“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How to Get That Elusive Academic Job Part 3: Ikebana Practice

1) Heaven
"Welcome to our restaurant madam. I'll be your server for this evening. In this restaurant, we make pancakes."

2) Earth
"We make them the usual way, with flour, eggs and so on. We heat them in a skillet and flip 'em."

3) Child
"Our special tonight is buckwheat pancakes with blueberry sauce."

Get it?

As members of the hiring committee we need to know:

1) what the big picture is in your work
2) how you did it (ethnography, close reading, exploring ideas x, y, z, history...)
3) ONE discovery/original conclusion

We need to know it in PARAGRAPH 1 or 2 of your job letter.

We need to hear it in the FIRST sentences out of your mouth at interview.

A publisher needs to hear it in the elevator.

YOU need to hear it. You need to know what you do. Surprisingly few of us do.

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