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Monday, 24 September 2007

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todd.

"Inappropriately Risqué Email Address"! Beautiful.

SEK

Eh what? You and I must not subscribe to the same academic listservs. I see emails of the sort I'm mocking at least twice a week. I can only imagine this is how faculty respond.

todd.

I can't wait until litgradhottie79@yahoo.com finds this and SEK ends up on more exciting right wing mailing lists.

Sisyphus

Dude, my field listserv won't even let you put the CFPs for the upcoming conference on it anymore ---- we had one of those horrible exploding snafus last year where someone posted two too many "here are some useful web sites I made/special conferences I am designing" emails and suddenly we had a barrage of "unsubscribe me" emails going out to the whole lists and then people started forwarding back the unsubscribe requests to the whole list saying, I am not the person to be sending this to, and then other idiot people jumped in helpfully telling them how to unsubscribe, only it was the wrong info, and finally, by the time I was getting 30 or so of these every single day, the list moderator froze the list and sent out an email to staunch the hemorrhaging and now, now you have to email the moderator herself and she and only she will email out your post for you.

So, understandably, it's pretty quiet over here. Even my grad dept listserv has killjoys writing back caustic emails if you check to see who has a library book checked out. Chilling effect and all that.

Rich Puchalsky

Dude, you're getting the high end requesters, there. I used to write a lot about Iain Banks, and while my stuff was piss-poor by literary standards, it was a lot better than most fanboy things. Did you know that Iain Banks is very commonly assigned to, or chosen for reports by, high school students (or whatever the equivalent is) in Britain?

I did get an Email from Banks himself, though, discussing some of what I'd written, which sort of made up for it.

For academic lists, I always figured that there must be enough old-time professors just getting used to the Internet on there so that every other Email was either A List of 50 Funny Jokes, or I've Just Heard About A Dangerous Computer Virus. So you're doing better than I imagined.

CR

For academic lists, I always figured that there must be enough old-time professors just getting used to the Internet on there so that every other Email was either A List of 50 Funny Jokes, or I've Just Heard About A Dangerous Computer Virus. So you're doing better than I imagined.

So fucking true. That, and the super-engagé who, you know, forwards NYT columns and other super obscure stuff like that.

I could go on and be more specific, but I'd probably out myself if I did.

Rich Puchalsky

Yeah, I forgot about the super-engagé. That and the person who just must forward the latest fundraising Email from Amnesty International. Who, when you ask them to please not forward requests for charitable contributions, asks how anyone could possibly be opposed to Amnesty International. (I'm a member, before anyone gets the wrong idea.)

SEK

Enough with the lies, Rich! You're one of Bauerlein's plants, only, like intellectual kudzu, you don't limit yourself to the classroom. I've got you and Emerson figured out, I do.

(And Todd., if I told you the actual email address, you'd blush, then I'd blush, then we'd all skulk away, embarrassed that someone in graduate school would ever think that address appropriate enough to include in an autosig visible to our colleagues.)

OhIsee

Intellectual kudzu! That's a great way to think about theory. Or Theory, rather.

You know. I'm just saying.

Oh. I see. Never mind.

JPool

All my lists are moderated, so we seem to get less of these, though we do occasionally get outsiders to the field who write screedmessages critical of it and then reveal not only a lack of knowledge of the working contents of the field but an active hostility to learning about said field (through like reading books and such). Or my favorite recent version of this "Just because you've read more books than me [and written a number of important ones and conducted ground breaking research in this field] doesn't mean that you are right." Well, no, but it is perhaps something worth considering in evaluating their claims or deciding what tone to adopt.

Is your field so utterly massive that these folks could really believe that the future members of their hiring committees really wouldn't see or remember this sort of thing?

SEK

Is your field so utterly massive that these folks could really believe that the future members of their hiring committees really wouldn't see or remember this sort of thing?

Not sure whether this is a rhetorical question, but to answer it anyway: no, mine certainly isn't. I'm constantly amazed by the unprofessional behavior I observe -- both on listservs, and among graduate students generally. There's this notion that because we don't wear suits, passing out drunk at a faculty-hosted party is acceptable behavior. Boggles the mind, it does.

Rich Puchalsky

There used to be a grad student in my astrophysics department who I'm pretty sure had a problem with alcoholism. The professors would have these colloquia or something, after which large amounts of wine and other alcoholic beverages would be left over, and then left in the grad student lounge. Which this person would duly be found sleeping in the next day, after having drunk to capacity.

At whatever ridiculously young age I was then -- in a few years I'll be more than twice that old, anyway -- I certainly wasn't confident enough in my adulthood to tell people about this and suggest that they not leave booze around. That would have been telling on a fellow student.

Maybe the people who pass out drunk at a faculty-hosted party really should be at an AA meeting, instead of being thought of as inappropriately extending their college days.

JPool

It was meant as a kind of rhetorical question: the kind that could either be answered or ignored depending on mood. Thanks for the answering. African history is such a small field that this sort of thing seems like professional suicide to me. I wasn't sure if the bigger fields, like American History or Literature would afford a certain ammount of anonymity to grad student posters or if this would be conuterbalanced by thematic specialization.

Rich, yeah, certainly some of them do, though some are also just reacting poorly to stress and drinking more than they'd meant to. My advisor made sure that one of the cautionary tales she told me was of the junior faculty member who drank too much at a departmental party, and whose drunken remarks then got back to the dean and pretty much derailed his career. That and the classic "When you do get an on campus interview, make sure to drink no more than one glass of wine at the reception."

History Geek

Listservs can be forces of great good and great evil.

But mostly of great evil.

Josh

CR --"I could go on and be more specific, but I'd probably out myself if I did"? Really? I assume you're talking about a certain Montclair Muppet whom everyone gets engagé emails from.

Ancarett

I love the sig file! A brilliant parody of an all-too-common situation

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