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08/15/2019

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nobody

Your discussion and reporting thread links are still pointing to last years'.

Can I ask why have the reporting thread, which spreads information out that used to be centralized on the job market wiki? Now people will have to check both instead of just one.

Marcus Arvan

Hi nobody: The links to last year's discussion and reporting threads were intended to point people to those threads to give them an idea of what those threads were like. I've now removed the links to avoid confusion. This thread is this year's discussion thread, and there's a permalink to it on the blog's right side-bar.

In terms of why to have two threads, the simple reason is that these threads get *very* long, and serve different purposes. To save people the trouble of having to scroll through tons of discussion to find job news, I figure those interested in discussion can go this thread and those interested in news can go to to the other. I think this has worked well in past years!

anon

FYI: I know the current VAP at Worcester State and while I do not know for sure, the current ad certainly reads like it could be for him.

Not dissuading anyone from applying but worth mentioning I thought.

joe

"I know the current VAP at Worcester State and while I do not know for sure, the current ad certainly reads like it could be for him."

I think people should never read too much into it. There is almost always an obvious reason for this overlap - the department has hired a VAP/lecturer in an area it has teaching needs. Either because the search they had failed and so they hired late in the season for a year, or they could not get other than temporary funding. Once they have funding (or new season comes), they run a search in the area. The temporary person looks just like someone "tailored" for the position but, in fact, he/she is rarely in a different position than others who aare applying for it. Very very often, the VAP is not converted to the TT and a new person is hired.

Marcus Arvan

Another reason to not read too much into this: committees can be looking for very different things in a candidate when hiring for a temporary position versus a permanent position. When hiring for temporary positions (VAPs), a committee may care most about whether the candidate is a good teacher. When hiring for a tenure track job, research may be weighed much more heavily. My sense is that this is why people who look like they might be an “inside hire” are often not hired. They may have been regarded as a good candidate for a VAP but not as good of a candidate for a permanent job.

joe

There is a significant drop in the number of published ads this year (so far), for the same time period (fisrt half of September). Almost 20%. Hopefully, things will pick up...

Anon

Hi Joe, where did you get the numbers?

joe

Philjobs - 1-16 September 2018, 58 job ads posted. 1-16 September 2019, 43 job ads posted. It's actually 25% less ads in the same period.

Anon 2

I agree that things are feeling slow right now, joe (especially for those of us that aren't in ethics). That said, if you look at a wider range of dates, this difference may go down a bit. Searching for August 15-September 15, I see 91 jobs in 2018, and 82 jobs in 2019.

(The August jobs are, as far as I can tell, mostly relevant - there may be a few "urgent for the fall" ads in there, but most of them seem to be post-doc / TT.)

Michel

IIRC, the trend for the last few years has been for jobs to trickle in, generally at later dates. It's just a consequence of the de-centralization of the JFP. I wouldn't worry about it until January.

anon

Also, I feel like higheredjobs has to included in any calculation as there are often jobs on there that are never posted to philjobs

postduck

There are SO MANY jobs in the ethics of AI/Big Data/technology. I can't say I know of more than a handful of people who actually work in that area, but those who do are certainly going to have a good year. This must be the new way that Philosophy Departments are justifying their existence to their universities: you need us to make sure your computer science grads don't turn into Mark Zuckerbergs....

Anon

postduck: I saw 4 jobs in that area (Northeastern, Toronto, CalTech, UC Davis). Have you seen more? Also, I don't think it's just a way of justifying existence to universities. Some people think that philosophy can really make a difference on these topics.

Joe

4 is a lot comparatively (say, to Phil of action or German idealism). Also, the job market is still showing relative weakness compared to last year.

postduck

Anon: Coastal Carolina, Utah, Scranton, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Notre Dame all mention data ethics in their posts in one way or another. That seems like a lot to me (by contrast, there have only been three jobs in my area, which I would have thought was considerably less niche).
I honestly don't know whether philosophy has a distinctive contribution to make in this field. But I strongly suspect that the interest in this area on PhilJobs has a lot to do with savvy dept chairs convincing their deans that they it does in order to get another tenure line. More generally, universities are making lots of investments in data science, comp sci programs, and I'm sure philosophy depts are able to make a good case for why they should get in on the fun. But hey, more jobs is good for everyone, so I'm not complaining (that much). Just noting a hiring trend.

Several years post-PhD

I have a question - When applying for jobs from a TT position and several years post-PhD (more than 3), at what point is it appropriate to begin using someone other than your dissertation advisor as one of your three references? In my case, I'm not really in touch with my advisor anymore other than reference requests, and I have other people who can serve as references and are more familiar with my recent work and activities.

Few

Several
If you already have a TT job and you have been out 3+ years, I think it is fine to get letters from people other than your PhD supervisor. At one point, especially beyond entry level jobs, you should be having letters from the most reputable people who support you. I never knew any of my current letter writers even 5 years after my Ph.D. They are people who know my work well, and think highly of it.

Reluctant

Dear Colleagues,
This may be off topic but I'm curious to see what you would think about this question: is it wrong to submit job applications when you know you don't stand a chance even for getting a skype interview but you do it anyway just to let people in your field know that you exist, trying to contribute to your field from the periphery despite low wages, no research support, and noone around who understand or value your work?

Mr sympathy

Reluctant,
If the situation you describe is accurate, the main wrong done is to yourself. You would be spending valuable time applying for jobs even you do not believe you are remotely qualified for. Your file, if it is thin, as you seem to describe it, will not leave anyone with a positive (or any) impression. So it is not worth doing.
People who are not moving in elite circles (publishing in the highest regarded journals; invited to talk at conferences and in elite departments) who apply for jobs at Princeton, for example, do not bother Princeton (I would think) But they certainly waste their own time and resources.
I would recommend that you try to publish a paper in a decent journal. That is a better use of your time.

Reluctant

Mr. Sympathy,
Thank you for your response... But I think you misunderstood me, I had to be more clear in my question... I did publish articles in top journals as well as others, that is what I meant by "contributing to my field." I have earned master's and doctoral degrees from American R1 universities but I am not an American and I work in a middle-eastern country with a non-AngloSaxon name. This puts me in an isolated position far away from the "elite" circles in North America or western Europe which lowers the chances of people in the center discovering my work let alone interact and maybe collaborate. This is why submitting job applications, I think, may be helpful in announcing to the "center" that I exist in the "periphery" and doing important work. The departments won't be willing to invite me for campus visits because I'm far away, won't bother to sponsor a work visa either, or will simply be too prejudiced to consider me a genuine candidate but they will at least know that I am here and worthy philosophy is done in the periphery as well.

Philosadjacent

Reluctant,

I think that Mr. Sympathy's response here is still applicable. Specifically, your goal (exposing your work) does not align with the strategy (job application). The reason is that when reviewing dozens or hundreds of applications, no reader internalizes that much about any single applicant until the pool is narrowed. Moreover, the people reviewing the application may not be the best placed to take notice of your work.

I think a better use of your time in this regard is to reach out to people directly in some way. You can share papers, ask questions about their papers, ask for copies of their papers that aren't available in your library, submit to conferences, etc. Not everyone will respond, but lots will. I am an associate prof in a good place, and when people reach out because they like my work I'm over-the-moon (it happens, like, once a year). I haven't started collaborations that way, but I have had very good conversations.

I also think you may underestimate people's willingness to interact based on geography.

Good luck!

Reluctant

Philosadjacent,
I did do everything you suggest over the years but achieved no real results. But you're right, I may be making the assumption that people, who are already prejudiced against non-western names and geographies, will carefully read through a job application, which really is a ridiculous assumption. I guess I was too optimistic, again... I will just have to accept the simple fact that the world of philosophy is biased against non-westerners and they will just ignore me... All I can do is hope that my articles will survive and some time in an enlightened future they will be read without prejudice...

Philperson

Reluctant,

Sorry to hear of your difficulties on the market. I know of famous philosophers who've said they wouldn't have gotten a job in this very competitive environment. Hope you're keeping your head up.

One thing to consider is the strength of the department in which you earned a PhD., whatever the university's overall ranking. Another thing is how many times you've been on the market, whether you've applied for post-docs and visiting positions or only tenure-track positions, and so on. And how strong your letters were (quality and how well respected the writers are) and publication trajectory (a paper in Phil Review is much better received than a paper in a strong but not spectacular journal).

Being a non-Westerner might actually help in many applications, perhaps, or at least not hurt, though there are also some bigger associated obstacles such as learning a new system. But perhaps it would work against you in some places, though if this is because intolerance, you presumably wouldn't want those colleagues anyway (or, at least, those on the search committee). In any case, our field often gets 200-800 applications for junior positions, so without knowing the very best of one's competition, it's hard to tell why one wouldn't get a campus visit, etc. Five publications in strong journals looks great, but there might be competitors with three in the very best journals, or with fifteen, or with 'only' two pubs, but letters from famous philosophers saying they are the best philosophy student they've ever seen in forty years of teaching.

So basically, it might just be a very crappy situation for almost all applicants. On the other hand, maybe you have good evidence that 'the world of philosophy is biased against non-westerners.'

For what it's worth, I know of several philosophers from top-5 programs or other very good ones that together average maybe one campus visit every two years or so - so, some superb philosophers are getting no visits, sadly. I also know of some folks with books at top presses who still haven't found a permanent position. Just a few quick thoughts, though - not to be depressing, but in case it's helpful at all for perspective. Hope you can keep your head up. And I agree that if you are rationally confident that your application won't meet with success, then skip it, even if it's hard to know who's reading it and whether it'll catch someone's eye (among, unfortunately, the hundreds of files). Wishing you the best of luck with everything.

joe

Is the phylo jobs wiki still working?

Michel

Joe,

It was last year, although I think it had fewer contributions than in previous years.

LM

Is anyone else having trouble finding the link to apply for the Memphis job?

KA

Apparently the WUSTL job just doesn't require a cover letter this year. That may be the first job I've seen which doesn't.

Anyone know if that was a mistake? Or a new policy of some sort?

VAP

Loyola Chicago appears to be the first app of this season that requests mailed materials. I only saw one like this last year. I thought we were done with this!

anon

If a job ad requests three letters, but does not specifically say to send no more than three, should one ever send more than three letters? Or would this be considered bad form?

on the jyerb market

^ I would be interested to know this as well. I've always sent a fourth letter.

Amanda

Whenever it allowed me to, I sent more than 3. Sometimes way more. As far as I know this isn't in bad form, unless they specifically say "no more" than 3.

4th letter

jyerb
One thing people forget is that each letter they add to their file usually "lowers" the quality of your application. We may all be able to get three people to say great things about us as philosophers. But the fourth is a stretch. ... and the fifth! Then the letters usually get a little thin. When I have seen six letters from candidates, the candidate starts to look mediocre. Their strong letters are eclipsed by the mediocre. And to make matters worse, one is left with the impression that the candidate has poor judgment. After all, they had these lack-luster letters sent. Do yourself a favor - send three letters only.

on the jyerb market

Hello 4th Letter,
Thank you for giving me something to think about.
I think you're right about no more than 4.

Usually the first two letters are my main advisors. I feel I need them both, 1) because not having both might seem weird 2) I need both to explain why different parts of my projects are interesting.
Then I have my teaching letter because let's be honest, I'm not getting the Princeton job and neither am I going for those jobs.
Now I don't go to the most Leiterific school, but I have been able to secure a letter from one big name and I can't help but try to help level the field, prestige-wise, by using that letter as much as I can.

But I think you're right, any MORE than 4 isn't just overkill, but might hurt, (at least as an ABD)

In the know about Loyola

It's not a mistake: Loyola Chicago does seem to request hard copy, and the materials they ask don't entirely overlap with what's online. Apparently they couldn't make up their minds about whether to go electronic or not and so they ask both! This will be so confusing for the search committee!

Amanda

Well, for almost all of my applications I used 5- 8 letters, and I did very well on the market (by most standards, anyway.) I also know one other person who did the same, with the same results (He is the person that convinced me to use them all.) I guess we could be flukes. I do think it depends on how confident you are in the quality of a letter, but you should be getting someone trusted to read your letters, anyway.

Will Work for Tenure

Amanda,

Do you mean that you sent 5-8 letters on applications that explicitly requested exactly 3 letters or just on applications that indicated that candidates have the option of sending more than 3 ("at least three letters of recommendation")?

Joe

Each year I see more and more ads from German universities advertising PhD positions on philjobs. I wonder if they are aware that this is not a website to advertise grad programs to undergrads thinking about graduate school in philosophy. I know that being a PhD student in Germany is more like a job than like being a student, but that is hardly the relevant consideration. So the postings seem really misplaced to me. And I wonder if the people running the website make this clear to them (it does cost money to post the ad). Or maybe they advertise there nevertheless, in order to satisfy some HR requirement in their university?

Norseman

Joe,
I assume that the German universities doing this are trying to reach a larger applicant pool. In northern Europe, post docs and Ph.D.s are well paid, with pension contributions. They are, at least in many places, employees of the university. This may help explain the practice.

Joe

Norsemen, I get that. But are undergraduate students looking at philjobs? You can try to reach wider applicant pool, but it seems to me that that is not exactly the place to do so...

Amanda

I teach at a R1 program with PhD students, MA students, and undergrads that often apply to grad school. I checkout philjobs because I'm curious in what is happening professionally. It's possible I'd recommend a German program to a student after seeing it in philjobs. Maybe even a PhD student looking to transfer. So maybe it isn't the most direct way to spread the word, but it might help some. And as far as I know there isn't an obvious alternative for posting such information, so maybe they are doing the best they can with the available options.

Also, while undergrads probably aren't looking at philjobs, lots of MA students are, and German programs are surely interested in reaching them.

curioserandcurioser

Am I right in thinking that the University of Arizona job (AoS open, but interested in phl lang and ancient) published a few weeks ago on PhilJobs is now cancelled?!

anonymous

curioserandcurioser: yes, the job was canceled. Very likely for budgetary reasons, given the state of things at the University of Arizona.

Joe

Amanda: yes, I can see what you are saying. I guess here graduate schools in the English speaking word profit (well, maybe not ALL of them!) from something like PGR - a list with some sorting into specialties and so on, whereas German universities have no such comparable platform.

Anon

Arizona has a new search - it is open, but rather than philosophy of language and ancient, they now look for something like philosophy & ethics of technology.
Anonymous: what do you mean by "given the state of things at there University of Arizona"? Can you be more specific? Thank you.

Anonymous

Anon: can you link to a job posting? I haven’t seen one.
I don’t know a lot of details as I’m not affiliated with the department but from what I have heard there are financial issues at the University that seem like they would naturally affect the department’s ability to get lines. (Also might you be talking about the Arizona State job? Different university.

Anon

Anonymous: this is the job - https://philjobs.org/job/show/14382

I'm sorry, probably we meant different universities - I'm not very familiar with academic institutions of Arizona

Not An Aussie

I would love an (urgent!) piece of advice, especially from anyone who has knowledge of the market in Australia. I had an online interview a week ago and they followed up last night by asking for letters from my letter writers. Before, on the application, I filled in three potential referees and clicked that they had permission to contact the referees themselves.

From the email posted below, I think they want non-generic letters from two (only) of my three writers (I am not sure whether they are asking me to select two or they are asking for personalised letters or both). Does anyone have experience with such requests? Should I ask my letter writers to tailor letters to this position? Who should these be aimed at? (Do you think these are for HR? For convincing the Dean?) Is it familiar in Australia (or elsewhere) to ask for letters after the first round of interviews?

Email below:

"We would greatly appreciate if you could please contact your referees to provide two references only and ask them to e-mail these with the reference number [...] in the subject line, directly to me on recruitment.admin@[...] as soon as possiable.

Please forward a copy of the advertisement, and Academic Reference Guidelines (both attached) to your referees, as it will assist them in commenting on your suitability for this role.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or your recruitment consultant/partner directly."

Past Marketeer

Not An Aussie, I have no advice for you, only commiseration. What a nightmare. It does seem like they are asking for custom letters of reference. I have no idea why departments do this—do they really believe they are so special as to merit custom letters of recommendation, in preference to the hundreds of other schools that are hiring? What a joke.

JS

Past Marketeer, I'm sure others will be quick to point this out but this sounds like it is a university level requirement, not a department one. I believe that in Australia, like the UK, departments are more constrained in things like this by university/government hiring policies.

Some hapless marketer

Some of the NTT advertisements this year are amazing. The Texas Rio Grande one basically says they want you to be an exceptional teacher, who also is able to start new programs, do research, and contribute to their “bilingual, billiterate” mission. So basically, do all the things a professor does, plus do a bunch of other exceptional stuff. But do it all for less money and less job security than a TT job. And the Georgia AI lecturer job requires teaching graduate students.

This is the future, they are just going to keep raising outrageous expectations, phase out tenure, and we will all be working precarious contracts if we are lucky. Meanwhile, the tenured people keep competing to make senior hires, and fighting about the best hiring practices, fighting over the arrangement of deck chairs while the profession sinks.

VAP

I know it is 'still early' and 'there are lots of jobs still out there', etc. etc., but I am already starting to feel the despair creeping in as folks report getting interview requests for jobs I thought I stood at least a chance of getting an interview for.

Of jobs I suspect either must have decided by now (and just haven't been reported to the thread here) or have been reported by others, I am currently 1/24 on Skype interviews. (I'm not complaining about that 1, to be sure! I just thought, this being my third year on the market, I'd be possibly more competitive by now.)

How do folks deal with this? I thought I'd be better at it by now, but it doesn't really get any easier. I tell myself that it's a crapshoot/numbers game/etc., but the truth is that some people are getting lots of first round interviews and I'm just not.

curious

Without the Phylo wiki, it is very hard to tell the timeline of the current market. Do you think it is similar to the previous years? Or is it more dispersed/delayed?

Anon

I have applied to 34 jobs, but I have to say that many of them had very late deadlines (just before Thanksgiving) or they are not expired yet. So yes, I think that the market is far more dispersed than the other years, or at least the past two years

Phylo Curious

Does anyone know what's up with the Phylo wiki? I tried to add several jobs a week ago, but they still haven't appeared. (I've added jobs there in past years).

Candidate Number Five

Hey, VAP. This is my fifth year on the market. I have worked a series of temporary positions. My publication record and teaching background gets better every year. My letter writers all say they're only making my letters even better, which has been confirmed by my placement directors. Still, I get fewer and fewer TT interviews at places I would actually like to work every year. It seems like the second year was my best year--I had something like 6 or 7 first round interviews at places I would like to work. Last year I had exactly zero TT interviews at places I would like to work. I don't know if that's normal, or if I'm a special case though.

In any case, here's how I deal with it. (a) Have a back up plan in case nothing materializes in the spring. For me, that's just having a healthy savings account built up from working decently-paying temporary jobs. You might not have that, but you can come up with a different plan. (b) Recognize that TT opportunities are still coming down the pipeline--probably not all of those 24 jobs have scheduled interviews, and some TT jobs haven't even advertised yet. (c) Working a salaried temporary job is objectively not a bad outcome, and most of the ads for those jobs haven't even come out yet. Although my TT interviews have dried up the past couple of years, I still get lots of VAP interviews at good schools with not awful salaries every year. (d) As Marcus has often mentioned on this blog, mindfulness is really helpful. I try to fully engage with what I am doing in the moment.

I don't know if that's helpful. But just keep in mind that you are not alone. Lots of people are going through the same thing, and you're not a failure. You got an interview! That's more than me so far!

VAP

Candidate Number Five: Thanks for your reply. It's not exactly inspiring to hear that things are also difficult for you, but it sounds like you're in a good place about it, which is something maybe I can strive to emulate.

R

Not An Aussie, I don't think you need to worry about having the letters of recommendation customized. That looks like a generic HR line to me.

