Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

A Republican politician writes: “What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient? Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman’s life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?” What, indeed?

A curious case of university administration fighting for scholarship and the faculty members fighting against it.

A prissiness attack among a group of academics.

The economic crisis in France must be harsher than we all supposed if people are freaking out like this about gay marriage law.

I often feel like people live in  different reality than mine. See this, for example: “A similarity between them and me is that I, from my particular experiences, also know what it is to be pressured to stay in the game when you know, rationally, that the game is up. You are exhorted to keep trying by people who will not recognize that you no longer have enough open credit to get to the MLA, and told that unwillingness to move to a non-research university is alack of commitment to research.” I cannot even begin to imagine anybody on this planet having any interest in exhorting me to do anything. Let alone to keep trying to get a specific job. I can’t conceive of anybody being so passionately invested in my life choices that they would pressure me to do anything professionally. This is one more way in which I feel very alienated from my colleagues. They seem to be surrounded by crowds of people who keep wanting them to live a certain way. I’m even jealous of this sort of popularity in a way.

An amazing recipe for a healthy salmon casserole.

Very helpful suggestions on how to teach grad students to read critical essays. If only somebody had done this for me when I was a grad student. . . I’m realizing every day how deficient both of my graduate programs were.

A very interesting post on shamanism.

Of all the weird self-help groups, this must be the weirdest.

Wearing your diagnosis on your T-shirt.

God, I hate it when people say stupid things and try to pass them off as science: “The research suggests that though both men and women struggle to extricate themselves from traditional gender roles, women are generally doing a much better job of it than are men. From the workplace to the university, women are far more willing to move into traditionally male spaces and adopt traditionally male behaviors than men are to do the reverse.” How can anybody seriously believe that calculating whether women are more willing to do whatever than men? More importantly, how can anybody think that stoking the fires of the gender wars is a positive contribution to feminism? “Men” and “women” do not exist. There are no “men who are not willing / doing a worse job” or “women who are willing / doing a better job.” Feminism exists precisely so that the myth all men / all women possessing shared characteristics should be dispelled.

Isn’t it great we are not in 1963 any more? Seriously, can you think of any time in history where you would rather live than right now?

And the post of the week that I would like everybody to read: these alarmist posts and articles we have been seeing recently about the demise of the Humanities are completely wrong and based on faulty evidence. Of course, the Wall Street Journal wants us to believe that Humanities are in the sate of collapse. But that’s simply an ideological manipulation with no basis in reality. Nothing is collapsing, dying, or becoming extinct. Except for the brains of mainstream journalists.

And also a really great set of questions to accompany the post of the week: “What would it mean for us not to believe that the humanities are in crisis? How might we teach differently, research differently, or approach broader questions of educational policy differently?” This is a discussion that is definitely worth having. Which is why I will break my own rule and nominate this post to our second post of the week.

Tricks of the Trade

OK, folks, you are going to flip when I tell you. I almost flipped myself when a colleague from a neighboring university shared this trick with me.

College profs have to fill out reports on their activities in the 3 areas of scholarly production (teaching, research, and service) for every calendar year. There are people who find it very hard to put anything in the Research section. So what do they do to create an impression of an ongoing scholarly activity?

Get this: they take 1-2 articles that they know have no hope in hell of being published anywhere and are not real articles anyway but rather old conference talks. They submit these “articles” to journals on December 31. The “articles” will get rejected, of course, but they will not be rejected before the end of the year. This allows the authors to put these submissions in their yearly reports as evidence of ongoing scholarly productivity.

Obviously, nobody will get the Scholar of the Year award as a result of this practice, but one can wiggle by the personnel committee.

Is this mind-boggling, or what?

If People Police Your Life Choices

If people around you routinely criticize your life choices, condescend to you, and say things that offend you and hurt your feelings, the reaction of reasonable, normal person is to reevaluate her circle of acquaintances, demand respect, and break all ties with people who continue being disrespectful.

The reaction of a passive-aggressive, self-aggrandizing drama queen is to continue letting people do this to her while fuming with resentment.

P.S. I’m also dying to know how the linked blogger manages to be online pretty much 24/7 and meet all those crowds of horrible, insensitive, intrusive people. I barely manage to meet anybody new, let alone find the time to surround myself with folks who would have time and interest in parsing my life choices all day long.