Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Shifting deadlines due to Sandy

I just noticed that the deadline for the Chicago Society of Fellows has moved from November 1st to November 15th due to "adverse weather conditions."

This seems like a very solid thing to do; good on the Chicago Society of Fellows. I wonder if any other schools will be more lenient on application deadlines for similar reasons.

If you see any other changes in deadlines that are worth sharing, consider this an open thread to note them.

Another important thing to note: Interfolio seems to be lagging behind because of the weather too. In sending a request today for them to upload letters to HR websites, the response was that they will be uploaded on Monday. Maybe it takes them that long anyway, but something to keep that in mind, folks.

Also, I hope all Smokers affected by Hurricane Sandy are now all safe and sound and warm.

Just remember, if you survived the FRANKENSTORM, you can survive the market.

- Jaded, Ph.D.


Anonymous said...

For those of us submitting applications at the last minute, it would sure be nice if the JFP stopped DELETING ADS BEFORE THEIR DEADLINES HAVE PASSED. WTF.

Anonymous said...

is philjobs down cause of the storm or cuase of a lawsuit???

Anonymous said...

@1:16 pm:

In the new JFP system, you pay for ads for a certain number of days. The cheapest is 30 days, so I suspect that ads are disappearing because the departments submitted the ad on Oct. 1 but only paid for 30 days.

(In my department, we delayed submitting the ad precisely because we didn't want it to drop off before the deadline.)

Personally, I think that this is a stupid policy --- there is essentially zero cost to the APA to maintain ads for a whole job cycle, and doing so would help the profession (and isn't that the point of the APA, at least in theory?).

But regardless of the merits, it explains (though does not justify) ads disappearing before their deadlines.

Anonymous said...

And in the last day or two, ads that previously appeared (some of whose deadlines have already passed, some not) have started appearing for a SECOND time. Or are we to interpret second instances of ads as waiving the application deadlines? (I missed the deadline for the Georgia State job, for instance. Is that job still accepting applications? The deadline was October 15, but it was reposted to the JFP on October 31.)

Anonymous said...

@1:16 pm: thanks for this helpful information. Multiple jobs I've been interested in have disappeared from the site over two weeks before their deadlines! This strikes me as a fairly serious oversight, and it seems quite unfair to those who now lack the relevant information.

Anonymous said...

Deleting ads before their deadlines have passed makes the online JFP much, much worse than the print JFP. This is a huge disappointment. If it weren't for PhilJobs, candidates finishing applications at the last moment would be screwed!

It would have been much better if they'd just circulated a PDF of a print JFP.

Anonymous said...

@8:13. The Georgia State ad says review of apps BEGINS on Oct. 15.

Anonymous said...

thread hijack: It's Nov. 1. As good a time as any to compare this job market with previous ones. How many TT jobs are in the JFP, and how does this compare?

Philjobs is unfortunately not fully reliable on this issue. They have 208 jobs if you search by tenure-track contract type, but many of these are not in fact TT jobs.

Anonymous said...

@8:52. Uhhh ... whoops. Totally right. Mea culpa. -8:13

Anonymous said...

If anyone is tempted to do the numbers, this provides a template for counting, and might be interesting for comparison purposes:

Anonymous said...

Another thread hijack:

Does it seem to anyone else that there are a remarkable number of inside candidates for jobs this season? Or is that just evidence that I am becoming jaded?

Anonymous said...

I dont' think you are jaded. I have come across at least four jobs I am applying to that certainly look like they have an inside candidate.

zombie said...

What makes you think "inside job"?

Anonymous said...

I think "inside job" when I see a job ad, look at who the department has hired recently, realize they have a partner who is also a philosopher, and go to the partner's webpage, and see a cv with AOSs and AOCs that precisely match the job ad's. Is that good enough evidence?

(I should say that I am not against some kinds of inside hiring. I'd prefer to live in a world where there is spousal hiring than a world where there isn't.)

Anonymous said...

this is neither anon 4:09 nor anon 5:36.

i've found what certainly look like two inside hires in my subfield. not entirely sure, but here is what i'm going by. unique combinations of AOS with AOCs that either perfectly or closely match the specialization and competencies of a current VAP in the department.

but i'm not jaded about the market. i accept this part of the game.

also there's this. from my own experience and from what i've learned from others, it is not easy moving from a VAP into a TT position even when conditions are fairly auspicious. so even if it is the case that we have spotted an inside hire, this candidate may have been put through enough (deanish and departmental) bullshit to have earned the position.

you are jaded if you think of these candidates as having this job handed to them without merit or because they are riding some bureaucratic rails.