Bearing in mind that they're asking for letters after you already had a Skype interview, which means letters didn't play any role at all in deciding who to interview, I strongly doubt the letters will play any significant role in the remainder of the process. The letters are probably just an HR requirement. I think this is somewhat common in the UK and Australia.

Michel

VAP: I was in a similar boat last year, and it ground me down a fair bit. To get just one interview when your file is way, way, waaaaaay better than in previous years, when you also got 0-1 interviews, is pretty demoralizing. It made me feel like there was absolutely nothing I could do to actually, concretely improve my lot. I don't have any good suggestions for you, except to say that it's totally normal, and you're not alone in feeling that way.

I got lucky very late in the cycle and snagged a long-term (and pretty decent!) local NTT job while I was in the midst of applying for non-academic jobs, and having that safety net under me as I apply going forward is pretty incredible. Not just for the luxury of applying selectively and all that, but just because it means I don't have to feel that total dejection and despair again.

I hope you get lucky, too. Good luck!

Amanda

A lot of people complain when lecturers are *not* allowed to teach graduate students. We just had a complaint about that on this site recently. Lecturers jobs (assuming they are the permanent types, i.e. technically renewing contracts but unless you do something atrocious you stay for 20 years) *can be* very good jobs where you are just as much a part of the faculty as TT professors and where you get paid similar amounts (pay varies from school to school, of course.) The biggest pay gap is usually when someone is advanced to full professor, then they make significantly more than lecturers but not before that (at some R1s.) I don't know the details of the Georgia one, but if it is a job like that it makes sense that you would teach grad students. And I would argue it would be messed up to *not* allow that, since if would be claiming that the lecturer isn't good enough or qualified something. Usually in research schools grad teaching is considered a relative privilege that people fight over.

Not an Aussie I don't know anything about the Australia position. But I had avoided applying to many fewllowships that asked for custom letters. i was personally asked to apply to one this year. I only noticed at the last minute that they asked for custom letters. I wrote to the person and said sorry I worn't be applying because I can't ask for custom letters at the last minute. They told me that actually lots of people don't use custom letters, and that even though it is specifically requested I didn't really need to do it. So, whenever anyone asks for custom letters with at TT job I would at least attempt to above it happen, but just send a generic letter if it can't happen and you will probably be fine.

I am seriously annoyed I missed so many applications, though, because I didn't want o bother my letter writers when I could have used a generic letter. Asking for custom letters is BS.

On the Market

What advice do readers or moderators have about straight-to-campus interviews (i.e. no preliminary Skype round)? Preparing for this kind of interview seems unique in that you have no sense of the temperature (or temperament) of the search committee or department other than what can be gleaned from online research or second-hand research. Thanks for any thoughts.

Anon

On the Market: is it for a European job or a North America job?

On the Market

It is for a North American job.

Also on the market

I will let On the Market answer but I have similar questions about a North American job.

Anon

On the Market: in that case, I cannot help you - the flyouts that I had in North America were always after a skype interview. In Europe they usually go directly to campus visits, but they are not visits as in the US: you just show up at a specific time and place, you interview, and you go home.
May I ask if this is the Toronto job in phil and statistics? I was told that they will go straight to campus visits

Death to Skype

On the Market: I don't suspect much of this is any different than advice for a post-skype campus visit, given that you don't learn much about departmental temps from skype alone. For an R1 job, read at least one publication by everyone you expect to meet on faculty. Talk to them about it. Practically everyone loves to know their work is being read and taken seriously, whatever their temperament might be.

For a teaching job: prep the hell out of your demo. Do whatever it is you do in the classroom best. Use some technology, even if you don't usually use technology. If they give you a choice of what to present, cover something that is novel, will have wide appeal given what you can learn from the department and its strengths, and is easily adaptable to non-traditional pedagogical methods.

For ANY job: Be excellent to everyone you meet, whoever they are. Sound interested, inquisitive, but non-partisan when departmental politics arise. I seem to recall that Marcus posted a much more thorough list of guidelines for campus visits here.

Amanda

Going straight to on-campus is the best way to do things. Skype is just a horrible platform for evaluating anything meaningful. As Trevor posted, he (and many others) will do great in some skype interviews and horrible in the others even though he and everyone else is the same candidate, i.e. two different schools will have completely different assessments of the same candidate based on their daily performance. I hope more places move to on campus first.

Amanda

Also, I will add that I have an R1 job and I didn't read a single article by the faculty for my flyout. They wanted to talk about *my* research. I would have felt like a weird suck-up if I had started talking about their articles. I don't know, maybe I'm odd in that respect. But I will say it absolutely is not my experience that everyone likes having people talk about their work. I have read people's work in advance and then meet them at conferences and they look at me like I have two heads if I try to talk about their work.

On the Market

Thank you for these reflections Amanda and Death to Skype - very helpful!

And to Anon on 12/5: It is not the Toronto job. Best of luck to you on that one!

anon

Hi, does anyone know when the postdoc season starts? I've seen a few postings on philjobs, but I'm curious if they tend to be listed in the second round with VAPs.

anonaswell

anon: my sense from previous years is that the postdoc calendar varies a lot, both as far as when they are posted (which is spread from Oct all the way to April) and when they get back to you (for getting back, though, they seem to stick to set deadlines better than tt jobs, but sometimes there's deviation).

Also, on another point that has come up, my experience with on-campus interviews is the same as Amanda's (bot for R1s and teaching schools): I often read several papers from the faculty. But very seldom was I able to bring it up; and I don't recall getting into extended conversations about it. More often, the conversations were about my work, which is as should be. I would still recommend reading these works, though, because it is a way to get excited about the job, and you want to be genuine about your excitement at the on-campus interview.

Still on the market, though (so take it for what it's worth)!

TT

I think that reading faculty work is fine and can indeed be positive because it shows awareness and interest. But if one does, it's probably best to say something specific about it and perhaps also to link it to one's own research.

I also think it helps to know or learn who is on the committee and how decisions are made, if reasonably possible. A Skype interview reveals this, but a straight-to-campus visit often does not.

Most of all, prepare very well & be yourself!

NoOneLadyDetective

This is a question about interviewing and answering questions, especially about research. Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask!

Last year my mentor and friends I practiced with for SKYPE interviews told me to keep the details out of my research spiel, focusing more on broad themes.

My sense last year was that I edited myself down too much. In one interview, I got zero follow up questions about what I had said (!)

Any suggestions for the level of detail to get into in response to the initial question, "Tell us about your research?"

Btw, I've got several research areas, though one is dominant, so best to just talk about the dominant one?

Thanks for any tips! Great resource here.

just a dude on the market

"My sense last year was that I edited myself down too much. In one interview, I got zero follow up questions about what I had said (!)"

Who knows. It's just one data point. Maybe they had a policy of not asking followups. Maybe they just weren't interested.

