Post Academic

Follow-Ups, from A(naconda) to Z(izek)

Let’s follow up on some of the recent posts we’ve put up.  You’ll have to keep reading to understand why we have images of an anaconda and Slavoj Zizek here.  What’s odder is that the anaconda is probably more directly relevant to the follow-up than Zizek is!

"Green Anaconda" by Stevenj (Creative Commons license)

Alternative Careers in (Post)Gradland: Last week, we mentioned that the great blog Gradland had put up some very illuminating posts on non-tenure track careers for academics, discussing adjuncting and high school teaching.  Well, Gradland is back with some more options in the movie biz and the publishing industry.  The former is where Anaconda comes in, cause Gradland’s subject “Alice” was hired to do research for the J-Lo/Ice Cube/Jon Voight vehicle.

Freelance Writing Tips from the Legends: In last week’s Footnotes, we mentioned a handy advice piece for freelance critic types posted on Geeta Dayal’s blog — which I apparently forgot to link!  This week, PopMatters–gotta put in a plug for my home team!–began a series of articles asking renowned music writers and editors to offer their best tips to aspiring and/or struggling freelancers.  Hey, anything a hall-of-famer like Robert Christgau has to offer is something I’d be listening to!

"Slavoj Zizek" by Pablo Secca (Creative Commons license)

Broke-Ass Update on Middlesex University: We covered the cause célèbre that the Middlesex U Philosophy department in the UK has become for scholars worldwide.  This thoughtful column written by John Protevi for Inside Higher Ed explores what might be the ramifications of the downsizing of Middlesex U Philosophy for programs and depts Stateside.

…with a little bonus Zizek!: So how does Slavoj Zizek come into play here and why?  Remember that he’s one of the academic superstars cosigning a letter of support for Middlesex U Philosophy?  That answers how and here’s the why: À la the Betty White campaign, there’s a Facebook fan page petitioning Zizek to host SNL!  Though not only does it (obviously!) pale in size to the B. White petition, but, at 967 members, it’s also behind around 13-to-1 to the Save Middlesex U Philosophy fanpage.


Posted in Housekeeping by Arnold Pan on May 15, 2010
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“Footnotes” is a semi-regularly occurring list of ephemera we’ve found floating online that is at least somewhat relevant to what we do.  Mostly, they’re just entertaining tidbits that you may or may not be as interested in as we are.

"The Cast of Twilight" by Philip Nelson (Creative Commons license)

1. The Twilight of Cultural Studies: Everyone seems to be waiting with bated breath for the latest Twilight installment this summer and that includes academia!  Inside Higher Ed posted a piece this week covering the cottage industry of academic-esque treatments of Twilight, noting the recent publication of the critical anthology, Twilight and History, itself a sequel to Twilight and Philosophy.  Of course, anyone who’s browsed the “Philosophy” section at your local Barnes and Noble has noticed titles like The Simpsons and Philosophy and The Sopranos and Philosophy, so this isn’t exactly a new phenomenon.  Neither are the fuddy-duddy concerns that pop culture is beneath academia.

2. Freelancing How-To: Cultural critic type Geeta Dayal has offered some tips to help aspiring freelancers make ends meet over at her blog.  Some of the advice is particular to freelancing, like understanding the arbitrariness of pitching stories and how to maintain a regular work schedule for a job that is defined by its irregularity.  But a lot of it is applicable to young starving types of all stripes, like cutting back on eating out and spending no more than 30% of your income on rent.  Overall, it’s a good primer, although I don’t buy the idea that finding fellowships and teaching gigs is all that viable–if those options were, there would probably be fewer academics trying to become professional writers!

3. Funk U!: I’m including this note that Bootsy Collins is starting up an online “Funk University” only because I get to use the tag “Funk U”–there, I’ve done it twice!  This might be a for-profit deal, but it doesn’t mean that Bootsy is just going to accept anyone and everyone that applies.  From the official website:

Because a groove is a terrible thing to waste, this sonic learning institution will be unlike anything before, as Professor Collins and the finest bassists in music will unleash an intense curriculum, on the web, for intermediate to advanced funk disciples within the program. Enrollment is limited for the first year.

(h/t HuffPo College)

"UCI Sign" by Jccooper055 (Public Domain)

4. My Student, Your UC Regent!: Last, but the opposite of least, is this great profile piece syndicated by the AP on the incoming UC Student Regent, UCI third-year Jesse Cheng, who happens to be one of my most memorable students and not just because he was respectful enough to call me “Professor Pan.”  In fact, I do remember him telling me that he was late to one of my classes because he was going to an info session for the student regent application.  Well, that seems like a good excuse to skipping out of lecture as any.  Gotta admire everything that Jesse is doing, particularly representing UC students during this awful budget crisis, as well as other likeminded students, but maybe the AP is going a little overboard calling UC-Suburbs–er, UCI–a “developing activist hotspot.”  Find out more about what Jesse is trying to accomplish at the UC Regent Live blog.  Good luck, Jesse!

Last week on Post Academic (3/21-3/27)

Posted in Housekeeping by Arnold Pan on March 28, 2010
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Thanks to all the readers for making this another great week for us at Post Academic!  Here are some of the posts from the past week that might have been lost in the shuffle or have cycled off the front page by the end of the week.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

* Caroline offers some real-life hands-on advice on how to write a resume and how to get paid (if you’re a freelancer, that is).

* While Arnold takes Caroline’s real-life hands-on advice, he’s still dithering about keeping on hanging on or moving on.

* But at least health care reform passed, which should help vulnerable academics and post-academics.