Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Probably Quiet till Mid-January

I might try some drunk blogging from that thing in DC, but maybe not. Most likely, I'll be pretty quiet until the middle of January.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holy Crap!

A commenter on the previous post (apparently a search committee member) reveals this bit of staggering fuckedupness:
We've been trying to contact 3 candidates for 4 days now. Guess some of them don't even want interviews.

Abandon All Hope Now?

It's Wednesday at 3:00. Time to abandon all hope, right?

That some departments apparently wait this long to contact APA interviewees is appalling to me.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Leiter Nails It

"There are real dividing lines in the history of philosophy, but the one between the “analytic” and the “Continental” isn’t one of them, though it’s interesting today from a sociological point of view, since it allows graduate programs in philosophy to define spheres of permissible ignorance for their students."
More here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kim Jong Il Posse


Kim Jong Il has a posse.


Vaclav Havel Posse

Vaclav Havel has a posse.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

For the Articles, I'm sure...

This evening, I was in a bookstore and watched from afar as a colleague purchased the latest issue of Playboy. I thought I'd walk up and say hi, but then reconsidered. I'm sure those articles are great.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Philosophers Anonymous Annual Reception

Although we be missing at least one gregarious ex-pat pond-crosser this year, the annual PA spirited summit at the Eastern APA is on.

Those in the know already know what there is to know. Others will have to keep an eye out for the usual signals on the message board and elsewhere. If you're in the dark about all of this, try following some cool people around the book display. It worked last year...

Christopher Hitchens Posse

Christopher Hitchens has a posse.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Abandon All Hope

At what point would you say job applicants should abandon hope for an APA interview? I suppose there still are departments screwed up enough to try scheduling interviews next week (and note that Tuesday is the beginning of Hanukkah), but my sense is that after tomorrow applicants should take any department that has not contacted them to be not interested.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Why the Internet Exists


Free drinks at the APA for the first person who can name the Bad Brains tune that's used in this.

Brooks Enters the DOOM Game...

Welcome, Dr. Brooks, to the world of cranky blogging!

(It's about time.)

Friday, December 9, 2011

APA Interview Tips

It's high time for job applicants to begin hearing from interviewing schools about scheduling an APA interview. So here are a few tips for those being interviewed at the APA.

1. Be yourself. Your task is not simply to get the job you’re interviewing for, it’s to find a suitable place to begin your career. So give the search committee an accurate sense of who they’d be hiring (or declining to hire). Attempts to chisel yourself into what you think the committee wants almost always backfire. Why would you want to be hired by a department that thinks you're something you're not?

If you haven’t read it, don’t say you have. The surest way to undermine your chances at getting an on campus is to be caught in a lie about scholarship. I’ve seen this happen dozens of times: A colleague asks a candidate if he or she has read some new book or article that’s loosely (not centrally) on the topic of the candidate’s dissertation. The candidate says that he/she has. The colleague asks a pointed question about the book or article. The candidate backtracks, saying that he or she hadn’t read it “carefully” or “only quickly” read the piece. The colleague then asks a more general question about the book or article. The candidate backtracks again. And so it goes…

3. D
o your homework. You’ll almost certainly be asked whether you have any questions about the institution or department with which you’re interviewing. Have some. The internet makes it unbelievably easy to find out about the department or institution. Do it. But, more importantly, knowing about the department you’re interviewing with can help you to give better answers to other questions you’re asked. For example, knowing that the department offers three different Ethics courses at the undergrad level can be beneficial when you're asked a question about how you'd teach Ethics.

4. D
on’t gossip. As amazing as it sounds, I’ve seen lots of candidates include in their answer to some philosophical question some off handed comment or other about the personal lives of well-know people in the profession, or the prevailing rumors about someone or other’s relationship with the other people in his or her home department, and so on. Perhaps candidates think that this kind of thing makes them look like they're in the know or some such. But it really just makes them look unprofessional and petty. Don’t do it.

5. No matter what, DO NOT get drunk at the Smoker. Even if you have no intention of visiting the interviewing department's table, even if the interviewing department has no table to visit, even if all the members of the interviewing department have told you they're all leaving the conference directly after your interview, DO NOT be at the Smoker under any kind of impairment.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ED and the APA

The APA is looking to do something about its ED problem....


The American Philosophical Association (APA) is searching for a new Executive Director (ED). The ED is Chief Administrative Officer of the APA and represents the APA to learned societies, foundations, and other national and international groups. The ED also serves as the head of the APA's National Office, which is located at the University of Delaware, and manages its day-to-day operations. The ED is responsible for APA publications and its website and supports the national committees of the APA, the three Divisions of the APA (each of which is responsible for hosting an annual convention), and the Board of Officers of the APA (including preparing its meeting agendas in consultation with its Chair). The ED works with the Finance Coordinator and the APA Treasurer to prepare draft budgets for approval by the Board and to oversee APA investments, and reports regularly to the Treasurer and the Board Chair on ongoing financial operations and budget compliance. The ED reports to the Chair of the Board of Officers and keeps the Board Chair informed about the execution of routine business and proposes and discusses new initiatives for the APA. The ED will work with the Board and its Chair in considering and, if appropriate, implementing changes in the organization, activities and responsibilities of the Board of Officers and of the National Office.

The ED plays a leading role in development activities of the APA and the efforts of the APA toward increasing inclusiveness and diversity in the profession. The ED must have the experience and skills needed to manage the complex operations of a major non-profit organization and should also have some background in or familiarity with the philosophy profession, though an advanced degree in philosophy is not required. We are aiming at an appointment that begins August 1, 2012. Salary and term commensurate with experience.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Other Additional

"Welcome to Member Resources! APA members will find Proceedings & Addresses, Jobs for Philosophers, and other additional resources in this section of the website."

Friday, December 2, 2011


This has been linked to and discussed a good deal. As I've claimed several times before, the Eastern APA "smoker" is just one more element in the morally horrific way the profession handles searching/interviewing/hiring. Seriously, one would be hard pressed to design a process that's more torturous for the candidates. In a process that's already seemingly designed to produce maximum anxiety in the most vulnerable in the profession, the way in which the "smoker" is incorporated into the interview process is morally appalling. It needs to stop.

Can we at least agree that the "visit us at our table tonight at the smoker" bit should not be a standard part of the interviewing process? Can we call a moratorium on the idea that job candidates should be invited to make such a visit? Can we affirm that the "smoker" is not part of the job interview (and thus that candidates that do not vist at the smoker do not thereby hurt their chances of getting the job)?