If they just weren't interested, it's not a question of the *level* of detail, but overall framing and *which* details you gave them. You have to know your audience and pitch your work at a level they will find engaging. I don't mean that if your work has nothing to do with X and you're talking to a bunch of X-ologists you should find some made-up connection to X, but, like, you've just *got* to know how to pitch your stuff in a way that different audiences will find engaging.

If you're really good, you should have a 3-4 sentence pitch of your work that will grab most people's attention and automatically lead them to certain followup questions you're prepared to answer. E.g., "I argue X, because Y, while relying on data Z", which naturally leads to: "But then how do you respond to P, and what about problems Q and R?".

A good pitch requires throwing away your specialized training and expert grasp of the subject. Think back to how you conceptualized problem at the outside when still a student and why it gripped you back then.

Job hunter

I don't know what happened to the phylo wiki, but I found the following page, which seems to have taken over.

https://academicjobs.wikia.org/wiki/Philosophy_2019-20

Just Got Rejected

Does anyone know of an up-to-date version of this report (or something like it)?
https://www.philosophynews.com/post/2013/10/02/Will-I-get-a-Job-Graduate-School-Philosophy-Placement-Records.aspx

Yetagain

As I spent several (unsuccessful) years on the market, I applied to several positions that were a perfect fit for me, I had pubs in top journals, but I never was successful. Many times, I checked the departments' faculty rosters after the search was over and I found they hired people with no pubs or just one, but they had western names and I did not.
At this point, I am definitely convinced that in the market there is a racist bias against non-westerners. There is only one way to deal with this racism and it is the same thing that made it possible for me to publish in the top journals: make the whole application process blind...

Amanda

Lots of journal reviewing isn't blind, even if it claims to be. And the same would be true of job application packages. It would be even easier to know in job application packages because the CV would give a lot a way. With journals, "no-name" people can be successful and blind review helps because the people who are known to reviewers are typically not the non-name people. So there is a bias in blind journal reviewing that helps the connected, while still giving a shot to the unconnected that might not be there otherwise. I dont' think this would work with applications, because the CV would be enough to induce bias if it included PhD granting institution and some other things.

Anyway, I am a bit skeptical of the claim that there is an obvious bias against non-westerners. I am sure it happens sometimes, but lots of other people can, and have, said something similar to what you just said.

"I saw who so and so hired, and I have a way better publication record than them, therefore I am convinced that I didn't get hired because of the bias against....

1.Men
2. Non-prestigious degree granting institution
3. persons who lack famous letter writers
4. People with children
5.Those who lack social connections
6. Religious people
7. Non US degrees
8.Older people
9.conservatives

I am sure all of those people are right some of the time. But it drives me a bit crazy when we have said, over and over again, publications are not the only thing that matters in an application, not at R1s and definitely not at non-R1s, yet people continue to point to comparative publication records as it it was some type of proof the search committee didn't hire based on a legitimate process. For better or for worse, all of these other things matter, or hiring, in no particular order:

1.Teaching experience
2.Creativity of your publications and research plans
3. Prestige of your PhD institution
4. quality and prestige of your PhD institution
5. How well your research area really fits the hiring needs
6. How well you overall fit the hiring needs
7. Service work
8. Quality and prestige of your letter writers
9. Ability to bring in grant money
10. your potential to be a good colleague, how personable you are, etc.
11. Whether the applicant has some random quality that the search committee members themselves don't care about, but that the administration does care about.

Anyway, there could be bias against non-western sounding names, but it is not something I have noticed. I find it much more plausible there is bias against foreign degrees, especially non-western degrees.
However, there is just a lot of different groups that can complain about unfairness in hiring, but there typically isn't a lot to go on with those accusations that doesn't depend on odd statements about what sort of candidates are clearly better. Each department has very unique needs, and it is very hard to claim you know that you were a better candidate just by looking at the CV of someone they hired.

Another problem with this thesis is there are lots, and lots of westerners with amazing CVs /publishing records that have been on the market for ages, and lots of non-western persons who have jobs. So being western and having a great publication record is not enough to get you a job, and being non-western isn't enough to stop one from getting a job. Yes, this is compatible with systematic bias against non-westerners, but I would need to some some type of collective body of research to be convinced.

Yetagain

Yetagain here:

My phd is from a highly ranked American R1, my thesis advisor is an award-winning, prominent philosopher in our field.
I have 6 years of teaching experience at both undergrad and grad levels with very good student evaluations.
So, in addition to my pubs in top journals and their citations, I also have other qualifications that make me a very good academic.
The problem is when you have about 300+ applications on average for one position it is next to impossible to prove bias against any demographic.
In fact, if I had the kind of evidence that would convince you, or anyone else in our field, I would sue...

On the Market

I really appreciate Amanda's (non-exhaustive, but quite comprehensive) list of potential attributes that are considered by hiring committees, and how nebulous the hiring process can be: there is a certain je ne sais quoi to what makes an attractive candidate, and yes this is probably fed by implicit, internalized biases of all sorts: against men, in favor of men, against minorities, in favor of minorities, against women and especially women who do or might have kids, or in favor of women, etc.). Remember when all the white men complained that they weren't getting jobs because people were trying to hire not-white-men? You don't have to remember, because people still complain about this currently, too.

One thing I would add to the list, that is hinted at in #5, is whether one specializes in an area that is in demand for teaching/research, as being excellent in niche areas might still yield relatively few jobs that fit your profile, or relative few departments in which one would be a good fit.

Yetagain: #s 2,5,6,7,9,10,11 on Amanda's list all speak to additional factors that are beyond prestige and teaching and publications, but are really relevant, and are not related to identity markers or (necessarily) discriminatory features about a candidate. Maybe thinking about those additional items on the list, and how you can feature them more in your application materials, will help you stand out in the candidate pool in addition to your prestigious PhD and recommendation letters and publications.

I am sure you, like many of us, are a great academic. Like you say, in pools of 300+ there are probably dozens, maybe hundreds, of great academics all vying for one slot. Best of luck out there.

Yetagain

On the Market,
Thank you for your kind words...
But what am I supposed to do if SC members just skip the rest of my materials once they see my non-western name on my cv? Because, I do believe that's what happens...

Amanda

If there is some type of bias against non-westerners, which is possible, I would be just shocked beyond belief if it manifest by someone seeing a non-western name and then not looking at the CV./application materials. Whether they are correct in their self assessment or not, 95% of academics (my estimate) like to think of themselves as kind, liberal, progressive humanists who would never just blatantly exclude a non-westerner based on the name. So even if it was only for their own sense of deceived self-worth, I doubt that would happen. Besides, lots of Americans have non-western names. You really think search committees are openly biased against just the name? You know there are lots of people with non-western names in US philosophy departments, especially the top ones, right?

