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Academia

Why is it such a toxic work environment?

by Anonymousreply 12604/12/2021

A lot of cluster b personality disorders and no boundaries,

by Anonymousreply 111/01/2020

We are at the end of a long period of decline in everything except the sciences. Only fools in the academia dint know this. It's due for a replacement. There's a fin de siècle feeling about it, a decadence that produces despair.

by Anonymousreply 211/01/2020

What r1 said.

And it's filled with people whose lives look like this: undergrad --> grad school --> tenure track --> tenure. In other words, people who have not had any "real world" experience outside of academia.

Also: Huge egos. Rampant narcissism. Entitlement. Poor social skills. Many people on the spectrum. (My PhD advisor certainly was -- whether diagnosed or not -- and that made it very difficult to work with him.)

I'm in the humanities and what r2 says is true too -- and makes me sad.

by Anonymousreply 311/01/2020

[quote] We are at the end of a long period of decline in everything except the sciences.

Spoken like someone who lives in a basement and whose only knowledge of academia comes from Twitter... STEM fields are full of crank libertarians and the funding structure gives professors huge power over their grad students and leads to exploitation. STEM professors manage their own grant funds, meaning a student's future career prospects are tied to one guy (and yes it is usually a guy) rather than a department or school.

by Anonymousreply 411/01/2020

Opportunities for advancement are few and far between. Tenure is highly competitive and they feel burned when they are denied.

by Anonymousreply 511/01/2020
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by Anonymousreply 611/01/2020

r4, I'm not r2. However, I am in the humanities.

I have friends in STEM who dropped out of their PhD programs ... and then got very cushy jobs in industry. That option doesn't exist for most scholars in the humanities, and it does, indeed, affect morale.

by Anonymousreply 711/01/2020

Jealousy is a prime motivator of bitchiness.

by Anonymousreply 811/01/2020

Universities are extremely reluctant to kick out or take to task any professor bringing in prestige and/or research dollars. Even if said professor is a raging a-hole. If that professor leaves, the prestige and money leave as well. Things can definitely change, though, if you're an "over the hill" professor perceived as just taking up space.

by Anonymousreply 911/01/2020

r7, I agree there are many lucrative opportunities for STEM degrees, but if you want to stay in academia, STEM is far more exploitive than the humanities, where you get a grant directly from an institution. Of course there is less money, but it's then yours to fritter away.

by Anonymousreply 1011/01/2020

r9 = DL fave Nimrod Reitman

by Anonymousreply 1111/01/2020

"They" (tenured faculty, anyway) "fight so much because they have so little to fight about."

by Anonymousreply 1211/01/2020

Dashed hopes, and good intentions. Good, better, best, bested.

by Anonymousreply 1311/01/2020

Academic HR cunts are worse than the regular ones.

by Anonymousreply 1411/01/2020

“You know why the fights in academia are so vicious? Because the stakes are so low.” Nicole Wallace, Law and Order: Criminal Intent. FWIW, I’m an academic.

by Anonymousreply 1511/01/2020

We have this thread every other week.

by Anonymousreply 1611/01/2020

R15 and R12, are you also R6?

by Anonymousreply 1711/01/2020

r16 And yet, I never tire of it. lol

by Anonymousreply 1811/01/2020

99% of academics spend their lives doing something that is largely devoid of value. At one time, professors were respected. Within the past 10 years they have become as respected as ambulance chasers. I say defund academia.

by Anonymousreply 1911/01/2020

Because what we need is a less-educated electorate!

by Anonymousreply 2011/01/2020

What I meant is that other than science most of what is being produced in the academy now is pretty useless regardless of how scientists treat their graduate students, R4. I'm largely in agreement with R19. We need to rethink the whole package but be careful to retain how we train scientists. Covid is showing how important they are.

by Anonymousreply 2111/02/2020

Not everything has to turn a profit to be useful. The humanities teach critical thinking, without which we end up with bankrupt casino owners as president.

by Anonymousreply 2211/02/2020

The university hot-house geniuses have sold their country to the gutter. It's why things are so fucked up.

by Anonymousreply 2311/02/2020

[quote]Why is it such a toxic work environment?

