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.

Freelance follow-up: Shameless self-promotion

Posted in First Person,Publish and Perish,Transfer Your Skills by Arnold Pan on March 13, 2010
Tags: ,

Since we’re on the freelancing tip already, I figured now would be a good time to follow up on my post last week regarding the process I’ve gone through in (re-)establishing myself as a freelance writer.  I still wouldn’t call it a comeback yet,  but my first review for the great online magazine PopMatters went up a few days ago.  It’s on the band The Bundles, which includes Kimya Dawson, whom you might be familiar with from her contributions to the Juno soundtrack.

The post, though it might seem otherwise, has less to do with patting myself on the back or affirming my tips on how to freelance, and more to do with highlighting the innovative way PopMatters approaches online writing and publishing.  More so than any publication I’ve worked with, PopMatters is very open to incorporating new voices and more voices–though, of course, some experience does help and might be expected–in its mission to provide interesting, relevant, and current criticism on pop culture.  As an indication of this mindset, the submission guidelines and calls-for-papers on special topics are prominently displayed on the site, not buried somewhere in some link you can’t find in the masthead you can’t find.   The way PopMatters operates by providing more and more different kinds of opportunities for its contributors in order to continually circulate fresh content might provide a strong model for thinking about how to revamp academic publishing in the humanities, a topic we’ll be getting back to in the very near future.