Is there a need for a news site for Geography appointments?

At My Desiring Machines, a call from Keith Harris for a news site for Geography and Urban Studies appointments:

Who is getting hired in the urban studies/geog world?

Posted on March 13, 2014 by

I came across these open threads at New APPS and Leiter Reports where new philosophy PhDs can report where they’ve been hired, and thought something similar would be a great addition to the urban studies/geog blogosphere. I obviously don’t have the traffic here to glean any useful information, but think a site like Stuart Elden’s Progressive Geographies would be an excellent location. Any other ideas?

I’m not sure about this, especially if the Leiter Reports model is followed. It’s one thing to say that Professor X has been appointed at the University of Y. It’s another to do what Brian Leiter frequently does, which is to say something along these lines: “Professor X of University 1 has a senior offer from University 2.  Students thinking about either program will want to keep an eye on what happens”. What I dislike about that is twofold. First, that any job offer should be a confidential matter between the offering department, the candidate, and, if the latter choses, their current department. Does it really help any decision process, or negotiation, to broadcast it this widely? Second, that it puts undue emphasis on a single person in the overall assessment of which department to join as a student. Perhaps this is more important in some fields, and in small departments, but it still seems an unhealthy way to consider which department to join as a (post-)graduate student.

I’d be pleased to see some kind of news site reporting news that is cleared by all sides – perhaps only when a department has made the news public. But I’m not sure any individual’s site should be the home for this – it seems to me, for reasons both of workload and exposure, it should be on a collective site. This is one of the reasons why I welcomed the Daily Nous and New APPS taking on these roles in Philosophy.


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1 Response to Is there a need for a news site for Geography appointments?

  1. Keith Harris says:

    Thanks for sharing and for your thoughts. I’m in complete agreement about not following Leiter’s example of overemphasizing the movement of particular individuals. Above all, my curiosity is grounded in not understanding the state of the job market or what tends to make individuals successful in finding positions (this is exacerbated by my own studies in an interdisciplinary program that is not geography or urban studies).

    If anyone is interested in discussing the formation of a site along the lines of New APPS, don’t hesitate to get in touch: gkh2 [at] uw [dot] edu.

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