Issues in the Philosophy ProfessionCategory
After program cut upon program cut, at what point does a liberal arts institution cease to be one?
That’s the question in an article at Inside Higher Ed that centers around faculty cuts at Wartburg College in Iowa, a Christian college.
This month, at least three tenure-track faculty members at Wartburg received notices that the college was not recommending the..
Here are five predictions about the state of philosophy in ten years:
1. Philosophy’s popularity as a major will increase. This will be owed in part to the swing of the cultural pendulum, to economic growth making people more comfortable with a major lacking a clearly-defined career path, to efforts by the profession to emphasize the practical value of philosophy..
Some colleges have no philosophers. Some colleges have philosophers, but not many, yielding a very low philosopher-to-student ratio, particularly when compared to elite institutions or flagship state schools. Such colleges—which include many community colleges, state branch campuses, and historically black colleges and universities—seem to turn out very few stud..
Tenure is, in part, designed to protect one from retaliation. It’s the tenured that can make the culture of silence (and shame) within a profession disappear…. Obviously they need help from their employers (universities and grant agencies), but it does make a difference.
What is so distressing about professional philosophy, is that too much of the hard work i..
A professor writes in:
We hear a lot of complaints about how the APA and about how journals are run from folks who don’t volunteer for the APA or serve (and have never served) in leadership positions at journals (e.g. as those responsible for finding referees and ensuring to the best of their limited abilities that referees are doing their jobs). Suggestions for..
The New Republic has published “Lust for Learning,” by Laura Miller. If it weren’t for the fact that this article is full of references to philosophers past and present, I would ignore it and its ridiculous subtitle: “Is erotic longing between professors and students unavoidable?” Take a moment to imagine the bizarre world in which the answer to that question is yes..
A graduate student who prefers to remain anonymous writes in:
Is it a step in the right direction towards abolishing white male supremacy when the mansions of Hollywood are opened to millionaire actors from minority groups or when the children of the global elite are allowed behind the gates of the Ivy League? Some say we have to start somewhere and we might as w..
Women in Philosophy: What Needs to Change?, a collection of essays edited by Katrina Hutchison (Macquarie) and Fiona Jenkins (ANU), is reviewed by David Papineau (KCL, CUNY) in The Times Literary Supplement. Papineau reviews the book with the question in mind of why there are so few women in philosophy. Things are not as overtly sexist as they were in the bad old da..
Evidence from a new study seeking to explain why women are under-represented among philosophy majors suggests that they are not discouraged by introductory philosophy courses, but rather come to college already with certain attitudes that discourage them from studying philosophy. The findings are presented in “Why Is There Female Under-Representation among Philosoph..
Namita Goswami was denied tenure in the Department of Philosophy at DePaul University in the 2009-2010 academic year. She claimed that discrimination played a role in the decision and sued. Her story was covered a few years back in Inside Higher Ed:
“I was teaching exactly what I was hired to do and it was used against me,” said Goswami, a native of India who all..
A few years ago, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) received a donation to create the Eugene H. Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking (previously). Its first holder was Clarence “Chip” Burton Sheffield Jr., a professor of art history. The school just named Sheffield’s successor: Jennifer Schneider, a professor in RIT’s College of Applied Science and Techn..
The Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association (APA) has published an open letter on sexual harassment. It is addressed ” first and foremost to victims of sexual harassment within the profession of philosophy, and secondly, to all members of the APA.”
We are committed, both personally and as the primary governing body of the association, to comba..
The Geek Feminism Wiki, a site aimed primarily at people involved in computing and technology, has a “Conference anti-harrasment” page. Brought to my attention by Maarten Steenhagen (thanks!), the site has a sample conference anti-harassment policy, a resource page with suggestions and answers to frequently asked questions, and other information.
In answer to the..
Heidi Lockwood (Southern Connecticut) and Michael Tooley (Colorado) met at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) earlier this month for a debate sponsored by VCU’s Department of Philosophy. The subject was “Sexual Assault on Campus.” A video of the event was kindly provided to me by Mikhail Valdman, who moderated the event and cleared its release with the relevant ..
“This Is What We Look Like” is a new campaign aimed at “Promoting the presence, awareness, and progress of women in traditionally male dominated fields,” including philosophy. They’d like to fill the web with images of women doing what is stereotypically considered men’s work. You can buy one of their shirts at their storefront, and then send in a photo of yourself ..
The nature of philosophy is to blame for philosophy’s woman problem, says Zachary Ernst, who left his position as tenured associate professor of philosophy at University of Missouri to work in the private sector, and who occasionally writes about academia and philosophy at his blog, Inklings. But it isn’t what you think. Ernst isn’t blaming philosophy’s combativenes..
Clara Fisher, Newton International Fellow at the Gender Institute at London School of Economics, makes “the case for a tentatively optimistic reading of women’s contemporary place in philosophy” in an article in the Dublin Review of Books. She writes:
On the one hand, structural inequalities, such as women’s representation and inclusion, seem utterly entrenched, ..
Diana Buccafurni-Huber, assistant professor of philosophy at Sam Houston State University in Texas, has accused her department chair, Frank Fair, of intimidation and retaliation, resulting in her being denied tenure. From The Houstonian:
An untenured philosophy professor claimed gender discrimination against her department at a recent Board of Regents meeting. As..
Critiquing the Philosophy Tag game, commenter “Aspasia,” a tenure-track professor, worries about it “perpetuating the status quo of getting somewhere by networking rather than on the basis of merit in philosophy.” Leave aside Philosophy Tag. Let’s look at the broader issue about the role of networking in philosophy. It crops up in a lot of places such as publishing ..
The following is a guest post* from a woman graduate student in philosophy who wishes to remain anonymous.
Lately, I’ve been reflecting on the complicated ways issues of equity connect with intellectual and professional respect. On philosophy blogs there has been extensive discussion regarding the climate for women in philosophy, issues of sexual misconduct, ..
Peter Ludlow’s legal claims against Northwestern University (previously), which included a Title IX claim, defamation and false light publicity claims, and a civil conspiracy claim, have all been dismissed, according to a ruling from Judge Sara L. Ellis of the US District Court (Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division). From the ruling:
Last year, the American Philosophical Association (APA) appointed a task force to determine whether a code of conduct for professional philosophers is warranted. The task force deliberated on the matter and concluded that yes, there should be such a code (previously).
Now, according to a post at the APA website, the task force is soliciting suggestions about what..
A philosophy professor who wishes to remain anonymous writes in with the following question:
If a member of the philosophical profession has been found to have violated his or her institution’s sexual harassment and/or sexual assault policies (especially more than once), should there be any restrictions on his or her future participation in professional events, s..
In light of recent discussions of professor-student sexual relations (here, for example), readers might be interested in learning of about what has been happening at Barrett, the Honors College of Arizona State University.
In the past few years, Barrett has terminated the contracts of at least three professors who engaged in sexual relationships with students. Jo..
The faculty panel responsible for reviewing the University of Colorado’s allegations against associate professor of philosophy David Barnett (previously) has concluded that he is not guilty of retaliation. While university administrators had wanted to fire Barnett, the panel voted 4-1 for a one year suspension without pay instead. Barnett had been accused of retalia..
A new motion was filed on January 6th by lawyers for the undergraduate student allegedly assaulted by Northwestern University professor of philosophy Peter Ludlow (previously). The student’s lawsuit against Northwestern for mishandling her complaints was dismissed this past November. This motion claims to establish that there is newly discovered evidence that should..