Monday, July 15, 2013


I've been slowly weening myself from the hope of a proper academic career over the past several months. Academia barely exists today, and due to what may still perhaps be a case of sour grapes, I've come to the insight that I probably don't even want such a career to begin with. I've cut back on teaching, and I've whittled down my teaching jobs to one campus and one prep. I've all but stopped applying for positions. To what I foresee as the last academic position I apply to, today I wrote the following:
Please find attached a detailed list of my publications, including manuscripts that are currently under submission. I am also including my curriculum vitae. You will undoubtedly notice a span of time between the MA and the PhD; it was during this time that I lived and worked abroad, either teaching (in Japan) or conducting independent research (in the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Poland) under grants and fellowships from the US government. My scope of interests, you will see, is truly international and diverse, ranging from political and economic theory to translation theory--all fields that inform my teaching of and research in philosophy.
I give him the necessary information and point out the obvious "gap" in my cv. Then I fill in that "gap" with enough information to be intriguing; I truly am an international man of mystery. I close this paragraph, however, with a preemptive strike. I tell him exactly why that very "gap" is not a gap at all, that while others may perceive a deficiency in my record or a flaw in my character, I, on the other hand, see this as what sets me apart from--and indeed above--all other candidates. I almost believe in the efficacy of my own bravado, which is not even bravado at all so much as an accurate and truthful explanation of what I did in those years. (All this, of course, can be corroborated by perusing the archive of this blog.) I almost dare him to think otherwise.
I trust that such interests and experiences will make my application even stronger, and I would be happy, if you desire, to send you further details regarding this time period.
Here I document my last preemption, my last flickering hope in academia, and my last application to a professorship. It helps that this position is a dream job and not the shite that tries to pass itself off as an academic position. My last rejection letter will come from a truly great institution of higher education, and I will return to the tasks at hand.

1 comment:

  1. The only difference between being an academic at an institution of higher learning and being an academic outside of an institution of higher learning, is the institution of higher learning.

    Wherever you are, you are most definitely an academic, a philosopher, a cultural critic with words and thoughts that must be expressed.

    Crossing my fingers for you!