Don’t Assume

There is a big hullabaloo over some completely unknown person being denied tenure at Harvard. She is supposedly in my field but I had to Google her because I never came across this person’s name in any context. I’ve been in the field for 20 years, reading voraciously on many academic subjects, visiting tons of conferences, and publishing like a crazy bunny. But I have no idea who this is.

People immediately assume that racismsexism is to blame but this person is simply not of the tenured-at-Harvard stature.

15 thoughts on “Don’t Assume”

  1. Yes, I saw this story. And if you look at her CV, she’s published one really great book, but it’s just one book. How does anyone expect to be granted tenure–a permanent, lifetime position–at Harvard with only one book, regardless of how great it is?


    1. Exactly.

      Her scholarship is also very one-note. I have published one article on Eastern European immigrants in Spain. But if I only ever published about Eastern European immigrants because I’m one, that wouldn’t constitute a great record according to anybody’s standards.


      1. ” very one-note”

        I looked the person up on and it looked like little had actually been posted… which is kind of…. telling? Just from the titles and abstracts I had the idea there was no need to actually read the papers.


        1. I actually attended a 90-minute presentation on the Dominican republic scholarship in the US last year. It was really great, packed with names and information. I took extensive notes. She wasn’t mentioned. The presentation was done by Dominican scholars in the DR. This is simply not one of the leading scholars in the DR studies.

          Everybody wants tenure at Harvard but you really need an exceptional record to get it. I have a third book coming out next year and I’m not suggesting I should get it. People need to see themselves more realistically.


      2. I don’t know – it would depend on what material you had and what you did with it. Plenty of Spaniards publish on Spanish writers, French on French, US on US, etc., and it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re publishing in some narcissistic way –


    1. What a disgusting, dishonest article.

      You absolutely don’t need to be well-read or an intellectual to be a rabid anti-semite.

      As for Ann Coulter’s tweet, she was obviously mocking the liberals’ narrative from the day before when they were declaring that Kamala Harris’s campaign tanked because she’s black. The comment had fuck all to do with anybody being Jewish. I saw it back when it was made and thought it was hilarious.

      The idea that anybody in the US sees the impeachment in terms of a Jewish conspiracy is absolutely ludicrous.

      I’m sorry but this is the cheapest, most manipulative of propaganda possible.


  2. Very interesting. I had seen several articles about this, but her work is far from anything I do so I didn’t know what to think of it. I thought it was odd that people were upset about a tenure denial at all. Harvard, Princeton, and Yale are notorious for never giving tenure to anyone who they hired as an assistant professor. I don’t know any of those institutions personally, but I have been told that most of their tenured faculty became big stars elsewhere and are then lured in with high salaries.


    1. That’s exactly how it works. She is one of the people who obviously failed to reach Harvard’s standards even while having the easiest, cushiest of gigs in the world. That happens to pretty much everybody hired as Assistant Profs at these schools.


  3. Somewhat connected to the last comment re Trump’s impeachment, don’t want America to become more like Europe. France today looks like this:

    I notice the attackers’ ethnicity is not mentioned. Wonder whether Muslims or anti-Semitic Europeans vandalized the graveyard previously.

    Still remember how some readers on this blog saw me as paranoid and even racist for being careful to hide my Israelness while in Europe. One case was my mother and I took metro in Paris and a Muslim family couple asked (in English) where we were from. I said, Ukraine.


    1. I’m currently in a weird situation when I don’t know what to say when people ask where I’m from. I’ve been shopping for Christmas gifts, so I get asked at every store. And every time I say “Ukraine,” it gets deeply uncomfortable.

      Fuck impeachment.


        1. That would provoke a painful discussion of what language is spoken there because I have an accent.

          I’m screwed either way. Impeach, don’t impeach, but let’s just move on already.


  4. She’s in US Latino studies, not in DR studies – that’s why one does not know of. It’s odd that she’s in the RL department, English or Ethnic Studies would be a better fit, and it’s a decent publishing record, tenurable in lots of places but not at Harvard.


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