You could ask the same about the corporate world.

by Anonymousreply 2411/02/2020

At least corporations aren't usually actively and openly trying to ruin their brand and their product line -- not so the professors. Iconoclasm is their stock-in-trade.

by Anonymousreply 2511/02/2020

Four words: ciswomen and their drama.

by Anonymousreply 2611/02/2020

[quote] The humanities teach critical thinking, without which we end up with bankrupt casino owners as president.

Critical thinking like men are women if they say so?

by Anonymousreply 2711/02/2020

The Chronicle ran a recent piece about deep thinking and how it's largely incompatible with a career in academia. It's paywalled I assume, so if someone wants to read it let me know and I'll copy and paste.

In my experience, brilliant but sensitive/contemplative types have a lot of trouble in academia. It is indeed toxic.

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by Anonymousreply 2811/25/2020

I think it was David Lodge who said it's because so little is at stake.

by Anonymousreply 2911/25/2020

Because tenure means never having to say you're sorry.

by Anonymousreply 3011/25/2020

There's way too much tenure. Tenure has a role to play in protecting academics who have given their life over to digging into arcana and parsing the results. As a society, we get the benefit of that knowledge they contribute and in return, they have job security. They need it. Their work often does not transfer to the market place. Therefore, they would easily be abused by administration, or simply dissuaded from potentially valuable work. They are the only ones interested in these things and without them, we would never have it.

But tenure in law school, medical schools, many of the STEM disciplines... no. If there is a problem, they have a profession to which they can return. Go be a lawyer. Go be a doctor. Go work work in industry. Even Art History professors can work in a gallery or museum. The drosophilia expert... no. They need tenure.

A school chocked full of tenured lawyers should never, ever, have been allowed to happen.

by Anonymousreply 3111/25/2020

I have tenure at a state university with no prestige but reliable funding and pleasant students. I have very little pressure to produce any academic work rather teach and consult. I left a prestige uni, with no tenure (didn't even try) for this gig. Its ideal if you just want to teach and earn a humdrum middle-class secure salary year after year. I improve my teaching because that's the value in my field. Academic work in anything but STEM is mostly useless - and in certain domains, IMO, the work is damaging.

The value of non STEM college is teaching young people to be have and apply critical thinking, curiosity, and to produce efficiently and professionally. Learn some about the domain as well.

Toxicity of staff ebbs and flows.

However, the direction has been dysfunctional for almost 10 years and there is toxicity in those executive/administrative offices and high turnover. How embarrassing for them. Cunts. Don't they know how to ride a gravy train? Just got an email today about 2 high profile dismissals. God, I love those boilerplate announcements about "pursuing new opportunities" elsewhere. Very sad.

by Anonymousreply 3211/25/2020

My STEM professors were all a bunch of cunts who would never survive in the corporate world. One could barely speak English but was considered a “genius”... I stopped going to his classes because my time was better spent reading the textbook.

by Anonymousreply 3311/25/2020

STEM professors may be lacking but the domains are practical and there is real stuff that must be learned, often to protect the health and safety of the public. In contrast, who needs to know the problematics in conceptualising the intersectionality of unreconstructed post-colonial hegemony in transborder North African class structure?

by Anonymousreply 3411/25/2020

[quote]STEM professors may be lacking but the domains are practical and there is real stuff that must be learned....

If they are "lacking" then they should not be rewarded with a tenured teaching job. Professors who are lacking are an obstacle to learning, not an aid. If a student can master the material better and faster with a thorough outline, then the professor hired to teach it, but who did a lousy job, was not a good investment for the school or for the student. And at that level of education, if the student cannot master the material from a thorough outline, that student shouldn't be in that program. That extra ingredient a great teacher can add requires... a great teacher.

by Anonymousreply 3511/25/2020

Academia is full of people who got told they were special their whole lives. Both of my parents were professors and then when they got divorced his step wife was a teacher. Academia is full of narcissists who have been told for decades (or in some cases their whole lives) that they're the smartest person in the room, the most qualified person in the room, the most prestigious person in the room, etc. When you have a work field full of nothing but people like that the environment tends to not be a happy one.

