Monday, June 25, 2007

when i get tenure, i will...

Sure, every assistant professor has their fantasies about what they are going to do when they get tenure. Fabio says it's the time to start striving for teaching awards.

Jessica Burstein, on the faculty of English at the University of Washington, thinks getting tenure is finally the time to write that article for the Chronicle on "Sex at the Conference." The article includes observations on disciplinary differences in how scholars hook up at professional events, including that "Sociologists loiter in the parking lot" (So that's where she went!) and "Ethnographers are fine with exiting while necking" (In my observational experience from conference hotel bars, that one is plausible.). The article ends with the bio statement announcing her promotion as: "Oddly, she has just been granted tenure."

I'm going to confess feeling like if one is going to write an article about one's promiscuity with colleagues from elsewhere at conferences, and if one feels compelled to announce one's having been tenured at the end of it, one might want to have more listed on one's faculty webpage under "selected publications" than a single article from 1997. Or at least, don't then end one's bio with: Oddly, she has just been granted tenure.


Corey said...

Am I hallucinating, or is she holding a cigarette in the photo on her bio?

I just read the Chronicle piece; I'm afraid I don't get it. Why do sociologists go to the parking lot? And why have I never been invited? Man, this is the Jr. High lunchroom all over again!

(-Corey who just had the soul crushing realization that he is not now, nor has he ever been kool and eDgy).

Ang said...

Aaaand, this is why academics are considered blah. The article has that awful stench of "aren't I being just so naughty!" No, you're not. You're having sex with someone. Oddly, it happens every day.

Brady said...

Modern academics may be blah, but Max Weber dueled. With swords. Regularly, and sometimes to avenge scholarly criticism of his wife's work.

I also knew an anthropology prof who threw a party that devolved into a beer-soaked Yanonamo chest pounding ritual that sent his star pupil (whose name was Snake) to the doctor with "crushed" pectorals.

(In a weird case of Kevin Bacon-itis, Snake turned out to be married to my high school English teacher, so I've had that story confirmed.)

Tom Bozzo said...

Corey: Not hallucinating. There's a bottle of wine in the frame, too.

Jeremy: As for the concluding paragraph about the article, has the trial of changing jobs attenuated your ability to detect fiction?

I might accept that articles in the Chronicle that rank between Dave Barry and Lileks on the yuk-o-meter may not represent U. Chicago PhDs in full blossom. Still, it's not exactly Althousian public-display-of-insanity-with-tenure, either.

Also, is it fair to judge a professor by the sucky design of the department's faculty pages?