Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An Update on My Precarious Employment

I don't know about you, but when I wasn't (re-)reading Capital, I was spending a significant part of my summer trying to figure out where I was going to work during the 2010-2011 academic year. After the initial round of sessional job postings (listed course by course here at the University of Ottawa) I was only offered one course, in the Visual Arts Department, which is 'Art Theories' in Winter Semester (for my California friends unfamiliar with the term, the Winter Semester runs from January to late April). While I like the prospect of diversifying my teaching repertoire with the 'Art Theories' course, having written a book on the philosophy of art and all, for a few months I had no Fall teaching.

I can now add, having signed the contract yesterday, that I will be teaching 'Reasoning and Critical Thinking' in the Fall. That gets me to the 1/1 course load that I've been living off for the past four years, so I've survived, somewhat, the across-the-board cuts (enabled, I've heard, by an increase in teaching duties for full-time professors) here at the University of Ottawa. I'm hoping, with a few more posts up, to add another course or two. 

A lot of philosophy professors find 'Reasoning and Critical Thinking' to be a pain to teach, but I must say that I prefer it to unemployment.

To conclude, I'll link to two blog posts about adjunct work and the humanities, although I will add that I'm more on the side of Peter Gratton (here) rather than Ian Bogost (here); I don't think that contemporary 'humanist' disciplines suffer from isolationism as much as they suffer from some combination of explicit and implicit (residual) elitism. 

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