my performance, but I always have to put in 200 percent. Sigh. That’s just me.

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That’s what I told Mike -- I mean, the chancellor. No idea why he listens to me. Hey, I’m just custodial staff.

David Galef directs the creative writing program at Montclair State University. His latest book, Brevity: A Flash Fiction Handbook, has just come out from Columbia University Press.

 

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Winners of National Book Awards for 2016

The winners of the 2016 National Book Awards were announced Wednesday night.

  • Ibram X. Kendi, assistant professor of African-American history at the University of Florida, won the award for nonfiction for Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Nation Books).
  • Daniel Borzutzky won the award for poetry for The Performance of Becoming Human (Brooklyn Arts Press). He has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Koç University in Istanbul and Wilbur Wright College of the City Colleges of Chicago.
  • Colson Whitehead won the award for fiction for The Underground Railroad (Doubleday/Penguin Random House). He has been a writer in residence at Vassar College, the University of Richmond and the University of Wyoming.
  • U.S. Representative John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell won the prize for young people's literature for March: Book Three (Top Shelf Productions/IDW Publishing).
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Adjunct Gets Police Visit for Anti-Trump Tweets

Kevin Allred, an adjunct professor at Rutgers University at New Brunswick and an active social media user, wrote on Twitter that some of his anti-Donald Trump tweets prompted the university to have the New York City Police Department visit him and require him to undergo a psychological evaluation.

Allred acknowledged in a series of tweets that he had been outspoken in his criticisms of Trump, but said that his comments were clearly rhetoric and gave no reason for Rutgers to ask that he be evaluated.

A Rutgers spokesperson told NJ.com, "The Rutgers University Police Department responded to a complaint from a student and took all appropriate action. We have no further comment."

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Report finds many graduate students are stressed about finances

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Many have fears about meeting monthly obligations, study finds.

A Ph.D. turns down her dream job on the tenure track (essay)

Chandani Patel was offered what she thought was her dream job, but she turned it down. Here’s why, and why she thinks other candidates might consider doing the same.

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Science journal withdraws paper that suggested evidence some people are psychic

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Journal withdraws paper that argued -- based on flimsy evidence, critics said -- that some people are clairvoyant.

Berkeley Finds Professor Guilty of Harassment

Another professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has been found guilty of sexually harassing a student in violation of institutional rules, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. A five-month investigation by Berkeley found that Nezar AlSayyad, a professor of architecture, planning and urban design, spent months becoming close to, or "grooming," a graduate student before placing his hand on her upper thigh and proposing that they travel together to Las Vegas. The Chronicle found two additional allegations of harassment against the professor. In an alleged incident that happened more than 20 years ago and was never investigated, a student complained that she felt taken advantage of after she and AlSayyad had sex; a third student accused him of sexual misconduct this spring, and an investigation is pending. He is reportedly barred from teaching next semester.

AlSayyad denied all allegations of misconduct in an interview and told the Chronicle that he'd fight any suspension from teaching. He said administrators are overreacting to his case for fear of being perceived as soft on sexual harassment. Berkeley was criticized last year for not firing a professor of astronomy found to have sexually harassed a series of graduate students over many years; he eventually resigned. Another assistant professor of South and Southeast Asian studies at Berkeley is currently suing several students for defamation and “intentional infliction of emotional distress” after they spoke publicly about a university investigation that determined he had violated Berkeley's policies against sexual harassment. That professor is on paid leave as a review of the case is pending. A former law school dean who stepped down after Berkeley found that he harassed his assistant is suing the university, saying that he was treated more harshly that white colleagues accused of harassment because he is of South Asian descent and not a U.S. citizen. The university has said it will fight the suit.

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NYU Promotes 'Deplorable' Professor

An assistant clinical professor of liberal studies at New York University who he said he was strongly encouraged by administrators to take leave after it was revealed he tweeting anonymously as “Deplorable NYU Prof” has been promoted. Michael Rectenwald, the professor, previously stated that he feared his tweets critical of the university and what he sees as overzealous campus inclusion efforts would negatively affect his bid for promotion. The university has repeatedly said that Rectenwald requested leave, and that social media activity in no way affected its actions.

Rectenwald is still on leave. A university spokesperson said Monday via email that he “received an expected promotion to the rank of clinical professor in accordance with our regular procedures; he and approximately 18 others were put up for this promotion at the same time and all were informed at the same time. … It is customary for such promotions to go forward even when a faculty member requests and chooses to take leave, as is the case here.” There are no tenured positions in liberal studies, according to the university, but the promotion comes with a raise.

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