And yes, you are right, with 300 plus applications, you cannot prove that non-western discrimination is the reason you didn't get a job. But by the same or similar reasoning, you also cannot know, and I would argue cannot justifiably believe, that this is the reason.

This market, sadly, leaves a lot of incredibly accomplished and talented philosophers without jobs, and even more so without the jobs they want. Yetagain you have a TT equivalent job, correct? I think the thing you had issue with is that your job is just not as prestigious as you would like? Or was it not the location you would like? Many people would be thrilled to have any permanent position.

I'm sorry you're having a tough time. It's possible you're right. And if you are right, you are correct that there is nothing you can do. So if this is what you believe, then just decide if you can be happy in the profession the way things are, or if there is another path that might make more sense for you and that is immune to the type of bias you are worried about.

FWIW, I have been on search committees where seeing non-western names would absolutely make us pause, sit-up in our chair, and take the application more seriously. Certain kinds of non-western names, of course. I don't know which kind of name you have, so maybe it wouldn't be relevant.

Amanda

FWIW, again, at my own department 20% of TT faculty have non-western names. None of these professors are full, they are all assistant or associate, so the hiring was done with the last 3-15 years.

Yetagain

Amanda,
You seem to suggest that I should just accept the bias and shut up or just leave the profession.
I will do neither.

Yetagain

If that is not what you suggest, then please explain what you mean by this paragraph you posted above:

"I'm sorry you're having a tough time. It's possible you're right. And if you are right, you are correct that there is nothing you can do. So if this is what you believe, then just decide if you can be happy in the profession the way things are, or if there is another path that might make more sense for you and that is immune to the type of bias you are worried about."

Maybe I misunderstood...

Yetagain

There may be nothing I can do to correct the bias. But I don't think keeping silent about it is the right thing to do, neither for me nor the profession.

Malcolm

I hope I’ve misunderstood something in the foregoing conversation. The idea that someone’s name should have anything to do, positively or negatively, with evaluation of their application or how much attention it is given is epistemically and morally suspect.

On the problem with positive stereotypes in philosophy, in particular with regard to Asian philosophers, see Carole J. Lee’s piece here: https://faculty.washington.edu/c3/Lee_2014.pdf

(Of course “Asian” is not a heterogeneous category and the “model minority” stereotype doesn’t apply equally to all Asian people, nor does it work the same in every context.)

Malcolm

Misnegation alert! Should read *not a homogenous category*

anon

Amanda, I’m not the original commenter and I don’t know you, but your comments on this issue strike me as insensitive.

The following comment in particular has unsavoury implications: “FWIW, I have been on search committees where seeing non-western names would absolutely make us pause, sit-up in our chair, and take the application more seriously. Certain kinds of non-western names, of course. I don't know which kind of name you have, so maybe it wouldn't be relevant.”

So, what “kinds” of non-western names does the hiring committee at your department take more seriously? Which ones does it not take seriously?

It’s one thing to claim that given how rough the job market is, many people don’t land a permanent position at all, and that having a non-western name might in some cases have been a partial contributor to that outcome. Who knows? That seems like it can be true. What doesn’t follow is that one would have a permanent job if one didn’t have a non-western name. I’m not sure that I endorse this, but I take it that this might have been your point in listing additional considerations that hiring committees take into account when looking at an application. But I think it’s possible to make both of these claims without 1) sea-lioning the above commenter by denying that there is evidence of bias on hiring committees (where is the evidence that there isn’t?) and 2) denying that philosophers can be biased. It seems like a fallacy that someone is not susceptible to implicit bias merely because someone is a “kind, liberal, progressive humanist.” That might in a lot of cases actually make someone more susceptible to implicit bias.

Finally, this is also troubling: “And if you are right, you are correct that there is nothing you can do. So if this is what you believe, then just decide if you can be happy in the profession the way things are, or if there is another path that might make more sense for you and that is immune to the type of bias you are worried about.”

It seems that your response to concerns about bias and prejudice in the profession (at least based on your comments here) essentially boil down to “go with the status quo or leave” instead of “we should dig deeper to see what's going on and try to do better.” Maybe that's actually what you think. If so, that is disheartening.

I can see that you are trying to be helpful, but you might want to rethink some of what you're saying here, and at the very least reconsider your phrasing.

Amanda

I am not familiar with any evidence of bias against non-western names. I am happy if someone would show me some. I said, after all, that it is possible there is this bias. So if you want to accuse me of "sea-lioning" please provide me of evidence of bias against non-western names. I am not denying that there is evidence. I just don't know. And no one on this thread has provided any, to my knowledge.

How on earthy am I denying that philosophers can be biased? Of course philosophers can be biased! I said at least 3 times that it is possible that the bias against non-westerns exists.

I would never suggest that philosophers cannot be biased. In fact, my own-personal belief is that they almost certainly are biased in all sorts of bad ways. However, (1) I think it is much different thing to say that philosophers are biased and then to say that this bias explains why someone, of any particular group, is not getting a job. There is a huge leap from one to two because there are so many factors in getting a job, and bias is just one of these factors. (2) I do not think the bias manifests by blatantly throwing out a CV if it has a non-western name. I think it would be much more implicit. There might be a handful of people who just toss out CVs like that, but my experience suggests it is low. If you have other experience that suggests otherwise, or even better, evidence that suggests otherwise, I am happy to hear it. That is not implicit bias, that is explicit racism. Again, anyone is welcome to either, (1) show evidence that there is a systematic bias against non-westerns , and (2) that this is not only a bias, but that it is explicit.

There are plenty of things we should try to do better about. But unless we have evidence that something is happening, then I am not sure what we are supposed to try and do.

My comment about choosing to leave the profession is not that anyone should "shut-up." I think it is fine to occasionally vent about one's frustrations, even if there isn't particular evidence about it. However, to go beyond the occasionally, and to repeat again and again that philosophers are biased against non-western names with nothing other than "I have a better CV" is not fair. It is not fair to:

1. The philosophy profession, and philosophy professors, who are being accused of racism without any evidence. Racism is an awful thing, and people shouldn't be called that without good reason. Or at least not more than occasionally when someone needs to vent. Moreover, accusations of racism without evidence might fuel weirdos who think all cries of racism are false. There is lots of racism. It is real. And we should try to stop it. But conflating suspicions with actual evidence is not helpful.

2. It is unfair to people who did get TT jobs. Whoever got the jobs that yet-again did not get are essentially being accused of getting the job not on their merits, but on their ethnicity or at least on the immoral behavior of the search committee. It is unfair to accuse them of that without evidence. Some of these persons are probably members of underreprestened groups, others had to overcome not being one of those members. Basically I suspect they are all talented hard-working philosophers, because nearly everyone hired these days are talented, hard-working philosophers. Being told, "you don't deserve you're job" is not very collegial.

