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07/24/2020

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Rosa

I think it's totally fine not to list all publications - on my CV I list most of my publications under "Selected publications". This might be for reasons other than yours, that I don't think anyone would think twice about - because you don't really want to include the article you published in the second year of your MA, because you have one or two short review or reply pieces you don't think belong in your publication section but don't have enough to warrant a second section for them, etc. Again, I don't think anyone will care at all about this kind of omission - but again, you should probably head this section of your CV "Selected publications" in that case.

As for the particular question about phil religion publications, I don't think these on their own will count against you - plenty of people get hired with interests and publications in philosophy of religion. If you're worried about particular views being ones search committees don't like, and if you studied at "conservative institutions within religious academia", then I would think that this might come out from the place you studied whether not you leave the publications off. So I guess I don't think that you gain anything by leaving them off, but do risk looking deceitful and like you're trying to hide things (which, to be fair, it sounds like you are).

Porphyry

I have been on search committees and want candidates to know it is fine not to include everything on one's CV.

Prudentially, it is unlikely that anyone will notice. It is normal now for searches to have hundreds of applicants. Even at the short-list stage, few committee members will have the time or inclination to use Google to generate more information about applicants, especially given how thick application files already are.

Ethically, one does nothing wrong by leaving something off one's CV. For one thing, there is no settled norm that says a CV must include everything to begin with. People leave out op-eds and other non-peer reviewed stuff all the time, for example. (At my institution we are encouraged to be selective in this way when submitting our files for promotion.)

In addition, one can have ethical reasons for leaving something off one's CV. For example, an old paper represents a research program one is no longer committed to, or now considers deeply misguided. One might leave it off to avoid the impression that one has a desire to engage in that type of research in the future.

The OP gestures toward another ethical justification, to avoid being the object of discrimination. I don't know that religious believers are discriminated against in hiring. But suppose they or some other group were. If so then it would a reasonable response to such discrimination to try to avoid it by leaving something off one's CV. The appropriate target of criticism would be the people engaging in discrimination, not the person trying to get a job in a brutal market.

a

I agree with the previous commenters that it is perfectly fine to not include all publications on a CV. There is no expectation that the CV includes EVERYTHING you have ever done professionally. What is deceitful is claiming you have done something that you have not done (publication, presentation, etc.). I don't see any deceit in considering a CV a highlight, rather than exhaustive list of your accomplishments. (Do we really need to see that conference you did as a first year grad student?) If anything, as someone who has chaired searches, I would be impressed to discover that candidates have done even more than what is on the CV, and have tailored their CV to emphasize their relevance for our search.

I have taken off some publications

I don't see the ethical problem. I have taken off publications in my CV, notably publications written and published in my mother tongue. I just didn't want to emphasize my foreignness to search committees (I currently work at an American institution) and though my name sounds foreign and I don't look white, I still think that a list with a substantial number of publications in a language that must sounds like gibberish to Americans who are mostly monolingual would make me a less appealing candidate. Of course, the venues where those publications appeared are not prestigious either, so that was another consideration.

Tom

On the question of religious bias, I actually have been told by a philosopher in Toronto that he thinks one of his students was 'held back' from getting a decent job because he published a lot of PoR stuff right out of the gate. This prof thought that had his student simply focused on publishing main line epistemology stuff he would have been better off. As it stands, he hasn't been able to get anything more than an adjunct position.

But it's hard to say in these cases. There are obviously lots of people who publish in PoR and get jobs. In the end, I think you just have to stay true to who you are, what your values are, and what your main motivation for doing philosophy is. You can't make decisions about what to publish/study based on what you think will impress other people or land you job. And, if you are religious, trust is a big factor, since you presumably think that you've been called to do what it is you are doing. One can certainly try to orchestrate how things turn out in life, which I think is a mistake.

Marcus Arvan

Tom: I think you're right when you say it's hard to say in these cases. I know some early-career epistemologists on the market with outstanding publication records (like, multiple top-5/top-10 journal publications) who have been unable to get a permanent job, and they don't work in areas related to religion. Very few jobs have been advertised in epistemology in recent years, and those that have seem like they tend to be in social epistemology specifically. So, while discrimination could be at play in some cases, I suspect on the whole it's far too many good job-candidates for far too few jobs. A ubiquitous story, sadly.

historygrrrl

"Selected Publications" is a good way to go.

