KarenKelsky12 karma2015-08-10 17:54:10 UTC
This is a great question, thanks. This was kind of the gist of Sarah Kendzior's piece, The Paradoxical Success of The Professor Is In, in Chronicle Vitae two weeks ago, and I have a response to that piece on Vitae either today or tomorrow, so do check that out.
I actually believe in a kind of strategic code-switching. the intervention I most want to make is not to stop everyone from doing/being what they believe in, but to help them understand that what they believe in will not/does not translate into the job search the way they fondly and usually delusionally believe. So i have a line in the book that says, "be conscious of the degree to which you link your identity and your scholarly profile. The choice is completely personal, but should always be intentional... While some jobs will welcome, even invite such embodied interventions in the epistemological and methodological practices of the field, more jobs remain 'generalist' and will be wary of candidates who appear 'polemical' or as it's commonly and evasively phrased, 'too narrow.' SCs are happiest when they can acquire a 'diversity' candidate who does not in any way disrupt established disciplinary systems of knowledge and practice." Do I write this because I applaud it? Of course not (I think that's pretty clear from my overall views and voice expressed over the past 4 years of blogging). I write this so that people can go in to this thing completely clear-eyed about what the challenges really are, and conscious of just how far they are willing to go to achieve a goal. And then, most folks that I work with generally take the view that the job search itself is a process of dealing with gatekeepers, but once inside the gate, disruption is quite possible (I have some good friends doing this as we speak).
But then AGAIN (on the third hand!) many of those disruptors run the risk of getting turned down for tenure. I see the imposition of repressive expectations on gendered and racialized bodies MUCH more rigidly imposed at tenure than at hiring.
So... know the risks. Do nothing out of misplaced idealism. Make the choices you must. But make them based on knowledge not delusion or wishful thinking.
Here's the link to the book: http://theprofessorisin.com/buy-the-book/
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KarenKelsky10 karma2015-08-10 18:13:31 UTC
I'd be VERY suspicious of advice that you're too confident. WTH? What even is that? Read this thing by Mindy Kaling that someone put on my FB recently (yes it's in Glamour, what can I say? it's good, and I love her): http://www.glamour.com/entertainment/2015/08/mindy-kaling-guide-to-killer-confidence
I think you should keep doing what you're doing to be confident and things will work out. You may be the victim of gendered over-policing...
Lastly, I'll say this, at the risk of seeming to shill my services: if you want a neutral third party review of your modes of self-pres in interviews, which will be utterly frank, you can do an Interview Intervention with TPII. Email me at [email protected] for info on that.
KarenKelsky8 karma2015-08-10 17:35:05 UTC
Oh geez... I really do believe tenure is on its last legs. But students will still go to college and need to be taught. I expect that multi-year contracts with benefits will likely become more common, with a highly micro-managed culture of quantitative productivity/accountability. I'm thinking about my next book, and I'm thinking about how Ph.D.s are really like the spotted owl... our habitat has been destroyed, and the places to do scholarly work--really high level scholarly work free of interference -- will return to the purview of a few ivy leagues (if there). That's what I think. Sorry to be depressing.
KarenKelsky7 karma2015-08-10 17:21:05 UTC
For most SLACs at this point, you do need a couple of publications to show that you maintain a scholarly profile that informs your teaching. So you really do need to get something out, and they should be peer-rev journal articles, not things like confrence proceedings, chapters, and the like. With your teaching record I do think you will be competitive, as long as you get a couple of pubs out, and then, as long as you explain your record well.
I'm going to come right out and say it: Philosophy Ph.D.s tend to write really bad applications! I think you guys have such an other-worldly orientation that you aren't always great at distinguishing what is fascinating to you personally, vs. what actionable evidence a search comm really needs to make a decision. So be sure and put a lot of effort into making effective job docs as well as building your record.
KarenKelsky7 karma2015-08-10 17:08:13 UTC
Your second question: please do check out Chapter 40 of my book, called "Fear of the Inside Candidate"; it's about the mistakes that adjuncts often make with regards to tt positions that open in their departments. The trick is to remembr that you should NEVER assume that your selfless efforts, dedication, and sacrifice on behalf of the dept will yield a TT job. Instead, you'll do best if you retain distance and boundaries with the job, and show that you are actually an important, successful scholar with things going on. Then apply without making much reference to your time in the dept/relations in the dept (ie, don't think you can lean on those) and instead apply on the strength of your independent record as a scholar.
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