Anonymous said...

@6:26 am:

At the same time, you need to be careful with that inference. In my department, we are doing a search & the AOS / AOC are close to a current VAP. But that VAP was hired solely for last-minute teaching needs, and has almost no chance at the job.

Out of curiosity, are people actually not applying for jobs that they think might be inside jobs (e.g., because of AOS similarity with a current VAP)?

Given the low marginal cost of submitting another application (& the horrible state of the job market), that doesn't seem wise to me. But I also haven't been on the market in a decade, so might be missing something.

Anonymous said...

In late winter/early spring, a faculty member announces they are leaving. Department frantically advertizes for a VAP to cover his/her courses for the following year. That fall, they advertize a TT job in the same AOS/AOC to permanently replace the faculty member who left.

Often such situations appear to be "inside jobs". But frequently the dept has no intention of (re)hiring the VAP for the TT job, since he/she was only hired as VAP for teaching coverage on short notice.

Anonymous said...

You're not just jaded, you're probably an asshole and don't understand the process. These people didn't just "pop into" these jobs, they applied for them originally and earned them (at least earned them as much as anyone else: they were qualified enough to get an on campus and then lucky enough to get hired).

Being an inside candidate doesn't guarantee you a job. It does mean the like you and want to hire you...but there are so many qualified applicants that they may well decide to hire someone else.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to agree with 7:51, 8:59, and 9:03. I'd also add that being a VAP can sometimes be like falling into the 'friend zone' after dating someone a couple of times. The department likes you, but they might not like like you.

Anonymous said...

I was a VAP at a SLAC who fit an ad perfectly . I had stellar teaching evaluations and active research profile and lots of friends.... and they hired someone else, in part because my actuality can't compete with someone else's projected potential when they get to project whatever they want.

It sucked. I'm on good terms with everyone now, but I had a hellish spring semester as students assumed I was a lock for the job and I had to keep explaining about how the academic market worked, and that yes, I know that X's teaching demo was bad but no, I was already out of the running.

I ended up with a t-t job somewhere else, and now I look at those ads thinking: well, sometimes it's a leg up, and sometimes, it's not. And I wouldn't have wished that hell on any other VAP.

Anonymous said...

>>I think "inside job" when I see a job ad, look at who the department has hired recently, realize they have a partner who is also a philosopher, and go to the partner's webpage, and see a cv with AOSs and AOCs that precisely match the job ad's. Is that good enough evidence?

No. It is not. I am in this exact position (I am the one with the job). The position advertised was not created for my spouse and is as genuinely competitive as a job can be.

Anonymous said...

@2:11 How do you know? At any rate, infallibility is not required here.

Anonymous said...


How do I know? I'm a member of the department. I know why the job opening was created (the ball began rolling before I even became a faculty member). And I know how the search is being run because I am here. This has nothing to do with infallibility. The person asked if specific evidence was good enough to conclude that it was an inside hire. I said it isn't sufficient because there is at least one case in which the evidence holds but the conclusion is false. That is all.

Mountain Feminist said...

Has anyone else noticed how few feminist philosophy positions there are this season compared with mainstream masculinist ones? What gives?

Anonymous said...

threadjack/new thread request: how do people deal with laptops in their large lecture classes? Is it possible to just ban them altogether or is there a better approach?

here's a story about a prof that asks people to snitch on their classmates who are using Facebook.

"“The cognitive effects of laptop distraction on learning are disastrous. It goes against everything we know about how the brain works and the number of things we can hold in our mind at once”

Anonymous said...

"Has anyone else noticed how few feminist philosophy positions there are this season compared with mainstream masculinist ones?"

No, I was too busy reading Maxim, playing X-box and analyzing "S knows that P" to notice.

Elizabeth Harman said...

Smokers, I know that the Mountain Feminist discussion was cut off, but there was something she said that bothered me that didn't get addressed. She said that we should work for gender equality before we deal with trivial things that men might care about, such as details of how to tailor a job application.
One big obstacle that women in philosophy face is that women are less likely to be mentored or part of the in crowd who get good advice passed on to them. Isolation is a huge problem for some women in philosophy, This blog, by creating an open forum in which people can seek advice and share information -- in which everyone has access to this information -- IS DOING SOMETHING GOOD FOR WOMEN IN PHILOSOPHY.
Not all the advice that is voiced in the discussions on this blog is good advice, of course, and not everything that happens in these discussions is great, but this blog is providing an important service

Mountain Feminist said...

