Monday, September 05, 2011

well, here goes nuthin

Today I submitted an article to an actual, honest-to-Pete peer-reviewed academic journal, something I haven't done in nearly a decade, for a variety of highly complicated reasons.

A main reason I haven't done is a main reason I finally did. (If you are already having trouble with the logic, or indeed the syntax, of that sentence, then the actual article might not be your cup of tea.) The paper is this thing I've been working on for a couple years now about how contingent academic appointments undermine the ethical responsibilities of "lecturers," because lecturers are not provided any of the professional opportunities that would enable us to act responsibly. It's a cruel, terrible, catastrophically destructive argument, and it happens to be right.

So, I sent that fucker off to the Journal of Academic Ethics, whose reputation I know not (it's a Springer Verlag joint, which means it's at least prohibitively expensive!). I have such mixed feelings about this.

I make the case in the paper that academic ethical responsibilities and the social contract of the "academic profession" has been voided by the bureaucratization of faculty work. I sincerely believe that. But one way this manifests itself is that faculty submit articles and books for publication always under a conflict of interest, because of the doctrine of "publish or perish."

The unremitting irony of the sitch is that I've sent this out for consideration because I need to get on the job market. I have a conflict of interest: I want to get something published. That obviates against my AAUP-articulated duty to "seek and state the truth as I see it." I've tried to do that, no doubt, but my main reason for trying to publish my results is not about an ethical obligation to state the truth, but entirely about an economic motivation to seek ongoing gainful employment in a profession I have just argued (and I hope to argue in print) has become ethically bankrupt.

My brain hurts, and I wrote the damn thing.

No comments: