specialization and a bit more

Judging from the philosophy job postings last year and the few that have trickled out recently, I’m noticing the following trend. Schools looking to hire a continental philosopher often add a qualification to their call, indicating that they’d like this continentalist to also be versed in some kind of nontraditional area of research. These often include race and feminist theory, Latin American and Native American philosophy, postcolonialist theory. Africana philosophy seems to be increasingly desirable. ‘Interdisciplinary’ is another term often injected into the posting.  Now, these are not always listed as requisite AOCs, but rather stated as ‘preferences’.

If the schools hiring are holding fast to their desires, then it seems that the field of potential candidates (those with an AOS in continental philosophy) is quickly narrowed. A great percentage of viable continental philosophers will be eliminated from consideration, and there are already only a handful of these gigs to go around. The lesson for graduate students in continental philosophy: spend your time studying a field that does not fall into one of the traditional categories like ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, metaphysics. Diversifying can only help you in the professional arena, even if your areas of interest are not readily acknowledged by the usual governing bodies of philosophy.

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About plasticbodies

Contemporary philosopher.
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