Deadlines are upcoming for two APA grant opportunities possibly relevant to readers…
June 30 — Application deadline for Small Grant and Diversity & Inclusiveness funding
Small Grant Fund
Each year, the APA’s small grant fund, financed by the Eastern Division, makes up to $25,000 in grants of normally no more than $5,000 each. The board of officers considers applications for these grants each year at its fall meeting in November. See past projects supported by the small grant fund.
2018–2019 Diversity and Inclusiveness Funding
In keeping with its mission and goals and the association’s longstanding commitment to addressing philosophy’s serious lack of demographic diversity, the APA board of officers has committed up to $20,000 in the 2018–2019 academic year to fund initiatives focused on this important issue.
The APA awards a prize for “Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs.” It seems to me that a department that has gone out of its way to diversify the philosophical traditions it teaches and on which its members do research would be worthy of such a prize, though so far this has not happened (see the list below). Any suggestions of a program worthy of nomination?
The American Philosophical Association (APA) and the Philosophy Documentation Center (PDC) invite nominations for the 2018 Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs. The deadline to submit nominations is June 30.
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The UPDirectory—Directory of Philosophers from Underrepresented Groups in Philosophy—currently contains entries for over 1,000 philosophers in the English-speaking world who are members of underrepresented groups in philosophy, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, disabled philosophers, and LGBTQ philosophers, among others. It is the only resource that collects information about the work of philosophers from underrepresented groups. At the request of its creators, the American Philosophical Association has taken on the operations of the UPDirectory.
Conference organizers can use the UPDirectory to locate philosophers from underrepresented groups with expertise in the subject of the conference. Editors can use it to find referees or contributors to anthologies. Hiring committees can use it to broaden their applicant pools. Philosophy instructors can use it to construct more inclusive syllabi.
Participation in the UPDirectory is voluntary. In order to keep the directory current, we ask philosophers from underrepresented groups to add themselves to the directory. You can also update your information or invite other philosophers to be listed.
The 2017-18 Philosophical Gourmet Report (PGR) has been released here. It includes “specialty rankings” for various areas, including Chinese philosophy. This year, for the first time, I was invited to be among the evaluators, and after wrestling with this a bit, decided to give it a try. As explained at the top of this page, evaluators see lists of faculty and then choose one of the following categories:
- 0 – Inadequate for a PhD program
- 1 – Marginal
- 2 – Adequate
- 3 – Good
- 4 – Strong
- 5 – Distinguished
Evaluators can do this for the program overall, and then for the various specialties. I chose to only rank the Chinese philosophy specialty (I did not select overall rankings). The vast majority I assigned a score of 0. I believe that the highest score I gave was a 3. Programs that have one or even two specialists can be — other things being equal — good places to study. But in my judgment there are no English-language programs that merit “strong” or “distinguished” rankings. In my view, that would take multiple specialists, and others with cognate interests, in the context of an overall strong and supportive department. We may get there one day, but we’re not there yet.
I have mixed views about this whole rankings thing, which has been discussed before on the blog. What we have tried to do here at Warp, Weft, and Way is provide as much objective information about graduate study as possible. But since PGR exists and I was invited to take part, I decided to give it a try.
One other thing. As Bryan Van Norden (another evaluator, and also someone on the Advisory Board) explains here, PGR policy is that programs need to have a certain minimum overall score in order to be ranked. Programs with significant “specialty” strengths but without the minimum overall score end up being listed as “Additional programs not evaluated this year but recommended for consideration by the Advisory Board.” I agree with Bryan’s sentiment that the programs listed under this rubric are as strong as the ones officially ranked, and thus disapprove of this policy, which I find to be highly misleading.
Mercedes Valmisa wrote to share the following information; I’d be happy to pass on similar news that anyone else has to share. Congratulations, Mercedes!
I have accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Philosophy (tenure-track) at Gettysburg College’s Philosophy Department to begin in the fall 2018. For the 2018-2019 academic year, I will be an Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow, a program intended to support faculty who can introduce diversity in the curriculum.