My main point with leaving the profession is this. Yetagain said that he believes he is not hired because of racism, and that there is nothing he can do. I just think that if that is someone's belief, for their own good, they need to decide if the philosophy profession is worth it for them. And if you leave, you still can talk about it and don't have to shut up. Either way you can keep talking. But being part of the system that judges you by your ethnicity and not your work sounds pretty terrible. I don't think anyone should have to put up with that. Of course, if someone wants to stay and to fight the good fight at their own discomfort, then good for them. But yetagain said there is-nothing he could do about it. So I guess I'm not sure why someone would stay if they think their efforts won't help. But if you want to stay, then stay. Nothing wrong with that. But if you are going to accuse people of doing very bad things, and to accuse them of that repeatedly, then please provide some evidence. I don't even mean empirical, study-based evidence. You can start with something weaker than that, but at least something (and no, I don't think having a better CV counts.)

I"m serious, if anyone does have evidence re non-western name I will be happy to see it and I will revise my position. My position, by the way, is that there is probably some bias against non-western names but I am agnostic leaning towards doubtful about whether it is systematic and statistically significant.

Malcom: I never said it was *good* that some people were biased in favor of a certain name. I just said it happens. Admin put pressure on faculty to hire members of diverse groups. This isn't a secret. I have seen it happen at lots of institutions and I have said that before. Anyway, non-western name might be a sign that someone is a member of an underrepresented group. Of course, it's not fool proof, so further inquiry might be needed.

Also, I have said before that ultimately I am not in favor of preferential hiring. However, I understand the viewpoint and can sympathize with it. So I find it odd that you act shocked anyone would hold that view. Or is that just because of the name and that the name is not 100% correlation with diversity? If so then, okay. But the name is just something that might catch someone's eye, it doesn't mean more than that.

I don't mean to sound rude to anyone. And the job market is full of injustices all of which we ought to fight against. But when some people who are understandably frustrated and in rough positions accuse other people of evil things without evidence, I myself feel in a rough position. I think we need to be very careful with these kinds of claims. For the last time, I am not denying that the bias exists. I am denying that the evidence presented is enough to confidently make the assertion.

FWIW, I would have no problem with this, "I am worried that a non-western bias is present in US academia and that it sometimes results in persons being unjustly denied a job. I think we need to look at this more seriously and see if we can do something to prevent it."I think a claim like that is more than reasonable.

Malcolm

Amanda,
I suppose I did misunderstand, then. Here’s how I understood you:

“I have been on search committees where seeing non-western names would absolutely make us pause, sit-up in our chair, and take the application more seriously. Certain kinds of non-western names, of course.”

Since you said “make us pause” I thought that implied that you were one of those who would be caused to pause, sit-up in your chair, and take an application more seriously based on non-western names (and, as you then said, not others). Since you didn’t cancel the implicature, I, apparently incorrectly, took you to be saying that on seeing e.g., two non-western names, one of a certain kind, another of another unspecified sort, you along with others, would sit up and pay attention to one of them, and take that one more seriously than the other. I still fail to see how that wasn’t communicated by what you wrote, but I’ll take you at your word that what you said isn’t what you meant.

This bias, which you are distancing yourself from, thankfully, struck me as the very kind of bias which I referred you to in the APA Newsletter, which has plenty of evidence of bias against various ethnicities, often suggested, as you say, by names. If by “non-western” you include Asian, then you’ve been provided such evidence. (FWIW, another relevant link would be https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.0021-9029.2006.00035.x although at this point, just searching for “name stereotype” and “hiring” or something similar should get you on the right track. Whether you are convinced by the studies and testimonies of individuals is another thing. )

The egregious thing to me in the practice you described was the idea that some non-western names, on their own, are enough to take an application “more seriously.” Since there are studies suggesting a strong East Asian positive bias in contexts, and conversely, other Asian names, for instance South or Southeast Asian, do not have such a bias, I found the idea that carving up “non-western” based on some implicit ideas about what names connote to be a real problem. (Where does a “Lee” go? Or a married person with their spouse’s Anglophone name?) And as I took you (again, it sounds incorrectly) to be endorsing this approach, I thought it was not only unhelpful to the original commentator, but also a real problem, even on the idea that you want to increase diversity of a certain sort! (I think this further generalizes to e.g. sexual orientation, gender history/trans status, disability status, and more, but that’s a larger discussion for in person or a carefully written paper.)

Whether the original commentator has been the subject of bias, no one on this blog is in a position to know. Even empirical studies about tendencies to respond to names in a certain way wouldn’t tell us that. It would give us statistical patterns, but the peculiarities of their job searches are opaque to us. The counterfactual claim that they would have had a job if they had a “western name”? Also, no one here can know that, one way or the other.

You are absolutely right that there are injustices to fight against. I’m not sure about the accusations of “evil things” but I hope I’ve clarified why I took you to be endorsing the practices you describe. And what you describe in the last few sentences is indeed a claim that I think is reasonable, so we may agree in more ways than was initially apparent.

Yetagain

It would have been wrong to tell African Americans to leave the US "for their own good" because they couldn't prove prejudice in Jim Crow south beyond a reasonable doubt.

I will not leave professional philosophy just because I cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt my rightful suspicion that there is bias in it. I am not asking for permission to stay from any gatekeeper. Philosophy is in noone's monopoly. By the way, it's not just the job market; I didn't even start about desk rejections of papers with no good reason.

As I said above, if I had that kind of proof I would've sued already. But in the current state of the market, it is next to impossible to prove bias against any demographic. But this does not mean that it doesn't exist or people should keep silent about it or leave just because raising these rightful suspicions disturb some people's rosy views of their world.

Yetagain

In addition, I did suggest something that could potentially help with prejudice. I proposed to make job applications blind with for instance non-named cv's, research statements, cover letters etc. It was just the first thing that I could think of and I'm sure other, much better remedies can be found. But this suggestion was summarily dismissed above...

Amanda

PS Anon: I am familiar with studies that show businesses discriminate against African American sounding names, and also resumes that include LGBT associations. But I don't think that has much to do with academia and non-western names, as academia hiring is very different than business, and "non-western" is a pretty broad category.

Nicolas

Yetagain, can you clarify what you mean by “no good reason” for desk rejections? As you’re probably, or should be, aware, most top journals reject most papers, including very strong ones, for all sorts of reasons—a majority being desk rejections at some journals. Many of them do that triple blindly. The whole process is such a lottery that “for no good reason” strikes me as either a platitude (it’s a lottery after all) or unfair (how do you know other papers are not rejected for no good reason but yours are?).

