On Rage, Smarm, and the Academic Labor Debates

by VanessaVaile

Another “Incident Schuman” analysis but not in the less superfluous…smart, balanced analysis, good links, and thoughtful comments. One of the better analyses, it does not turn away from the central questions of academic labor. Discovering a new blog for the collection is lagniappe.

The Seminar Table

In themanypostsandtweets about the late-December dust-up between Rebecca (pan kisses kafka) Schuman and Claire (Tenured Radical) Potter, no one, as far as I know, has brought up Tom Scocca’s Gawker manifesto, “On Smarm.” But I see a number of suggestive parallels.

First, though, a recap of the beef. (If you are overfamiliar with this background, feel free to skip the next couple of paragraphs.) On her personal blog, Schuman “named and shamed” a UC Riverside English search committee for deciding to notify applicants about interviews only five days before the MLA Convention. She called this move “elitist and out of touch” and encouraged readers to email the SC chair and express their dismay. In an Inside Higher Ed article, UCR representatives said that the committee had fallen behind on reading  applications. They also promised that applicants unable…

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