Tag: professional life

Why we can’t abolish “best”

eli , January 30th, 2018

In my email right now, there are 10,364 messages signed with American academia’s standard valediction: Best, I have always found best an incredibly alienating sign-off. So alienating that…


Misguided exclusivity: On the Anthropology News commenting policy

eli , May 25th, 2017

I’ve been exceptionally dismayed this year by the retrograde, anti-open-access, profit-oriented publication philosophy at the American Anthropological Association. Earlier this year they announc…


Graduation as seen by faculty

eli , May 15th, 2017

Last Friday, as my last work event at Whittier College (since my postdoc contract is finishing up), I went to graduation. A few observations on graduation as seen from the…


Scholars shouldn’t read the New York Times

eli , April 27th, 2017

If Noam Chomsky had done nothing else, he would have given us one of the strongest critique of the New York Times as the guarantor of nationalist ideology for the U.S.’s…


Academic work as charity

eli , March 15th, 2017

In so many ways, academic work is hard to recognize as being work in the standard wage-labor sense of that word. It can take place at all hours of day…


The “Age of Precarity” after the doctorate

eli , February 16th, 2017

I have my doubts about whether precarity is always a good category for academic labor organizing. But from within the universe of European precarity discourse, I especially admire Mariya…


Papers on French philosophy, precarity and protest

eli , November 21st, 2016

It’s been a fun year for me (leaving aside here, you know, many disturbing political events, trends, pomps and circumstances, because this isn’t that kind of blog) because some…


Working-class in academe

eli , June 10th, 2016

When the Minnesota Review changed editors a few years ago, the old back issues disappeared from their website. Fortunately, one of my favorite essays, Diane Kendig‘s “Now I Work In…


Affiliation is power (without irony)

eli , May 27th, 2016

As many of my readers probably know, the big controversy in my field this year (in American cultural anthropology) has been about a proposed boycott of Israeli academic institutions, essentially…


The risks of expertise in studying higher education

eli , May 24th, 2016

I just got home from a great panel on “Re-Creating Universities Through Critical Ethnography” at the Society for Cultural Anthropology Meetings. It was organized by Davydd Greenwood, who…


Overproduction as mass existentialism

eli , April 21st, 2016

Earlier this year, I observed that there are two kinds of scholarly overproduction, “herd” overproduction and “star” overproduction. I’d like to come back to that line of…


Scholarly meetings with a “Disclaimer and Waiver”

eli , March 18th, 2016

I’m guessing that most anthropologists don’t read the Disclaimer and Waiver to which you must consent when you register for conferences through the American Anthropological Association. It…


Academic hands

eli , March 11th, 2016

Jeffrey Williams wrote in his excellent essay Smart that academics’ hands are remarkable for their contrast with working-class hands: My father has a disconcerting habit, especially for people…


Reading as caching

eli , March 4th, 2016

When you spend a few years writing code, the principles of programming can start to spill over into other parts of your life. Programming has so many of…