by Anonymousreply 3611/25/2020

What is a "step wife"?

by Anonymousreply 3711/25/2020

R35 Well I agree. Yes STEM professors are doing a lot more than teaching - their value to the university and the field is not mostly about teaching. However a humanities professor should learn how to teach because their value is turning out critical thinking generalists who can communicate professionally and clearly as well. This investment, by all, has been squandered especially in USA. Critical theory, which once was my domain a few decades ago, has poisoned the well. It might still be useful to hire a recent History graduate who knows the history of European and American revolutions, but if she or he spent 4 years with shitty woke sub-brilliant professors doing shitty woke critical history, and can't name the principal actors in the French, Russian and American revolutions, and the roles they played, all is lost. If I were a bank in London or New York, I wouldn't hire such a waste product from our leading institutions. Up to the 90s, this feeder system had value.

by Anonymousreply 3811/25/2020

I worked as an assistant to two professors at NYU Law in the 2000s. I was shocked at how many outwardly, public facing liberals were actually racist, misogynistic and conservative in real life.

by Anonymousreply 3911/25/2020

R29 He may have, in which case he was plagiarizing Henry Kissinger when he said “The reason that university politics is so vicious is because the stakes are so small” in the 1960's.

Not sure if it was that, or bombing Cambodia, but the usual two-years-and-then-indefinitely-extended leave of absence for Harvard faculty engaged in government service was not offered to Kissinger when he stepped down as Secretary of State: Harvard wouldn't have him back.

by Anonymousreply 4011/25/2020

Because it is so exhausting being right all the time!

by Anonymousreply 4111/25/2020

Because it's full of MEN who won't say "Latinx"!

by Anonymousreply 4211/25/2020

Because white women belly dance!

by Anonymousreply 4311/25/2020

R3 has a point. When people haven't been outside of the school environment ever, they become stuck in their teenage years, and bring that sort of drama and perspective to all their interactions. My mother was a nurse and she has said that any time they got a "strange" patient with really entitled and weird behaviour, it was always a teacher/academic.

by Anonymousreply 4411/25/2020

Every work environment is toxic.

by Anonymousreply 4511/25/2020

Marjorie Perloff wrote a scathing rebuke during the Avital Ronell/Nimrod fiasco a couple of years ago.

I think this sums up the state of the humanities quite nicely:

[quote]From the perspective of other university departments or the medical school or law school, from the perspective of those who work in publishing or the TV industry or in Silicon Valley, the professor’s behavior must seem simply unbelievable. Many universities now have laws against faculty-student relationships, at least while the student is actively working with the professor in question. But more important, from the perspective, say, of a medical student or engineer: how do these Comparative Lit stars have such endless time on their hands? In one email, about two years into the relationship, Avital tells Nimrod she is available from Thursday through the entire weekend: he need merely say the word. When, outsiders ask, do these people actually do any work? Grade papers? Teach their classes? And how can knowledge in our field be so subjective and tenuous that a professor who begins by praising a given student so extravagantly then turns on him and declares that his dissertation had no solid argument? What did his other dissertation readers think? Or were they afraid to go on the record with their evaluations? And was there no outside member (from another department) on the dissertation committee?

by Anonymousreply 4611/25/2020

Perloff continues:

[quote]This at least, is what I hear outsiders say: What is wrong with these academics? Why do they lead such solipsistic lives? Does NYU really need a Comp Lit or German department, if this is what goes on? Do we want to give large graduate fellowships to students like Nimrod Reitman? What about those undergraduates whose tuition makes the whole graduate school game possible? Whatever happened to knowledge, scholarship, research? And — most important — is there another profession where the senior person with the power wouldn’t immediately be fired, given the evidence in this particular Complaint?

Whole piece linked

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by Anonymousreply 4711/25/2020

Because cunts ruin everything.

The herds of mediocre women with tenure and chairs who backbite, backstab and push politicized agendas unrelated to sense or mission have ruined many departments in the universities with which I've worked, and their toxins have spread up to the top in many, as well.

Secondly, corporate interference and the smell of money have replaced prestige and respect of peers as motivators. The utter crap pouring into the journals - many that exist only for fourth-rate checkmarks - in response to "publish or die" protocols haven't helped either research foci, scholarship or the quality of education.