I got a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Sevilla (Spain), a M.A. in Chinese Philosophy from National Taiwan University, and a Ph.D. in East Asian Studies (June 2017) from Princeton University. I’m both a sinologist and a philosopher, and I work at the intersection of Chinese Studies and Chinese Philosophy: using interdisciplinary methods and approaches to explore philosophical problems across the early corpus of Chinese texts, both received and excavated. I’m particularly interested in questions of agency, efficacy, uncertainty, control, and freedom.
Amy Olberding’s scathing critique of David Tien’s continued role in the field of Chinese philosophy.
Last year (2016) there was a sudden, dramatic increase in the number of tenure-track jobs aimed at least in part at Chinese, Asian, Non-Western, or Comparative Philosophy. Was it the beginning of a trend, or a blip? A review of this year’s offerings suggests that a real change may be taking place. I list here 20 positions that have been advertised for the current job season — approximately the same number as last year. I have included positions with Chinese, Asian, Non-Western, or Comparative in any AOS disjuncts — admittedly, in some of these cases, the job is not aimed narrowly at our field — and I have also included jobs with an Open AOS that further specifies some sort of interest in our field. I also include three interdisciplinary Asian or Chinese Studies positions that explicitly include philosophy. On the other hand, I have not included jobs with specific (i.e., non-Open) AOSes that include Chinese/Asian/Non-Western/Comparative as an AOC. The list is alphabetical. If I have missed any that should be included, or if you have any comments or corrections, please share!
(Note that this post is primarily for the purpose of reflection on the state of the field; the application deadlines for some of these jobs have already passed.)
Revision, 5 November 2017: This list is limited to English-language teaching positions, and as a result I have removed Wuhan University (which requires Mandarin, a fact Paul D’Ambrosio brought to my attention), and revised the number of total jobs to 18. See comments below for a reference to the Wuhan job and at least one other Mandarin-language job.
Revision, 14 November 2017: Added Washington College and revised total to 19.
Revision, 28 November 2017: Added Seton Hill University and revised total to 20.
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Disturbing news from a colleague in Australia:
This is Yin Gao from the University of Newcastle, Australia. I have been teaching Chinese philosophy in this institution for over 15 years. I am afraid I have a rather bad news. My school decided to abolish philosophy major:
I wonder if you would announce the news here. My colleagues and I are dismayed by this decision. Currently, this proposed change is still under consultation. Any support from anyone would be much appreciated. They can send their comment to the following link:
Ruth.Hartmann@newcastle.edu.au or email me at my email as listed here.
UoN receive submission until Friday the 22nd of Sept [updated]. However, any comment after this date would still means a lot to us.
Some of you may remember that Hagop Sarkissian and I announced a while back a plan to acknowledge top papers on Chinese philosophy (journal articles and anthology chapters) via something we called the WWWOPY (Warp, Weft, and Way Outstanding Papers of the Year). Following the announced procedure, we wrote to a wide range of research-active colleagues (both junior and senior, and of various methodological and theoretical backgrounds) to solicit nominations. However, we received zero replies with nominations. So we are re-thinking our idea.
We subsequently wrote again to the same set of twenty-four colleagues, telling them what happened and asking (1) whether they thought this was a good idea, and (2) whether they had suggestions to make it work better. This time almost everyone replied, but there was little consensus. In reflecting on all the feedback, we did conclude that especially in a growing field with an increasing number of new voices, finding a way to call attention to particularly valuable, recent, article-length work still seems like a good idea. Many people told us that they did not keep regular tabs on this kind of new work, only digging in when they began a new project. But this means that too many people may be missing ideas that should prompt new or different kinds of research projects in the first place, among other consequences.
However we are a bit stymied about how to proceed, and so decided to open this topic up for general discussion. It is hard to find an approach that seems likely to be both useful and practical. Please share your thoughts!
Amy Olberding has published an essay called “Degenerate Skepticism and the Thieves of Philosophy” on the “Department of Deviance” website. She explains the essay’s origin:
An essay presented at a special APA session on what Chinese philosophy can contribute to contemporary philosophy. There are increasingly many sessions at APA meetings pitched to offer the non-specialist an entry into “non-western” philosophy. Rarely are these attended by anyone who is not already a specialist in “non-western” philosophy. The essay here is not about how Chinese philosophy can contribute to contemporary debate. It is instead a polemic about the folly of this question in the current atmosphere within the discipline.