But how much does all that help women in philosophy really if it doesn't promote feminist philosophy? That was my point all along. Sorry everyone seems to have missed it.

Anonymous said...

10:25 wrote:

"threadjack/new thread request: how do people deal with laptops in their large lecture classes? Is it possible to just ban them altogether or is there a better approach?"

A computer science professor at my university (which is a technical school) allows students to use laptops but says they will fail the class if they are caught checking email, surfing the web, instant messaging, etc.

I've seen his class. Only a handful of students use laptops, and those that do use them to take notes.

The policy seems absurdly extreme, but it's effective. He says he enforced it once, and that was enough to make it effective from then on.

I have a similar policy (that is a little less strict), which I have never enforced. Almost all of the students who use laptops move to the last row of my class; that's fine by me, as they are only distracting themselves.

Anonymous said...

Hello Professor Harman,

There were a number of things that bothered me about Mountain Feminist's contributions here.

She entered this thread:

calling for men's heads to be kicked in, and when pressed on it she said that "context" made it appropriate for women to call for physical violence against men. She also said that women who didn't share her view did not "get it," commanded them to do feminist philosophy, and called for doing epistemology with an avowed political agenda. When her views were brought to criticism, she said she found it "very hurtful" and asserted that only "women who had earned their stripes" were entitled to criticise feminism, and then only if they were "quiet" about it. And she finished by comparing the treatment of women in philosophy to the treatment of Jews by Nazi Germany.

Given all that, I find it problematic that what you found bothersome enough to comment on was that this blog was indeed helping women in some way. When someone advocates for violence, for subverting intellectual inquiry in the service of a political agenda, for suppressing criticism of this view, and does so while protecting themselves with an "I'm a woman doing feminist philosophy and everyone is attacking me" defense, what we need are prominet feminists to publicly disavow those methods and the ideological commitments that motivate them. To the extent that this doesn't happen, feminism is rightly subject to the very sorts of marginalization that people like Mountain Feminist are worried about. Now perhaps MF was a troll, or someone trying to make feminism look bad. All the more reason, then, to disavow what s/he says. And having followed enough of these conversations, one gets the suspicion that she was sincere. And that is a problem for feminism.

Without a doubt there are real problems that women face in academic philosophy. But the kind of rhetorical devices that Mountain Feminist used in an attempt to portray herself as a victim, stifle criticism of her view, and characterize her critics as "viciously hostile" towards women does a *horrible* disservice to anyone--man or woman--who would like to participate in a thriving intellectual community. If self-professed feminists will not allow their rhetorical methods and ideological commitments to come up for criticism, they have no place in philosophical conversation. They're doing something else entirely--motivated political activism, perhaps. But it's not intellectual inquiry.

If that's 'masculinist' philosophy, then leave it to those of us with the wherewithal to engage in it and let 'feminist' philosophy be something else. Something where whether you find a criticism personally "hurtful" matters for whether the criticism is apt, and where the fact that you find a criticism hurtful suffices for silencing those who raise it.

Anonymous said...

Strict "no screens" policy in my classes. The only problem is that once in a while students with disabilities of various kinds need their laptops. This means that they end up being identifiable as having disabilities. In an anonymous blog I'm willing to say that this cost is worth the enormous overall benefit in ending the distraction.

Elizabeth Harman said...

Hi Anon 7:08am,
I said there was something MF said that bothered me that didn't get addressed. That's what I addressed. I didn't imply that nothing else MF said bothered me. MF's idea that the position of women in philosophy can only be ameliorated by work in, and promotion of, feminist philosophy is crazy. But others had already addressed that issue, at some length.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of deadlines (sort of): Do any of you know of a UK equivalent for Interfolio--a UK-based service to which US applicants could upload documents to have them mailed without paying international postage? (One UK job wants *six hard copies* of application materials; my soul shrivels a little at the thought of printing and mailing costs with Interfolio....)



Mr. Zero said...

I accidentally deleted some comments this evening--accidentally clicked "select all" and then "delete." I'm not sure which threads they were for. Sorry about that. If you're looking for your comment and don't see it, feel free to repost if you want.

However, the discussion of the Mountain Feminist or whoever is over. With all respect to Prof. Harman, I shouldn't have allowed it to be rekindled.

With apologies,


Anonymous said...

Wait -- why can't we discuss Mountain Feminist? She lost the debate, for sure; but it seems important to discuss why. I'd be especially interested to discuss 7:08's points.