Yes - mainly it's the mediocre, ambitious twats who are given free rein. And adding minority status to that produces an unassailable perch that a hurricane won't shake. If they go it's only to another institution for a higher position.

by Anonymousreply 4811/25/2020

Found the racist MRA at r48

by Anonymousreply 4911/25/2020

It's a field that attracts overly ambitious narcissists and then throws politics and class into the mix. That's what makes it toxic, the fact that it attracts over achievers who think the sun revolves around them and teaches them to feel smart by looking down on and judging others.

by Anonymousreply 5011/25/2020

These types are insufferable when you happen to go out to dinner with a group of friends and someone invites one of them along. You feel you can't speak on anything without them patronising you, and they will argue with you on ANYTHING. Frequently they make themselves look idiotic because they tell you you are wrong about something that they wouldn't know about but you do because it relates to your life experience, and they will continually argue until you give up and they then think they have come out on top of the argument.

by Anonymousreply 5111/25/2020

Because so little is at stake.

by Anonymousreply 5211/25/2020

My BIL is a tenured professor and head of the political science dept. at his university. He is, and always has been, the smartest person in every room he inhabits. His life has been dedicated to letting you know this fact at all times. He holds court at every family function. Holidays have always been a scotch riddled, mind fucking exercise in torture. I stopped attending these mental health sessions several years ago. I'll never set foot in his home again. I've had enough of these spoiled, entitled, self-proclaimed Gods of Academia. Holidays are so pleasant without them.

by Anonymousreply 5311/25/2020

It's like public utilities. They can get away with attracting less than stellar intellects or abilities because there is almost no accountability - at least in the non-STEM programs.

Many of these people would not last in private industry at any level. They'd even have a hard time in the non-profit sector unless they were the darling of a Board of Directors.

by Anonymousreply 5411/25/2020

A neighbor used to be a Prof and while he seems like a sweet old guy, he’s incredibly determined to come across as the wisest old owl in the world. We’ve stopped communicating because I don’t fawn over every word of his.

by Anonymousreply 5511/25/2020

Toxic? Whatever do you mean?

by Anonymousreply 5611/25/2020

[quote]and teaches them to feel smart by looking down on and judging others.

THIS more than anything I think. The tendency to "look down" on others (especially those outside of the academy -- no matter how intelligent they may be -- and most brilliant people I've known in my life were NOT academics) creates a truly insufferable cadre.

by Anonymousreply 5711/26/2020

They are very turf conscious. They hate those who are non academics and do things they should be doing in their field of expertise or ask the questions they ought to be asking. But years of teaching dulls them. Vicious and petty.

by Anonymousreply 5811/26/2020

There should be a research and publication requirement to maintain tenure.

NO ONE needs a tenured teaching job. The tenure should apply to academic research. No research... no tenure.

by Anonymousreply 5911/26/2020

I work at a university and I'm constantly seeing students now with two BA's and an MA (and maybe even a JD) asking about getting a third BA. Anything to avoid entering the real world. I asked my boss if the university shouldn't nudge these people out and she said they were happy to take the money.

by Anonymousreply 6011/26/2020

It seems to attract a lot of personality disordered people with overinflated egos. Dr. Amy "Boom Boom" Bishop types.

by Anonymousreply 6111/26/2020

Weren't the characters on TBBT actually poking fun at these types?

by Anonymousreply 6211/26/2020

Academia is not a great place unless you're uber comeptitive and basically live for research. Most academic types are only considered successful if teaching students is literally the LAST priority on their list.

But the professors who are good, who do inspire students, who are doing the work in classrooms.....they are often all adjunct professors, paid a fraction of what tenured professors make with none of the benefits. Schools are becoming ruthless business models, spitting out anyone who doesn't deliver money to shareholders, so to speak.

by Anonymousreply 6311/26/2020

I would like to echo some earlier sentiments in this thread. I'm in the humanities, and increasingly the field is losing expertise at the expense of political expediency. At least in my field (literature), I think this is an unfortunate departure from STEM fields and even some other humanities depts.

