August 8th 2013
Posted under: American history, bad language, childhood, class, Gender, women's history
Judith Warner on “The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In:” Why isn’t this story getting all the attention that Lisa Belkin’s “Opting Out” story got a decade ago?
The 22 women I interviewed, for the most part, told me that the perils of leaving the work force were counterbalanced by the pleasures of being able to experience motherhood on their own terms. A certain number of these women — the superelite, you might say, the most well-off, with the highest-value name-brand educational credentials and powerful and well-connected social networks — found jobs easily after extended periods at home. These jobs generally paid less than their previous careers and were less prestigious. But the women found the work more interesting, socially conscious and family-friendly than their old high-powered positions.
. . . . . .
Among the women I spoke with, those who didn’t have the highest academic credentials or highest-powered social networks or who hadn’t been sufficiently “strategic” in their volunteering (fund-raising for a Manhattan private school could be a nice segue back into banking; running bake sales for the suburban swim team tended not to be a career-enhancer) or who had divorced, often struggled greatly.
When Lisa Belkin attempted to reach out this spring to the women she interviewed in 2003, she found a similar mixed picture. Many of the women declined to talk about their lives; a few would talk only if they were not identified. Continue Reading »
August 7th 2013
Posted under: bad language, class, jobs, students, the body, unhappy endings, wankers
Geoffrey Miller, a psychology professor, has been censured by the University of New Mexico, two months after he sent out a fat-shaming Twitter post that caused an angry Internet uproar.
It may have taken Miller less than a minute to write out this message and hit the “Tweet” button: “Dear obese Ph.D. applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth.” But the consequences of that tweet will last much longer.
According to a university memo released on Tuesday, Miller — who has tenure at the University of New Mexico and was a visiting professor at New York University this summer — will be required to:
- Not serve on any committee involving the admission of graduate students to the psychology department for the duration of his time as a faculty member at the university.
- Work with the faculty co-advisers of the psychology department’s diversity organization to develop a plan for sensitivity training on obesity (for himself to undergo, said a university spokeswoman). The plan must be approved by a co-adviser or by the chair of the department.
- Be assigned a faculty mentor for three years with whom he will meet on a regular basis to discuss potential problems.
- Have his work monitored by the chair of the department.
- Apologize to the department and his colleagues for his behavior.
Miller did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Continue Reading »
August 4th 2013
Posted under: childhood, Gender, unhappy endings, women's history
Note to all y’all bloggy readers who are mothers of daughters: when they get to be 38-going on 39-years old? And when they tell you to stop riding them like they are fucking teenagers? Listen before they burst into tears. Listen before it becomes a big THING. Because you know what? They will be grown ass women then, and this sort of drama sucks balls. And your daughters really want to spend time with you. They just hate it when you act like motherfucking assholes.
It’s probably a good idea to hold back long before your daughters are 38 or 39, or before they’re even teenagers. Continue Reading »
August 2nd 2013
Posted under: American history, class, Gender, students, the body, women's history
Psssssst! This is a clue.
UPDATED 8/3/2013 WITH THE ANSWER BELOW THE FOLD!!!
Today’s post is about all of those “ZOMG college women having sexxay sexxxx with totally undeserving d00ds!!!! (and p.s. I’m bitter that I, the author of these articles, never scored in college!!!!) articles. Take a gander at this essay and guess what year it was written in. (Don’t be a jerk and Google it–give it an honest guess first.) I’ll give you the link and details tomorrow.
The modern American female is one of the most discussed, written-about, sore subjects to come along in ages. She has been said to be domineering, frigid, neurotic, repressed, and unfeminine. She tries to do everything at once and doesn’t succeed in doing anything very well. Her problems are familiar to everyone, and, naturally, her most articulate critics are men. But I have found one interesting thing. Men, when they are pinned down on the subject, admit that what really irritates them about modern women is that they can’t, or won’t, give themselves completely to men the way women did in the old days. This is undoubtedly true, though a truth bent by the male ego. Women may change roles all they wish, skittering about in a frantic effort to fulfill themselves, but the male ego has not changed a twig for centuries. Continue Reading »
July 31st 2013
Posted under: jobs, publication, students
Some of you may have read about the recent call from the American Historical Association to Ph.D.-granting universities to permit their recently credentialed historians to leave their dissertations off-line for six years in order to give the junior scholar time to revise the dissertation for publication. The AHA’s reasoning?
