Category The Ivory Tower

How many “reads” does a typical academic article get?

I frequently hear that academic scholarship is less important than writing for the public because only two reviewers and the author ever read the typical academic article. Certain articles in pay-to-play journals probably are subject to that criticism. And articles in very niche journals might also be poorly read. But if you are writing for […]

Should an academic agree to write an article for an encyclopedia?

When evaluating a CV, an encyclopedia article should count as negative one publication. (This doesn’t apply of course for something like the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). My reasons: (1) No one reads encyclopedias anymore. (2) The editors of encyclopedias are usually washed up Associate Professors who don’t publish peer-reviewed materials any more, or who never […]

Book Review: David Kaiser, A Life in History (Mount Greylock Books, 2019)

David Kaiser,  A Life in History (Mount Greylock Books, 2019) This autobiography is organized around a central question that preoccupies the author’s life: “Why could I not get tenure in a history department at an elite university?”  The answer, Kaiser suggests, is two-fold. First, generational conflict between the Silent Generation and his own Boomer Generation […]

Book Review: William Caferro, Teaching History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020)

This book might be categorized as a memoir or more precisely a set of reflections about teaching history. It is only secondarily a guide or how-to book about teaching history. Caferro has been teaching history at the university-level for 35 years. He graduated from Yale, began his career as an adjunct teacher, taught for a […]

Application to be a Peer-Reviewer for the Journal of Delays and Excuses

Application to be a Peer-Reviewer for the Journal of Delays and Excuses (impact factor 0.0) The Journal of Delays and Excuses (impact factor 0.0) welcomes applications to join our review board from scholars who work at prestigious universities or who have hyphenated surnames (British, French, or African-sounding names preferred.)  To be considered, you must have […]

A Tale of University Bureaucracy, in 89 (or so) emails.

January 10, 2018: M applies for a seminar that I am running. January 15, 2018: I write M to congratulate her on being accepted to the seminar. January 17, 2018: M confirms that she will attend the seminar. January 18, 2018: I inform all of the seminar attendees about the reimbursement procedure. March 9, 2018: […]