A student who receives a BS in physics or math has a very solid foundation regarding those fields. By graduation, they are conversant in the fundamentals of their fields. They are also held to account by objective standards (eg, exams) and it's hard to slip past these requirements. Literature (for me, English Renaissance literature) has largely abandoned these principles. For example, seniors in our department cannot scan a line of poetry. They cannot tell you what a spondee and trochee are. They can't define iambic pentameter. They can, however, recite the shibboleths of "race, gender, class" and parrot back to you why any given text is problematic.

I think our department has more diversity requirements than period requirements. A student can earn a BA without ever having read a line of Chaucer or Milton. Shakespeare remains the sole author requirement. MA and PhD students were at one time required to take a semester, at least, of Old English. No longer.

The canon wars were long ago, and it's clear the canon loyalists lost. But we've lost more, in my view, than the canon itself. We've lost a common language. We've lost intellectual rigor. We've lost the value of close reading and the beauty of poetics.

I'm not opposed to expanding the canon by any means. I'm not opposed to other critical approaches beyond New Criticism. However, I am opposed to these approaches supplanting a fundamental knowledge of the history of English and its literature, of the rigors of close reading, of a common knowledge base, etc.

And finally, as others have noted, this shift in the humanities comes in tandem with the pressure to publish and has allowed a whole lot of mediocre/bad scholarship to slip by undetected. How can there be real professional standards without expertise? You would be amazed at the shit that gets published.

by Anonymousreply 6411/26/2020

More toxic than what? A restaurant? An Amazon warehouse?

by Anonymousreply 6511/26/2020

Non-STEM academia is really just a bunch of very small ponds filled with unexceptional people who could never survive, let alone thrive and succeed, in the real world. At one time not too long ago professors in all fields were largely viewed with respect. Now, non-STEM professors are seen as fools, laughed at and mocked. There are a few excellent scholars, but they are rare and becoming rarer.

by Anonymousreply 6611/26/2020

Academentia.

by Anonymousreply 6711/26/2020

Cause they’re boring maladjusted geeky people with no people skills.

by Anonymousreply 6811/26/2020

Academia attracts a lot of people who never had to grow up and are socially and real life retarded OP.

by Anonymousreply 6911/26/2020

I think a lot of truly brilliant people end up leaving academia.

by Anonymousreply 7011/26/2020

I think it was David Lodge who said it's because so little is at stake.

Mike Nichols (when talking about "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf") also said academia was so toxic because the stakes were so low

by Anonymousreply 7111/26/2020

Tressie McMillan Cottom (who? you ask. Friend of Roxane Gay, co-host of her podcast) believes academic theory entering popular culture is a great thing. She, herself, is prone to acting crazy on Twitter, it must be said.

[quote]I seriously credit tumblr with the elevation of academic theory in popular discourse. You don’t have a president talking about intersectionality if it weren’t for tumblr (whatever you think of either of those occurrences).

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by Anonymousreply 7212/29/2020

Women.

by Anonymousreply 7312/29/2020

R64 Seconded. And everything you describe is compounded in *private* arts colleges, where there are often annual fire-at-will contacts ("No, Virginia, not every prof has tenure."), little-to-nonexistent student government, and an education completely commodified, run by HR and ADMIN. Like any retail store, the customer is always right. Students control the power, and often understandably exercise it.

Intellectual vigor? *Snort*. Most of these students define themselves by what they cannot (or will not) do, as opposed to leading with accomplishments, or with that which they are capable. Exceptions, to be certain, but this is the general rule.

by Anonymousreply 7412/30/2020

I find STEM areas and environments more toxic, which includes industry.

by Anonymousreply 7512/30/2020

R48 sounds like you're describing Oberlin

by Anonymousreply 7612/30/2020

Academic twitter is something else. Something quite scary in some parts if you realise that some of these people are actually teaching when they don't know what they're talking about. This guy for example, has students and he tells them stuff like this? (To be clear, he is correct in his first part of his tweet, it's the bit in bold that confuses me):

[quote]Black Language is a language. It's not a dialect. It's not slang. It has complex grammatical features that other languages. Black language can even be more sophisticated; [bold]for example, the habitual be can not be replicated in English[/bold]

Said with such confidence, but the habitual be is a feature of a number of English dialects - Hiberno-English, dialects from southwestern England, Ulster Scots and Caribbean English, as well as AAVE, which is still English itself. Is there no requirement for teachers to know what they're talking about anymore?

