My new favourite blog is by a Ukrainian-born scholar of Hispanic Literature named “Clarissa” – she doesn’t reveal her surname or some other would-be identifying information, like her university’s name – whose work I first encountered on Jonathan Mayhew’s Stupid Motivational Tricks (Scholarly Writing and How to Get it Done) blog, where she frequently posts tart, uncommon-sounding comments.
Her prose is a jumping, her tone is unsparing, and her focus is wide.
Here’s her recent take on the “adjunct professors“: “I think universities that hire people with PhDs to be adjuncts are stupid. Adjunct positions should be for those who have MAs. Anything else is exploitative and offensive to everybody. How do you even justify having at the same department people with the same qualifications but in wildly different positions? This is just ridiculous. And the environment this creates must be absolutely horrible. How could I, for instance, come to the department and see a colleague who works in really miserable conditions while being in no way different from me? I would feel so much shame that I would hardly be able to work. It’s like a caste system that is absolutely unreasonable and offensive to human dignity.”
Other lively posts of late: Pregnancy and Job Searches, Academic “Apocalypsis,” and Who’s to Blame for Bullied Children. Her blog’s comments sections are busy conversation parlours. I visit every day.
Two last things I should add:
– No other academic blog I know of so beautifully conveys the author’s love of academia, specifically the love of being a professor.
– Clarissa’s discussion of Asperger’s is very wise and practical. I’ve passed along her pellucid posts to numerous friends and colleagues.