[-empyre-] Academic Freedom and Tenure

Gabriela Vargas-Cetina gabyvargasc at prodigy.net.mx
Mon Mar 9 13:57:50 EST 2009

Dear all,

I have been a performing musician during much of my academic career.  It has
been hard to be taken seriously as an academic, because I seem to spend a
lot of my 'free' time with people who are not academics, who seem to indulge
in behaviours and consumption practices often considered antisocial, and as
an anthropologist I gain entry into people's lives and confidence in ways
that don't have straight methodological explanations.  Because of all this,
I've never really believed in tenure as such, given that my bosses often see
me as a 'suspicious' element and I understand I could be fired at any time
under one or another reason having to do with academic respectability.
However, if by any chance they ever fire me, I would like to know why and on
what grounds, given that I've always managed to do my work and perform
academically as good as the best in my department.  However marginal
e-poetry and electronic art may to be in academia right now, Prof. Borras
seems to have been doing everything the university expected from her ... and
even more.  I think she and all of us deserve an explanation as to why she
was fired and why her work was unsatisfactory, even if her university can
find administrative reasons of any kind.


Gabriela Vargas-Cetina
Professor of Anthropology
Facultad de Ciencias Antropológicas
Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán
Campus de Ciencias Sociales
Carretera a Tizimín Km. 1
Mérida, Yucatan 97305
Tel. +52 999 930 0090
gvcetina at uady.mx

On 3/8/09 7:56 PM, "Jason Nelson" <heliopod at yahoo.com> wrote:

> All.....
> Please do read the threads about Laura Borras, a leader in the E-Poetry field,
> who was recently fired without appeal or concrete reasons, despite having
> tenure.
> Obviously her situation is specific to her University.
> BUT....I'm interested if there are others on the list who feel that notions of
> tenure in academia are being reduced/watered down or just eliminated.
> This is particularly relevant to E-Poetry as most artists and scholars are
> fairly
> new academics and are also in an often misunderstood and still largely
> experimental and growing field....and having that academic security can
> be a boon to creation or a road block and or lead to the insecurities
> of losing the position and the drive to continue creating.
> I personally have wondered if, should I lose my job in such a way as to
> hurt my chances of finding another academic position, would I continue
> being as involved in the field.  I'd like to say I would, but given the need
> for food and shelter.....those of you outside of academia, know how hard
> it is to juggle an active practice in E-Poetry and a full time job.
> cheers, Jason
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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