CHE Article on Journal Editors and Their Work

Most of this offers good advice (h/t Christina Daigle on FB): don’t have titles that are too punny or silly, really pay attention to your abstract and first couple of pages, realize if you cite someone and we editors need ideas for reviewers, they might be used first, etc. But I would say the first rule is to read the darn journal before submitting–it’s amazing how many desk rejects are just simply because it’s not a fit for what the journal publishes. This below is a bit strong:

Do not — repeat, do not — complain to the editor about the reader reports you receive. (Find a friend, a mentor, or a therapist for that.)

Don’t complain, but you can defend your work without being defensive: give an argument (we try, but don’t always screen well bad reports), but don’t pretend editors won’t roll their eyes when you suggest your work is simply being oppressed by mean referees.

Source: How Your Journal Editor Works – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Kelly Oliver on Title IX and the University Politics of Sexual Assault

At LARB here. Oliver argues for two philosophical (read: ethical/political) implications of recent applications of Title IX in American universities:

There are at least two profound philosophical implications to be drawn …First, educational institutions are held responsible for creating the environment allowing, if not fostering, sexual violence; or, conversely, and more to the point, they are held responsible for creating an ethos fostering women’s education, which is not possible when one out of four college women is sexually assaulted and gender-based violence is a constant threat.  The new use of Title IX marks a dramatic change in the attribution of responsibility for sexual assault and rape. …Second, the use of Title IX in cases of sexual assault on campus switches the focus away from individual victims to gender-based violence.  Rather than single out women as random targets of assault, or, as it happens too often, blame them for their own attacks through suggestions that they were asking for it by wearing provocative clothes, behaving in certain ways, or drinking, the focus shifts to the environment in which women are under a constant threat of being sexually assaulted.

Source: Rape on Campus: The Title IX Revolution – The Philosophical Salon

Call for Papers: Idea of God Conference at Memorial this Fall

The Idea of God – A Philosophical Investigation

Dates: 23-24-25 November 2016

Venue: Memorial University of Newfoundland (St.John’s, Canada)

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Garth Green (McGill)

Dr. Jean Grondin (Université de Montréal)

Description: Until recently, the death of God in Western society had seemed inexorable. Rather than reanimating him, the fervidly exuberant – almost nervous – manifestations of evangelical devotion in fundamentalist movements only appeared to confirm the sentence. However, a growing and marked interest in contemporary scholarship now strongly contests this verdict. Either concerned with the somewhat cursory conclusions of the New Atheists, the reductive verdicts of nominalism, or the fatalist undertones of naturalism, a number of authors from different philosophical perspectives – David Bentley Hart, Jean-Luc Nancy, Charles Taylor, John Lennox, Jean Grondin, Alvin Plantinga, John Milbank, Gerard Hartung and Markus Schlette, to name a few – are now proposing a new fate to the idea of God.

These investigations, of course, are not ad hoc and have their roots in longstanding traditions of thought. The history of philosophy has been continually haunted by the specter of God, in some form or another, from Athens to modern rationalism, Patristic writings to phenomenology. What is more, far from confined to Judeo-Christian civilization, the idea of God has of course transcended its borders, sometimes revealing striking parallels between common concerns and queries, sometimes disclosing sharp if not irreconcilable differences.

Academics from all areas of philosophy, as well as from the Humanities, Theology and Religious Studies, are invited to Memorial University of Newfoundland to explore the idea of God, its current resurgence, and its place or role in the works of the history of philosophy, Western or otherwise. Please send a 500-600 words abstract (for a 30-minute paper) to Dr. Joël Madore ( and/or Dr. Sean McGrath ( no later than 15 August 2016. Submissions should be anonymised for blind review and should be in a standard file format.

Elden asks the question: Why do so many academics publish in unreadable outlets? 

I missed this last week. It’s a good reminder for me finally to take the time to update my paper links with drafts of published work. In general, I get much more feedback on stuff I publish in places open access. And it’s certainly the case there is an ethical case not to hide our work behind expensive paywalls or between the covers of a too-pricey book.