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by Anonymousreply 7712/30/2020

Autism.

by Anonymousreply 7812/30/2020

Just to add to R77, when I talk about the first part being correct, it's true that AAVE is definitely a valid language, the conversation about dialect vs language is one that you can have, the whole "a language is just a dialect with an army and a navy" type thing.

by Anonymousreply 7912/30/2020

r77 THAT guy. Total tool, as an academic. To think people pay good money to be "taught" by this nimrod. He posts shit like *this* on Twit:

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by Anonymousreply 8012/31/2020

Way too much time on their useless hands.

by Anonymousreply 8101/01/2021

R80, is that guy serious? Geez. I'm not even the biggest Shakespeare fan, but I know that he invented a whole slew of words we use in English now. Based on the tweets I've seen from him, it seems like he has certain issues clouding the way he looks at things, and facts me damned. That's kinda worrying for anyone he is teaching.

by Anonymousreply 8201/01/2021

^Facts BE damned, obviously.

by Anonymousreply 8301/01/2021

Academians seldom look beyond their self-absorbed minds. They know everything and the rest of us know nothing.

by Anonymousreply 8401/01/2021

I'm noticing a lot of these academics are making really poorly constructed arguments that make no sense, or come across like they're saying something really stupid, and when called out on it declare that they are not saying what it looks like they are saying and pretty much implying that everyone is too dumb to understand their point. The arrogance and gall to tell people they aren't reading what they are reading is amazing.

by Anonymousreply 8501/01/2021

Because they have tenure, they can afford to miss the point.

by Anonymousreply 8601/01/2021

Demand for jobs in academia is high while supply is low. So you have to be a total cut-throat asshole/cunt to get and keep a job there.

by Anonymousreply 8701/01/2021

Getting the first job, R87, is tough because the people who're hiring you - the faculty members in that department - are by and large total cunts as well. It helps if you're one, too, but that alone is seldom enough.

If they don't like your advisors, your gender or nationality, where you went to school, or your sub-specialty, you're fucked through no fault of your own. Departments often go through sham searches, too, when they know who they want, usually senior people, but their preferred hires often take the offer back to where they are and get it matched or bettered. Harvard once tried - and failed - to hire a member of the Stanford faculty three times, sweetening the offer each time and which Stanford promptly matched: first with a better home on campus, then a heavy increase in research funding and finally, a entire new program.

One also-ran in the third failed search asked "Is he holding out for a vineyard?"

by Anonymousreply 8801/02/2021

What are some fields that don't have "toxic work environments"? Law? Banking? Lighthouse keepers?

by Anonymousreply 8901/02/2021

[quote]Departments often go through sham searches, too, when they know who they want, usually senior people, but their preferred hires often take the offer back to where they are and get it matched or bettered.

Google John Darnell/Colleen Manassa for some good academic tea from art history.

by Anonymousreply 9001/02/2021

Gifted was the poet Shelley Winters when she said, "Academic in-fighting is so vicious because so little is at stake."

Or was it the poet George Burns?

by Anonymousreply 9101/02/2021

[quote] (when talking about "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf")

Oh, [italic]dear.[/italic]

by Anonymousreply 9201/02/2021

There's a whole lot of arrested development going on in academia from what it seems to me. People who've never left the school grounds still acting like teenagers, despite being in their 40s and 50s.

by Anonymousreply 9301/03/2021

That Madison Payton really is a tool. I guess it's true what they say about certain degrees coming out of Cornflakes packets...

[quote]Grammar is made up. English grammar has tried hard to be cousins with Latin, which grammatically doesn't make anymore. The elite decided to make the language less accessible to the masses. Since English was the bastard language of other languages in Europe. Cite me wrong.

Isn't it a logical fallacy to create an argument and then insist it's the responsibility of others to prove you wrong, otherwise your point stands?

