Comments on: Scent of a woman’s ISBN number? http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/19/scent-of-a-womans-isbn-number/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Tue, 23 Sep 2014 00:05:38 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Vance Maverick http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/19/scent-of-a-womans-isbn-number/comment-page-1/#comment-462772 Tue, 20 Oct 2009 18:29:56 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7966#comment-462772 No problem. Once long ago I took a martial-arts class along with a Lance and a Vince, and much confusion was had by all.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/19/scent-of-a-womans-isbn-number/comment-page-1/#comment-462769 Tue, 20 Oct 2009 18:21:19 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7966#comment-462769 Sorry, Vance/Lance–my typo. Love you both!

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By: Vance Maverick http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/19/scent-of-a-womans-isbn-number/comment-page-1/#comment-462767 Tue, 20 Oct 2009 18:19:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7966#comment-462767 Just to be clear, HA, it was Lance, not me, who was reviewing tenure cases. (I’m a non-academic kibitzer here.)

And Angelo, don’t be so sure your favorite romance novels are really by women. I’ve had much better luck submitting mine under female pseudonyms.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/19/scent-of-a-womans-isbn-number/comment-page-1/#comment-462761 Tue, 20 Oct 2009 17:59:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7966#comment-462761 Thanks Lance–I just assume that people who apply for tenure probably really want it, and I’m not going to give hir department (or Dean, or Provost) a loaded gun to use against hir. And I don’t want to write a dishonest letter, either.

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By: lance http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/19/scent-of-a-womans-isbn-number/comment-page-1/#comment-462756 Tue, 20 Oct 2009 17:13:22 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7966#comment-462756 Oh, Historiann, I think this is totally the right way to go. The hardest thing to do is always to let someone’s work exist on its own terms, to take it seriously, and to think constructively about what you can do or say to support their case and to illuminate their record for an internal committee. I would never take a case where I couldn’t do all of this. I assume that by committing myself to serve as an external reader, I am agreeing to work not just for the department or the unit but also for the candidate. Maybe this cuts against official thinking, but the process is just too unfair and uneven otherwise.

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By: Angelo Thomas Crapanzano http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/19/scent-of-a-womans-isbn-number/comment-page-1/#comment-462739 Tue, 20 Oct 2009 15:54:59 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7966#comment-462739 Men and Women are different in their thinking. Thank God. When it comes to romantic novels, my favorites are writen by woman. There are also so many more writen by woman. Men including myself tend to add heavey adventure or mystery to our stories, even when there is passionate romance involved. We seldom write purely romantic novels.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/19/scent-of-a-womans-isbn-number/comment-page-1/#comment-462713 Tue, 20 Oct 2009 14:45:17 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7966#comment-462713 And, PorJ: I’m afraid you’re right. But I think we can all take a page out of Vance’s book, when he described his practice as a reviewer of other people’s tenure files: be aware of these embedded narratives, and try to make sure that you’re not feeding them yourselves.

I have to say that thinking about this over the past day has made me feel like I will refuse to serve as an outside reviewer unless I know the person’s work and believe I can give a solid positive review of it. I don’t want to play any part in seeing someone denied tenure. Is that principled, or totally chicken$hit?

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/19/scent-of-a-womans-isbn-number/comment-page-1/#comment-462711 Tue, 20 Oct 2009 14:40:48 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7966#comment-462711 Rebel Lettriste: I have occasionally wished I could go back a dozen years and publish under my first and middle initials only! (But, after a few articles and conference papers, people will figure you out and your cover will be blown, whether you use a woman’s name or not for your publications.

I think the cure for this is greater awareness, rather than trying to obscure or erase all outward signs that women are actually members of the academic community.

Paul, you’re right that her psychohistory was part of the problem–but then, all of the biographies listed above employed the same methodology, and (to my knowledge, anyway) none of them were held up to ridicule like her bio of TJ. (It was the middle of the 20th Century–lots of people were in analysis and Freudian concepts were a big part of the popular culture, so she wasn’t so far out on a limb.)

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By: PorJ http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/19/scent-of-a-womans-isbn-number/comment-page-1/#comment-462707 Tue, 20 Oct 2009 14:37:08 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7966#comment-462707 The process of stereotyping – whether by gender, race, or any other signifier like disability – is far more deeply embedded neurologically than assumed. We (as a society) can – and have – worked on cognition of difference to train ourselves to be resistant, but I think when a scholar has a pile of papers or tenure files to review in front of them, they fall back on embedded (even rote) phrases and words to match something they superficially recognize and save time. When I say “superficially recognize” I mean they might see the woman’s piece as “well written” and then just ignore the depth because given the normal time constraints, that’s recognized as enough – even if they are impressed by the depth. This kind of stereotyping has been studied closely in the neurosciences – I remember a study of announcers of a football game, being listened to by blind subjects. The blind subjects could correctly guess the race of the players based only the descriptors provided by the commentators (who were both caucasian and african-american). Black players are always “naturally gifted” while white players are always “hard working.” The interesting thing is even though this habit is widely-recognized in sports journalism, practitioners still continue to repeat the basic stereotypes in different formulations.

Its really problematic. You need to teach people (scholars and journalists) to be counterintuitive, even if that sounds insulting – basically, telling people their intuition is off. Seems like a recipe for conflict – and progress.

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By: The Rebel Lettriste http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/19/scent-of-a-womans-isbn-number/comment-page-1/#comment-462697 Tue, 20 Oct 2009 14:20:46 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7966#comment-462697 Now it’s cemented: I am getting a pseudonym, just like Charlotte Bronte did. (Actually, I am seriously considering submitting my work with my feminine first name obscured beneath a gender-less initial. My last rejection was brutal, and very much fell along the “this isn’t SERIOUS enough scholarship and who the hell does this little lady think she IS, anyways” school of criticism.)

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