Mr. Zero said...

I'm not sure I see how it's possible to have a meta-conversation about the "Mountain Feminist" discussion that wouldn't just reduce to the object-level discussion about the merit of the various points & arguments made by Mountain Feminist and her interlocutors. I could be wrong, I guess, and you're welcome to try and finesse it if you want. But I'll be surprised if it works, and I'm going to err on the side of caution.

And, of course, nobody's saying you can't continue to discuss MF's ideas. I'm simply saying it won't occur here.

Anonymous said...

@2:22 There's no UK equivalent for Interfolio (I'm in UK). Applicants send their material directly to HR themselves (or fill in online forms, or some combination). Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Professor Harman's observations are important, but I think it's obvious that her point applies to groups in addition to women.

That is, the benefits of this blog that isolated women might enjoy are likewise benefits that any number of graduate students (and young scholars) who have been "left out" of the academic circles that train students for entry into the profession. Included in such a group, but often unmentioned in these discussions, are:

1. Racial minorities, and
2. The poor and middle-class who attended less "prestigious" undergraduate institutions and consequently, non-Leiterrific graduate schools.

I know this is obvious. But sometimes I feel it's necessary to point out the obvious.

Anonymous said...

Mind a threadjack? Can anyone who knows a bit about journal practices tell me how long it normally takes from when the journal online submission page reads 'status: reviews completed' until you get a decision? I assume this can vary wildly, but it is driving me crazy and I need some smoker love.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:29:

I suggest you consider contacting the editorial office and asking them if they are allowed to tell you that "when they have a chance". Of course you should also thank them very kindly for their time and help. I find that people in editorial offices (mangaging editors, etc) are very understanding when it comes to things like this -- especially if you tell them you are on the market and apologize for bothering them!

zombie said...

10:29 -- it really can vary a lot from journal to journal.

zombie said...

6:04 -- the hope is that this blog can help everyone who, for a variety of reasons, does not have access to good job advice. My first time on the market, I had a shittier than shitty placement advisor, and very little department support. I knew nothing, and learned a tremendous amount from the readers of this blog. There is a lot of collective wisdom and experience here. (Also some really crazy crap and some high quality complaining.)

Anonymous said...

If no reason is given as to _WHY_ responses on the Mountain Feminist stuff is now being censored...

... then I guess the safe conclusion is that Mr. Zero is applying his reliable moral exceptionalism. A critic of feminist philosophy says something questionable, and Zero will tear his/her head off. A supporter of feminist philosophy says something outlandish, and the whole thing is hushed up to the point where even questions about _why_ these Orwellian moves are being made cannot be uttered.

Zero, if your readers knew half of what a dishonest business you're running here, they'd be abandoning this ship in droves.

Mr. Zero said...

Here's what happened. Mountain Feminist said some outrageously stupid stuff. A long and acrimonious discussion followed. Lots of people pointed out that MF was making lots of mistakes and was being a huge jerk. After a period of diminishing marginal returns, comments on the thread were closed (which wasn't my call, but I understand and agree with the decision).

If you think I agree with MF, you don't know me very well. If you think that opposition to MF has been "hushed up" or somehow suppressed, or that there's something "Orwellian" going on, you are being hyperbolic to the point where you have lost track of reality.

Must be a slow news day.

Anonymous said...


Are you me posting while drunk? I'm going on one month. Can you top that? I am guessing that a third referee might have been brought in.

Anonymous said...

10:29 and 3:34:

Regardless of the explanation, I have to think that it's a fairly good sign. I can't imagine an editor dragging his/her feet if it's a clear rejection. It may be that an additional referee has been consulted (though it would be nice if the status was updated to reflect this), or the editor may be taking his/her time to weigh your paper against others with similarly positive reviews.

Anonymous said...

"Zero, if your readers knew half of what a dishonest business you're running here, they'd be abandoning this ship in droves."

Didn't we cover this last year? Sigh...

1. This is not a business. It's a blog. The people who maintain it can do so how they see fit. It's their blog.

2. You don't like how things are done? Fine. Go start your own blog. Do things differently. We all hope for your success.

The internet is a big place. Go have fun with it.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, it can mean anything. I have received a straight reject, two lines of comments, after it said 'reviews received' for more than a month. How this happened I have no idea.

Anonymous said...


You're attacking a straw man.

1) 'Business' is obviously not intended in the literal sense here.