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by Anonymousreply 9401/05/2021

There also seems to be a symbiotic relationship with certain artists and academics. This is especially evident in the field of music where you have composers who seem to write music for the sole purpose of keeping musicologists occupied, and the musicologists, in turn, assure the relevance of said composers by analysing their music.

by Anonymousreply 9501/05/2021

Some of the nastiest people I’ve ever worked with.

by Anonymousreply 9603/25/2021

Oh, I'd forgotten about that tool at R94. What a moron.

by Anonymousreply 9703/25/2021

What is it about so many academics that makes them want to yell at/get into fights with people? Roxane Gay is always yelling at someone on Twitter because they dared to be helpful to her in any way. I used to catch up regularly with a group of people, one of whom was an academic who spent every moment trying to jump on something others said to criticise it/prove it wrong somehow. Arguing for the sake of it, and telling me I was wrong about things I knew and they didn't, but they would still tell me I was wrong.

by Anonymousreply 9803/29/2021

R96 I second that.

Most of them spend their time politicking and in the publish or die system, they have nothing interesting or new to say in their field.

Moreover, whatever new comes their way, they try to squeeze it into their existing framework to justify their academic credentials.

The result is a stultifying cart before the horse approach to study that chokes off any life in their field.

But they sneakily take fresh ideas from people on the fringe and steal credit.

I speak from experience.

by Anonymousreply 9903/29/2021

R99 Sooo fucking true. I think I know you. Are your initials J.C.?

by Anonymousreply 10003/30/2021

I think it attracts people with mental illnesses. I've only been close to two people in academia (my sister and a former boyfriend) and they both have mental health issues. They are also both the sorts of smart and weird people who do well in academia.

by Anonymousreply 10103/30/2021

Echo chamber plus glass house syndrome.

Is it any wonder people don’t trust “experts” steeped in SJW bullshit?

by Anonymousreply 10203/30/2021

I guess they have to keep coming up with this stuff to justify their careers, mores the pity.

by Anonymousreply 10304/01/2021

"This week's @heartoslay is a doozy!"

Why does everything Roxane come up with sound like something some earnest 14 year old would come up as a title for a school project? "The Audacity", "Hear to Slay" etc.

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by Anonymousreply 10404/07/2021

Most adults are too busy in their lives to worry about things like this, but not academics!

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by Anonymousreply 10504/09/2021

Academic workplaces are cliquish as hell too. Most of the truly brilliant people I’ve met don’t have a PhD after their name.

by Anonymousreply 10604/10/2021

It sounds like a never ending high school. Nightmare!

by Anonymousreply 10704/10/2021

R107 It is. I worked on a European research project dedicated to finding solutions to poverty, homelessness and housing related issues. The snobbery and nastiness of the researchers towards myself and other support staff was unreal. Never worked in a more toxic environment. Turn over was unreal.

by Anonymousreply 10804/10/2021

Snobbery is all academics have especially the post docs. Most don’t get paid shit.

by Anonymousreply 10904/10/2021

That's so fucked up R108. They're meant to be finding solutions to issues like poverty/homelessness and they behave like that?! It sort of confirms something I've suspected about some of these types - they lecture everyone about being good people and doing good solely to make themselves look good, than to actually care for other people. Gross.

by Anonymousreply 11004/10/2021

r110 Google Thomas Pogge

by Anonymousreply 11104/10/2021

^ugh, the sad thing is that it doesn't surprise me at all that someone like him would also be into sexual harassment.

by Anonymousreply 11204/10/2021

R110 I find that true from personal experience. A lot of researchers in areas like poverty wouldn’t give a homeless person or someone struggling with addiction the time of day in real life. And, yes, foster very dysfunctional workplaces (sycophancy is valued over all else). There’s a few North American academics which come to mind based on rumours and firsthand encounters (won’t be naming names because unlike Pogge they haven’t been exposed).

by Anonymousreply 11304/10/2021

[quote] Universities are extremely reluctant to kick out or take to task any professor bringing in prestige and/or research dollars.

