Monday, April 09, 2007

views of sociology from beyond this world

So, the recent Pacific Sociological Association meetings hosted a panel entitled "Pirate Professors, Deviant Departments, and Disappeared Programs." Via Jeff, here are the titles listed in the program for four of the five papers:
"Views of Education from Beyond this World" - Emails and Conversations with my Dearly Departed Mentor 'Boz'

Educating Astrosociologists: The Need to Bring Outer Space Into Social Science Classrooms

The Denial of Educational & Employment Opportunity Due to the Discovery of Evidence Contradictory to the Axiomatic Assumption of Harmlessness of High Demand Religious Movements: A Case Study of the Normative Negation of Conflict of Interest from Australia.

[!!] The Fascist Trend in American Academe: "Disappearing" Sociology at Niagara University, New York
Jeff apparently found these titles not exactly inspiring. Imagine that! Comments on his post include Jeff reposting a couple of e-mails received from participants on the panel, one of whom thought it appropriate to cc: various faculty in Jeff's department and close with:
Well, in a few years, when this angst-driven 30-something comes to us for some sort of connection, we'll be sure to remember. In addition, the realities of the sociological job market ought to throw him off that high horse he is riding when he isn't riding a barstool in Berkeley coffeeshops. Right now, I'd just love to get put on his thesis committee to help straighten him out.
I think the foregoing probably speaks for itself with no need for additional commentary from me. So instead I'll just pine for the idea of changing International Talk Like A Pirate Day to International Talk Like A Pirate Professor Day. "Today I will lecture ye on astrosociology! Argh! How do I advance me Powerpoint slides with just a hook for me hand!"


Kieran said...

So Jeff gets it in the neck first from David Horowitz and now from the Astropeople. My favorite bit of the letter cc'd to some of my colleagues was the rebuttal to Jeff's claim that "disappearing" was an inappropriate analogy, because it wasn't as though the dept members were abducted by the Junta and dropped into the sea from helicopters:

My talk had nothing to do with General Pinochet or Latin American dictators. But, it had everything to do with the sort of high-handed techniques that European professors experienced as Nazism mounted.

In other words, "You accuse us of inappropriate exaggeration by comparing ourselves to Chile's disappeared, but actually I was comparing the us to Jewish intellectuals under the Nazis."

Anonymous said...

Have you accomplished anything these two years in Cambridge?

jeremy said...

Abusive anon 11:42: Yes. While I get down on myself quickly for not feeling like I'm accomplishing enough, objectively I've gotten things done while I've been in Cambridge. Although the last couple of months have involved a considerable distraction that I'm not discussing on my blog that has occupied considerable cognitive space and physical time.

Anonymous said...

"Have you accomplished anything these two years in Cambridge?"

Hey, let me ask YOU something...What's your funk aptitude, bobba?

Tina said...

I know this example seems particularly crazy, but I really do worry about the job market consequences of grad students blogging under their real names. It is so easy to pass over someone who is well qualified with even the slightest whiff of controversy. It seems to me that having an opinion on just about anything can be justification for passing good candidates over. On the other hand, having a blog that doesn't have any strong opinions could also be used against a person looking for a job. Maybe I'm just a worrywart, but it seems risky to me.

Drek said...

Well, Tina, that's why I plan to die in drunken obscurity!

marc said...

As a grad student blogger who blogs under my real name, I find myself thinking "what if my mom reads my blog" more than anything else. And while it's true that I try to avoid conflict, I can't imagine that posting pictures of baby toys will exactly detract future employers.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but baby toys might hurt a woman on the market.

Anonymous said...

One of the people attacking Jeff is the proud author of this little gem:

"The War of the Worlds: An After-Action Report."


Gwen said...

Are people aware that this crap is why people a) think academia is pointless and b) that liberals are humorless? Honestly, I cannot believe how openly vindictive and vengeful that woman is in her email, and that she thought it was appropriate to ADVERTISE it by sending it to various people. I mean, I might be old school, but I personally wouldn't want to publicly state that I would take personal vengeance on a student because said student did not appropriately honor my contributions to the discipline.