Archives of Reception of the Bible

Past blogging in more ways than one.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Student publishing 2

In response to Shawn's reply (see comment 4)


I know what you mean about publication for publications sake, but sadly that too is part of our world at the moment. I hope your idealism lasts, but mine fled long ago. :) (Remember also this is a competitive game and not all the advice you will receive will be helpful to you. Back-stabbing has its place in academia too, I'm afraid.) I don't know if you've ever been to SBL or are planning to go, but I think you'll find conference papers are even worse. That said, we work in a very small over-worked field (compared to e.g. patristics or Early Church) so it can be difficult to be creative. It is a personal quirk, I know, but my definition of a contribution to discussion can include being deliberately provocative rather than being simply informative. (our teachers mark us and I blame Philip Davies for that particular trait).

Best wishes for your endeavours, wherever they take you (and don't let the *******S grind you down).



At 9:45 pm, Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Biblical studies is small & overworked, but I, as a Christian ethicist, found out the flip side to that, viz., every 1 horse church related school in the nation with a religion department seeks to fill vacancies with Bible profs first! They will limp along with one OT and one NT prof. and expect them to ALSO teach electives ranging from philosophy to homiletics to church history to pastoral care to environmental ethics.
Whereas if your doctorate is in something else, even with a minor concentration in OT or NT, it is assumed you are overspecialized and simply can't teach Bible. So, whereas Biblical studies Ph.D.s may find the field very crowded if they only go after Ivy League divinity school jobs or public university religion dept. jobs, if they look at smaller churc-related schools, they have a HUGE advantage.
But publications still help.

At 10:56 pm, Blogger John Lyons said...

Hi Michael,

As I said, the UK is what I know and it is interesting to see what works elsewhere. Are OT and NT as equally valid as your comment suggests, I wonder? My experience here is that OT jobs are much rarer than NT ones, but then it was a while ago that I was looking, and OT seemed to be disappearing from the Universities at that time.

I did have interviews in various Anglican and Baptist training colleges to teach NT, but the churchmanship never quite fitted.

Publishing early worked for me because the RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) was coming up (as it is now) and I had publications to put in. The money involved is very significant to UK departments and so it really skews the job market towards those who publish.

What I find fascinating about Shawn and Angela is that they clearly expect to get jobs and (rightly) care about building their reputations as they work towards that goal. I am obviously not telling them to be dishonest or do anything really silly, but a good dose of realism is very, very important here. A job will not just fall into their lap. Everyone I knew as a PhD student who has a job, published early. Those who didn't, don't have a job. End of story.


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