History has been and remains a book-based discipline, and the requirement that dissertations be published online poses a tangible threat to the interests and careers of junior scholars in particular. Many universities award tenure only to those junior faculty who have published a monograph within six years of receiving the PhD. With the online publication of dissertations, historians will find it increasingly difficult to persuade publishers to make the considerable capital investments necessary to the production of scholarly monographs.
I read through the AHA statement, the New York Times article on the subject, and a blog post by Berkeley biologist and open access advocate Michael Eisen (courtesy of Comradde PhysioProffe). I agree entirely with Eisen. The AHA position is wrongheaded, although I’ve got some different reasons to disagree with the call to embargo disseratations than Eisen has. Let me explain: Continue Reading »
July 30th 2013
Posted under: jobs, publication
I’ve got a friend who is struggling this summer with her university press publisher’s demand that she cut 20,000 words from her 142,000 word book. She’s doing interesting work pulling together the relevant strands of scholarship from many different fields, and as most of you humanists can probably guess, this means that her footnotes are pretty crunchy and dense. She added a great deal more to her first draft of the manuscript to respond to the suggestions and concerns of the press reviewers, and now the press itself is demanding that she cut-cut-cut, and she’s understandably frustrated.
As a first-time author, she feels obligated to demonstrate quite clearly her scholarly debt to others, so her footnotes and bibliography comprise 36,000 of the total. At this point, she has already cut 12,000 words from the manuscript and doesn’t think she can go further without undermining her contribution to the existing literature. Continue Reading »
July 29th 2013
Posted under: bad language, jobs, unhappy endings, wankers, weirdness
Reza Aslan defends himself against charges of “bias” in his new book on Fox News by pointing out that he is a prominent scholar who writes about many religions. Slate says that “this may just be the single most cringe-worthy, embarrassing interview on Fox News:”
Fox News anchor Lauren Green had religious scholar Reza Aslan on her FoxNews.com show Friday to talk about Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, his book that has been stirring up some online controversy recently. And right off the bat, Green gets to what is important: “You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?” Aslan seemed a little flabbergasted: “Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim.”*
But Green just wouldn’t let it go: “It still begs the question though, why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity?” Aslan then starts talking to Green slowly, as if she were a child: “Because it’s my job as an academic. I am a professor of religion, including the New Testament. That’s what I do for a living, actually.” But Green insisted, accusing him of failing to “disclose” that he’s a Muslim and at one point asking him about a stupefying claim on whether a Muslim writing a book on Jesus isn’t sort of like a Democrat writing a book on former president Ronald Reagan. Continue Reading »
July 28th 2013
Posted under: American history, class, jobs, students, wankers
Does this read like a Coursera or Udacity press realease to you, too?
Whether for good or ill, MOOCs augur a disruption of the relationships among students, colleges and trade schools, and the credentials those schools offer — a relationship that has stabilized higher education for at least a century. Yet if done right — a big if, as recent events at San Jose State and Colorado State universities have shown — they may help address the quality and cost of higher education.
What’s the nature of the disruption?
For the moment, providers of MOOCs make their courses available to anyone. There is no admissions process. As in a video game, anyone can start, but you have to master levels that can include very difficult work. For the 10 percent who get to the end, the learning is real.
What about that experiment to offer dramatically reduced tuition for MOOCwork courses at Baa Ram U.? It’s even more hilarious than you can guess: Continue Reading »
July 20th 2013
Posted under: American history, art, fluff, happy endings
Friends, it’s time for me to retreat into one of my nation’s fantastic national parks. In 2011 and 2012, we did Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Mesa Verde, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone–some of them more than once. In March, we went to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, and this summer seemed like a good time to visit Glacier National Park, tagging Grand Teton and Yellowstone again along the way. Continue Reading »
July 19th 2013
Posted under: American history, bad language, jobs, local news, students, unhappy endings, wankers
Call this the sky is blue/grass is green/water is wet edition of the news:
On the Mitch Daniels/Howard Zinn issue: a commenter on the linked Inside Higher Ed story wrote that “Zinn basically saw American democracy and capitalistic economy as a sham while . . . he made a good living tucked in the loving bosom [of] its higher education institutions.” I happen to know exactly how much money Zinn made back in the late 1980s, and it was far from “a good living.” Here’s the comment I wrote in response to this classic right-wing diversionary tactic. (It’s a shorter version of the story I shared about Zinn when he died three and a half years ago.): Continue Reading »
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