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January 03, 2009


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Unemployed Negativity

Very well put, and your argument is especially interesting to me because although I have not seen the piece in question I have already heard the argument. It is an argument that seems to be gaining ground as state universities in particular attempt to get more work out of the teaching staff.


U.N.--thanks. You are absolutely right about how the argument is being used to increase teaching labor time. A friend of mine was once teaching at a place with a 4/4 load. A colleague saw him working on a book review. He asked him why even bothered.


It is most funny the idea that what is in top tier journals (which i imagine is determined by survey or number of citations?) is of any reliable quality.
More often it feels like it is precisely useful for the opportunity it affords us to work against it.


I'm an editor for Reconstruction, I guess what would be considered a fourth tier journal? and I find it ridiculous that what we do is not work, is not important, and should simply be dismissed. As cultural activists we started our journal as an alternative to more mainstream cultural studies journals that lacked serious political critique and acted as consensus filters. We wanted to provide a forum for people who had new theories. These "minor" (in the D & G sense) serve as the counter to the critical mainstream and thus serve a very important role! For instance, I'm currenting developing a special topic issue on Religion & Culture. I'm a radical skeptic (pantheist and anti-theist) community college film professor and my co-editor is a Philosophy of Religion professor at University of San Francisco. This is itself is a unique academic collaboration and most likely would be unusual for "top tier" journals.

The dismissal of fourth tier writing sounds similar to the mocking dismissal of knowledge-production done through blog writing...?


PS: the Religion and Culture issue is in development and we are accepting submissions until may (see link above)


Link for the Religion & Popular Culture CFP: http://dialogic.blogspot.com/2008/12/cfp-religion-and-popular-culture-may-15.html


hi Jodi,
Do you mind saying what the article was in the Chronicle? I'd like to read it. I find myself pretty sympathetic to the argument that a lot of academic work is useless (most work under capitalism is useless, substantively speak, or worse), but the idea that useless=not really work is ridiculous as is the idea that more famous=better quality.
ps- happy new year!


Hi Nate--I don't recall the name of the article or the author but it was on the website and it was available sometime between Christmas and Jan 3. The title was probably something economic/financial. There may have been something like predictions for the next year.

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