2) Since the speaker said that "_IF_ people knew... _THEN_ they'd leave," your second comment utterly misses the point. The contention is that letters we're not seeing are being censored (I don't know whether or not that's true) and that other blogs would take the place of this one but for the fact that it's not known the extent to which this is going on.

Didn't we cover this last year? Sigh... oh right, we did but you didn't see half that conversation and stupidly ignored the rest.

I'm starting to miss JustinfromCanada. I wonder whether he's still valiantly sending off comments that none of us get to see. We'll never know, I guess!

Anonymous said...


6:04 here. I agree. I have benefited tremendously from this blog. Thanks for your hard work.

Mr. Zero said...

oh right, we did but you didn't see half that conversation...

Huh? I don't know what you're talking about. Last year, I introduced a modification to the comment policy. (I suspect but am not sure that this is what 9:27 means.) I stated the policy poorly. A bunch of people complained, and, unfortunately, it took me a while to understand why they were complaining. But even the most cursory of glances at that discussion will reveal that I did not delete comments in an attempt to shield myself from the legitimate criticisms leveled at me, even if I hadn't yet understood what the big deal was. Such critical comments are all over the place. I thought this person put it pretty well.

I'm starting to miss JustinfromCanada. I wonder whether he's still valiantly sending off comments that none of us get to see.

Nobody has signed anything as "JustinfromCanada" since this summer; at least not that I can recall. He didn't ever contact me about the blog he was thinking of starting up. If he does, I'll let you know.

But I honestly don't see the appeal. As far as I can tell, all he ever did was complain about how I'd taken some time away from the blog at the beginning of the summer to focus on my wife and baby, and how I wouldn't hold an election to elect a new blogger/blog-manager to run the Smoker, continued to insist even after I explained why I wasn't going to do that, and then indicated that he was under the mistaken impression that the Smoker is collectively owned. (I realize that he later denied that he held this view in comments at Philosophers Anonymous, but I don't find this denial to be at all credible. And that PA thread seems to me to be incontrovertible evidence that cutting that discussion off when I did was precisely the right thing to do.)

The bottom line is, I really like this blog. I think it's important, I take it very seriously, and I was honored when Jaded and SS asked me to join them here. And we have a responsibility to our audience to run the blog in a fair and even-handed manner. But in order to do that, we have to exert some editorial control. Sometimes that means closing comments on a thread that has come to be dominated by a threadjack consisting of a days-long back-and-forth between an aggressive and hypocritically self-parodizing nincompoop and her critics. And to be somewhat firm in not allowing the discussion to subsequently re-emerge in another thread. Enforcing this sometimes means not publishing certain comments.

But the discussion wasn't suppressed; it happened. Criticism of MF's views wasn't censored; it's there in large quantities. When it ended, it wasn't because it died out on its own, obviously; it was euthanized by one of us after it had outlived its productiveness. I know you want to keep discussing it, and I'm sorry to disappoint you. The discussion is over now, and I'm not going to negotiate with you. But that's not dishonest or Orwellian. That's editorship.

Anonymous said...

Nobody believes for a second that anybody other than JustinfromCanada himself would ever describe JustinfromCanada's behavior as "valiant," right?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

6:34/7:16, this has been done to death. JfC (with whom I am not identical) demonstrated pretty decisively that his views had been misread in ridiculous ways by a number of people.

The whole thing was a pretty ugly episode in the history of this blog. None of the discussion so far, including your comments, is helping that situation.

The original problem arose because people started off by refusing to read the posts closely and that became more and more difficult as time wehn by, since there was more and more crap to wade through. Since it's even less likely now that you or anyone else is going to wade through the archives and figure out what happened, I strongly suggest you drop it.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, despite some of the back-and-forth that goes on between people around here, I think this blog does the profession a very good thing. My hope is that enough young philosophers frequent this place, and others in the vicinity, so that the next generation of academic philosophers may have more socially conscious and progressive self-identities.

No matter how they fare in the tumult of the job process, if enough well-minded peopple are affected by the kinds of conversation that go on here, we might be able to keep this crazy train on its rails a little while longer. (There's a great passage in James' _The Varieties of Religious Experience_ that characterizes god as a train running at breakneck speed, humanity as his rails, and the grinding flash of the train in a turn god's will pressed into humanity so as to change direction and plot a different course, with all humanity's travails just this press of god against it in the process of moving onward.)

Or maybe our culture is reaching the knell of its sounding. A train run out of fuel or track, its purpose fulfilled by some other mechanism. Who knows?

The beauty about being an educator is, we'll have the power to affect the sense of self that the next generation takes on its way to its work in the world.