Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Two very bright students have just failed to get in to study OOO with me at UC Davis. One tried for English Lit., the other for American Studies. I've taught about 500 graduate students and currently I'm supervising about 15 Ph.D.s, and have a 100% success rate with those scholars getting jobs. In other words I know what I'm doing.

These applicants were awesome. But somehow what they did was not visible to the powers that be.

I'm hoping that in the next few years there is a tectonic shift in how humanities Ph.D. work is thought. In particular, people had better get used to the speculative realism explosion. For now I'm pretty sad.

I encountered some obstacles when I first started out. I remember my Ph.D. qualifying chapter was rejected because it “wasn't English literary criticism.” Terry Eagleton (bless him) went to the mat for me on that and I got past the censor, having submitted a chapter that another professor (Stephen Gill) said was the best qualifying chapter he'd ever seen. It was a tough week—yes that's right I had to write a chapter in a week!

There are very real very ideological roadblocks in this business.

1 comment:

Clarissa Lee said...

I can very well identify with that. I got accepted and rejected from different places based on the same writing sample, though I did change my personal statement somewhat.