Moreover, above you pointed out that you have several top journals publications, so I assume these were in triple blind journals, otherwise that would be some evidence that your name is no obstacle to making the first cut with editors. As others have noted, there’s just so much we don’t know. But you seem extremely confident that both your dossier and your papers deserved better, which might very well be the case. If you think some journals do engage in the sort of discriminatory review practices you allude to, it would be worth knowing. I don’t want to patronize racist venues.

Anon

It would greatly help to know the rough % of non-Western applicants vs. the % of non-Westerner applicants who get offers. If there are many more Westerners who apply, it is rational to expect many more Westerners to get offers, all else equal.

A. Regular

I'm white and male. My forename is not an Anglophone name. As a result, I am frequently misgendered, and even occasionally get comments like "but that's a girl's name!"--yes, even from professional philosophers. I wouldn't be surprised if this misgendering has sometimes been to my detriment in job searches and other contexts, because I'm certain it's often counted against women.

My surname is western European, but not recognizably so because it's weird. Instead, it's routinely assumed that it's Chinese. Including by philosophers, who have made all kinds of comments about it.

Usually it's fine (it's a totally weird name, after all!), but there have been *many* times when it wasn't. One distinguished senior scholar once called me 'slit-eyed' (I have hooded eyes, not epicanthic folds, and that's another frequent mistake people make). And when it's discovered that I'm white and of recent European extraction, the remarks that people (including philosophers) subsequently make to me about Chinese people can be pretty dodgy. (Indeed, I once came across a letter of recommendation for a Chinese student applying to my PhD program which was... ugh. I think it was genuinely well-intentioned, but you wouldn't believe the kinds of things it said.)

So my anecdotal experience about what it can be like certainly is suggestive enough that I don't doubt that name-based bias is operative in some searches. How exactly it operates, or at what level, or how prevalent it is, I'm not sure. But I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Skype interviews are kind of awful!

I've had my first couple of Skype interviews this season (finally), and it's been kind of a mixed bag.
One thing that gave me trouble was the multi-part/shotgun approach to questions, where a committee member asks four or five questions all in one go. I found that actually trying to answer all the questions being asked made be very flustered, because the questions themselves didn't necessarily cohere with one another that well, and so my answer probably seemed all over the place. I've been told that what I need to do is to find a way to answer the question I wanted them to ask, and I've tried to do that, but my natural inclination (under stress) is just to answer the question being asked. Just one of my interviews relied upon what was clearly a standard set of questions, and that tended to go much better (although those were sometimes worded in a weird way as well).
I was also generally surprised by how adversarial these interviews have felt. I was expecting to provide information about my research and teaching, but often the questions were framed as objections or criticisms, often coming from a particular ideological perspective. This is something I would have expected in a job talk Q&A, but I was kind of surprised to encounter it in a context when they're supposedly trying to learn about me. It made me wonder why they even wanted to interview me at all. Philosophy's adversarial culture and the high stress nature of job interviews is really a terrible mix.
Anyway, I probably didn't do all that well in any of them. And it's a bummer, because I've worked really hard for years on my teaching and research, and on paper, I am as qualified as most of the people interviewing me. But then I get put in this awful, stressful situation for 45 minutes, get asked a bunch of surprisingly hostile, weirdly-worded questions, and none of that seems to matter.
I hope that I can learn from these interviews and get a little better this sort of thing the next time around. But wow, interviewing really sucks.

Amanda

Malcom: That's fair. I often us the term "us" or "we" to refer to the philosophy profession, or my department, when I do not mean me personally. I am against favoring people, or disfavoring them, because of either their name, or their ethnicity. However, I recognize that my view is not winning the day in many institutions of higher learning. I have seen many search committees, ones I have taken place in and ones I have not, where there is extreme pressure to diversify the faculty. A few years ago this was a lot of women and minorities but I have noticed today it seems to be more focused on minorities. And "minorities" means ethnicity, usually not including asians but it depends on the school. Once again, I do not favor this. I wish it didn't happen. But it does happen. That's all I was saying. My point is that in some cases non-western names might hurt, and in other cases they might help. I think this is generally true of lots of other minority statuses. They hurt you sometimes and they help you sometimes.

My comments about evil were not directed to you, Malcom. What I was calling evil was the practice yetagain was claiming was happening: throwing out cvs, without looking at them, because of someone's perceived ethnicity. I don't see how that can be anything but blatant racism, and I consider that evil.

yetagain: I wasn't trying to demand that you do something else. You are welcome to stay. I was just suggesting that you might be happier if you did something else. But this is your life. Of course, I don't think it's fair for you to make the accusations that you do, but you can keep making them, and others and myself can keep responding to you. As for Jim crow, I wouldn't hold it against minorities living in racist cities today, or back then, or n the future, if these minorities decided to move because it would make them happier. While in some circumstances it might be admirable to stay, I don't think anyone who has the option of leaving and being happier is morally required to stay. They can if they want to. But they are also well within their moral rights to leave.

I think anybody who has submitted papers to journal feels they have been desk rejected for no good reason. I really think every single person thinks this. It has never occurred to me to blame it on one of my several minority statuses. But perhaps I am just not experiencing the same systemic issues.

A. Regular: What you say doesn't surprise me. And it's wrong to treat anybody that way. I still think it's a big step to go from that to people are throwing out CVs of non-western names without looking. I am a minority myself in more than one way. And I have heard a lot of bad things, insulting things, hurtful things, related to this status. In fact, I was invited to an important academic event and then quickly disinvited once I told them about my accommodation needs. Yes, that happened. I might go public with it, but I am still figuring things out. Notwithstanding, I don't think I can draw any more conclusions than people are mean and will make unfair judgements about me based on ignorance. And occasionally I will miss professional opportunities. I do sometimes worry, now that I am more recognized in my field, that this will have other negative career consequences, but I really have nothing to base that on other than suspicion. I just don't think it's enough to make assertions about what might be happening in the profession as a whole, or really in any case except those in which I am directly involved and in which I have direct evidence. I am not against making general claims, this just isn't a situation in which I think I have this evidence. And from what others have said, I don't think others have evidence of systematic anti non-western name bias in philosophy hiring practices.

Amanda

I think Skype interviews are pretty useless. And a lot of places are skipping them. I was offered 4 temporary jobs and 2 permanent jobs during my time on the market. None of those included a skype interview. I am horrible at skype interviews

J

Skype interviews are worse than useless. They draw attention away from dossiers summarizing years of work and useful information and toward vivid but quite possibly meaningless information conveyed during a 20-40 minute performance in an environment bearing little relation to what matters for actual job performance. In my experience as a search committee member, people who are expressive and attractive get a big bump in interviews, and those who are shy and less attractive are hurt. Philosophers also tend to be foolish about debiasing, apparently thinking that they can correct for the influence of biasing factors just by being aware of the bias, or that biases just apply to dumb people. Interviews are bad, and the sooner the profession drops them, the better.

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