In applications for other stuff - fellowships, grants, and so on - they'll sometimes ask for "selected" publications and presentations because they only want to see what's relevant to the current project. I don't see why the job market should be any different.

I'd be interested to hear if any readers think there is hostility toward philosophers with backgrounds in religion. In my own AOS/AOC areas (which are not epistemology or philosophy of religion!), there are a ton of philosophers who are openly religious with varying degrees of conservatism. Personally, I think its great - and, depending on the institution and its geographical location, it can be a benefit for connecting with students.

Tom

historygrrrl: My sense is that any hostility in academia is less directed towards religiosity but more to do with politically and socially conservative views that many religious people happen to espouse- things to do with sexuality and gender especially. The original questioner mentioned coming from a conservative institution, so I think that's a big part of it.

Tim

I am sympathetic to OP's worry. I thought it was an open secret the people who are interested in religion or were religious were implicitly and explicitly discriminated against in the hiring process. But my evidence is anecdotal not statistical.

Speaking for myself, I think "selected publications" could work. For instance, if a candidate's CV said "Selected Publications" and then I learned they had additional publications I would not feel lied to or that the candidate had been deceptive.

One drawback with 'selected publications' is that a person did work hard to publish and was participating in the scholarly community. In general, it is better to indicate this when applying for jobs. One option is to just have two headings for publications, like: "Publications in Philosophy" and "Publications in Religious Studies." I have seen this way of separating publications among people who do a lot of interdisciplinary work. Given OP's situation, I think it is likely that the publications in religious studies are older than the publications in philosophy. That may give an indication of what work OP intends to do in the future, i.e. work in philosophy. Further, by including the work in religious studies, this indicates that OP is active in scholarship and works hard.

Amanda

I do not think it is deceptive at all. There are no requirements, nor are there implications, that a CV lists every publication - especially if the section is titled "selected publications."

If I was the poster, I would have two CVs, one with the religious publications and one without, and send each out according to the type of school and their likely preferences and biases.

I am puzzled at the thought of a search committee member googling a candidate, seeing that they had unlisted publications, and concluding, "Oh no! What a deceptive candidate!" I have found unlisted publications like this before, and my typical reaction is, "they were underselling themselves." If it is some type of lower tier publication they did earlier in their career, I shrug. If it is in another discipline then I typically assume I don't know enough to make any judgement. Sure, some anti-religious professors might think less of the candidate after finding these publications, but they would have thought less of the candidate if they were listed upfront too.

Anon

Anti-Christian bias in academia is real. George Yancey (sociologist, not philosopher) has several books and articles written documenting the phenomenon. There’s also a discussion of his findings about how specifically philosophers discriminate on Daily Nous. So, it might be worth removing some publications if they out you as a theist.

Religious studies background

“ Though I have no examples in mind, I'm wondering how common or unheard of it is for departments to be, either openly or less transparently, inclined to reject a job candidate who discloses such a background on their CV.”

Here is an anecdote. I’m inclined to think there is less of this than one may think. I have a BA from a very conservative college and also earned an MDiv from a seminary that isn’t well known. I then changed to philosophy. I listed the degrees for both on my CV on the job market. If the major you earned from that college is in non Philosophy and non typical (e.g., degree major in “church music” or “pastoral studies” or something, you could leave out the major and just say the year and college name). (I did this.)

I never published in Phil Religion but had two publications within religious studies. I listed those on my CV for job market (in good journals in that field). No one ever mentioned my earlier degrees from these places in 15-20 interviews (and I successfully got a job). Maybe my CV got tossed In other searches and I never heard about it or maybe not.

My PhD is from a highly ranked program, so maybe this reduced the effect of the other degrees but maybe not.

My two cents: there are many unpredictable features of the market. I would not worry too much about the colleges you attended being religious or about pubs in religious studies. If the latter are in good field-specific journals given them a separate heading on the CV like “Peer Reviewed Articles in Religious Studies“. Then focus on publishing in Philosophy.

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