Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘no olds


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Even more on the no-olds ads from Timothy Burke and Kelli Marshall.

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September 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm

A Few More for Friday While I Procrastinate

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* A week ago, no-olds was a novelty; today it is one of the profession’s most cherished traditions. I’ll just recycle my jokes from Twitter: “Anyone who’s been on market longer than that knows how quickly Harvard and Yale turn asst profs over. They want it to be a surprise.”

* When ideologies collide: Man Accused of Threatening Woman with Handgun for Smoking While Pregnant.

* Chait: Mitt Romney created his most recent campaign shitstorm by launching an attack that was, simultaneously, an absurdly disingenuous argument built upon a series of demonstrable lies. After an initial period of recrimination andlashing out at the media, Romney and his allies are insisting that he was absolutely correct all along. It is a remarkable testament to the party’s ability not just to engage in spin but create and sustain an alternate reality. Meanwhile, SEK is having too much fun with his smirking-Mitt meme.

* Nate Cohn and Ed Kilgore have your polling roundups. The short version is that while it’s not over, it’s definitely slipping away from Romney.

Should We Stop Referring to Student Loans as “Financial Aid”? Researching 2000s college aid admissions on behalf of my brilliant cousin, it’s struck me how decisively “no-loan aid” has become a new marker of elite status in recent years for Ivy and Ivy-Plus schools.

William Gibson on Why Sci-Fi Writers Are (Thankfully) Almost Always Wrong.  J.G. Ballard vs. the fans.

* Lost and Found: NPR has all your vintage photographs.

* And of course you had me at “New Monkey Discovered.”

Friday Morning

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Some Brief Thoughts on the Now-Famous “No Olds” Ad at CSU

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Chad Black and Scott Eric Kaufman (1, 2) have done a great job publicizing the now-famous “No Olds” ad at CSU English, to the point where the ad has now been revised and the MLA Executive Council will take up the matter for discussion at its next meeting. What I hope won’t be lost in all this is the extent to which—regardless of the actual, unknowable intentions of the CSU search committee, and the thorny question of whether this particular ad meets the legal standard for age discrimination—explicitly posting the criteria by which the decision will be made can easily be seen as a kindness to applicants from a search committee that knows how bad the market is and wants to be as honest and transparent as possible.

From this perspective the real “crime” of the CSU ad looks like Žižek’s ideology—the crime is not in doing the thing but in accidentally admitting it, saying it out loud. The crime, in other words, is really at the level of the utterance, and the “punishment” (such as it is) is being forced to retract the utterance.

But nothing has happened that will stop CSU or any other search committee from continuing to make decisions on any secret, unpublicized criteria they like, legal or illegal; what has happened is that committees will be less inclined to be similarly honest and transparent about their decisions and their real criteria in the future. That’s not much of a victory if the process ends here, because it encourages more mystification, not less, in the market.

So my hope is that when the MLA Executive Committee takes this up they do so at a level that pierces mere utterance, and attempts to gather real, concrete, material data about actual hiring practices, including this and other “secret criteria” for jobs that are being enforced without being announced. Then we can begin to talk with real specificity about what’s going on, and the consequences of this arcane and mystified process for the profession as a whole.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 13, 2012 at 9:16 am