You don't understand how tenure works, do you?

by Anonymousreply 11404/10/2021

I went on a date with someone who was teaching the 'ethics of poverty' or some shit like that, all about the third world. There were the intense conventions with Madeline Albright and Hillary Clinton, etc etc, the lecturing of young keen students about the ins and outs of Cambodia and Laos.

The thing is, she had never even been to these countries. I lived and worked in SE Asia as a teacher for years, I saw how things worked (the UN cars parked outside the brothels) I made friends with local families as best I could, I saw the good and the bad. She couldn't understand that some 'helpers' made things even worse - it was a cognitive dissonance of black and white thinking.

It's this distance that allows these academics to put people in clearly defined boxes. Most are from privileged upbringings and have gone from High School to College to Academia with no sense of the real world. These are people influencing policy btw.

by Anonymousreply 11504/10/2021

[quote]It's this distance that allows these academics to put people in clearly defined boxes. Most are from privileged upbringings and have gone from High School to College to Academia with no sense of the real world.

Yes! This is how it comes across to me. And this:

[quote]These are people influencing policy btw.

Is kinda terrifying.

I'm reminded from your post, R115, the book Dark Star Safari, where he talks about the problems that can sometimes happen with 'people who help'. It was interesting to read a different perspective on it. And he gave references to Africans who have spoken about the affect of aid on their countries which were interesting to read to. I also worked once with a guy who had done work in the Solomon Islands and he was very candid about he had seen aid packages go nowhere near the intended communities.

My disillusion came quite young, when the Haiti earthquake happened and I donated to Oxfam, only for it to come out later that they were spending money on sex parties too.

I went slightly off topic there (but very interesting to discuss, I feel), but I think this is the real problem - the world these academics live in is so shut off from the world they are studying in many cases.

by Anonymousreply 11604/10/2021

^Sorry, posted before proofed:

- ...were interesting to read too.

- was very candid about how he had seen...

by Anonymousreply 11704/10/2021

Most journal articles/research about homelessness are read by the same small group of academics. This same groups then awards each other grants. Federal and state funding works the same way. They have very little actual impact on the frontlines.

by Anonymousreply 11804/10/2021

An earlier poster nailed it with the small ponds analogy. Many areas of research (visual art, music, gender studies, social work, housing/homelessness) are very incestuous. Everyone knows everyone which is a huge part of the problem. Ironically it becomes an insiders club of sorts. I know someone who attempted to blow the whistle on wrongdoing at one institute and became virtually unemployable.

by Anonymousreply 11904/11/2021

Most of these people wouldn’t even make it at a nonprofit. And, yes, the sycophants are always disgusting. Pity them.

by Anonymousreply 12004/11/2021

What about niche arts like contemporary poetry or classical music? I bet there’s a lot of cronyism there as well.

by Anonymousreply 12104/11/2021

R121 Yes, cronyism is rampant across arts.

by Anonymousreply 12204/11/2021

Hmmm... maybe academia would be a good place for Scott Rudin to cool his heels for a while.

by Anonymousreply 12304/12/2021

[quote]contemporary poetry

Do not -- I repeat, DO NOT -- get me started on creative writing MFA programs.

by Anonymousreply 12404/12/2021

R63 agree completely—the best teachers aren’t tenured. I applied for a tenure track position in the same department I taught as a temporary visiting prof and went above and beyond—provided service to the dept, started small research projects (I was a bit weaker here but I did show promise), went to faculty meetings/dept events, did advising, etc. Dept head hinted that I’d be the top choice and even asked what I wanted to teach once hired. Come interview time, I thought it was weird I didn’t get selected for a 2nd interview, but figured they had the info they needed about me since they all knew me well. Sacrificed time and energy that should’ve been going to work-life balance and family. Come to find out, they picked someone with a completely different emphasis and left me out to dry and said “well, you can teach adjunct part time here” (and lose my salary, benefits, etc). Schools no longer care to hire great teachers—they want productive researchers. That is definitely affecting younger generations.

If our schools hired excellent teachers first and were less concerned with research, I wouldn’t have a problem finding a job in academia.

by Anonymousreply 12504/12/2021

How dare you, R124! I am an extremely intelligent and valuable person!

Now stop fucking belly dancing, white scum!

by Anonymousreply 12604/12/2021
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