Saturday, October 01, 2011

long time, no blog

After bouts of stomach flu and grading, I'm having an average weekend.

Following a gratuitous Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet reference, I shall return to struggling with my conscience and my philosophical consciousness over whether and how to proceed with writing a paper to submit to Studia Phaenomenologica's special issue on "the phenomenon of the body/phenomenology of embodiment." Submissions are due November 15, which essentially means I have to write it this month, because this November will be taken up with organizing, rallying, picketing, and other union activities, and, just maybe, a new National Novel Writing Month project.

This may be insane.

I may also have little hope for publishing something in this special issue, especially given my predilection for iconoclasm. In this specific instance, I'm thinking of re-working a lot of the text I wrote in August, which I now call "the goofy paper," that says that "the body" is the fetish of existential phenomenology. I started writing it intending it to be my submission to SP, but soon I was basically just venting about Michel Henry.

I believe that the chance of being published in a serious academic philosophy journal is inversely proportionate to the quantity of snide dismissive remarks one makes about honored members of the academic establishment. So, a lot of what I wrote directly about Henry will have to be redacted. Also, I'll probably follow my friend Valerie's advice and change the section heading that currently reads "fuck" (even though I cite my source for the term in a footnote, which gives it a proper academic setting).

I'm having trouble getting over the idea that I would be trying to get published and doing what people think of as scholarship. I've always had misgivings about academia, but was pretty active in a few circles for a while, largely because I felt I had to be. But I gave up on being anything like the usual type of scholar in 2002 when I was screwed out of a tenure-track job, and I haven't tried publishing anything in a peer-reviewed philosophy journal since then, either. I like to think this was in part a matter of principle, since so much of academic philosophical writing does nothing for anyone but the authors themselves. Not having a real academic career, I told myself, I don't have to make any Faustian bargains with the academic world.

It's hard, too, to face the fact that I need to be more visible in that world, in case I suddenly find I need to scramble for a job - a job I know I'm an increasingly poor candidate for as 1996 fades away in the distance. Ph.D. degrees have freshness dates.

As usual, or a little more than usual, another major obstacle to getting started is that I can't settle on a font.

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