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The Less-Obvious Elements of an Effective Book Proposal

Advice on getting published by Patrick H. Alexander

Getting published usually starts with a book proposal. Many a good manuscript has been turned down because of an ineffective proposal, and many a poor manuscript has been sent out for a formal review because the proposal was flawless. Publication of a scholarly book ultimately depends on the peer-review process, but that step occurs only if the proposal accomplishes its single mission: to get you a hearing. Too often, however, scholars misunderstand the job of the proposal in the overall process. (Continue reading….)


Notre Dame Postdoc in History and Phil of Science (11/28/11)

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: October 31, 2011
  • Filed Under: Job Ad

The History and Philosophy of Science Graduate Program at the University of Notre Dame seeks to appoint a Postdoctoral Fellow, beginning August 2012. The fellowship is for one year initially and is renewable for a second year. Applicants must have completed all requirements for the doctoral degree by June 30, 2012.
Applications are welcome from scholars working in any area of history and philosophy of science. In addition to pursuing his or her research and participating actively in the intellectual life of the program, the HPS Postdoctoral Fellow will teach two graduate courses per year for the HPS program, one of which may be in the candidate’s area of specialization. We are interested especially, but not exclusively, in candidates able to teach one of our graduate history of science survey courses: either History of Science, Technology and Medicine to 1750, or History of Science, Technology and Medicine 1750 to the present. We encourage you to explain why your research and teaching is well suited to a home in our inter-disciplinary program.
The annual stipend is $48,000. The fellowship package also includes health insurance and $3000 per year towards research expenses and conference travel.

Applicants should send the following materials in electronic form only, in PDF format by email attachment, to reilly@nd.edu including (if possible) “HPS post-doc” and your last name in the subject line:
1. Cover letter giving a brief summary of your primary field of expertise and specific qualifications for the fellowship.
2. Summary of your dissertation (two page maximum).
3. Plan of research to be undertaken during a two-year fellowship period (three page maximum).
4. Writing sample (30 page maximum).
5. Where applicable, a proposal for a graduate history of science survey course, as specified above, bearing in mind that our courses are taken by both history-track and philosophy-track students (one page maximum).
6. Proposal for a graduate seminar in your area of specialization (one page maximum).
7. Full curriculum vitae.
8. Names and affiliations of three referees whom you have asked to write to us directly.
The deadline for receipt of application materials is November 28th. Please note: applications which are printed and received via mail or courier will not be accepted and processed.

In addition, three letters of reference should be sent separately, either electronically (reilly@nd.edu) or by mail (Reilly Center, 453 Geddes Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556), to arrive by the application deadline. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that their letters of reference arrive by the deadline.

The HPS graduate program is housed in the Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values, and draws faculty from a variety of departments including History, Philosophy, the Program of Liberal Studies, Theology, and English. For further information about the Reilly Center and the HPS program please visit http://reilly.nd.edu/. The HPS Postdoctoral Fellowship is funded by the College of Arts and Letters.

Inquiries may be directed to Katherine Brading (Director, History and Philosophy of Science Program): kbrading@nd.edu.

The University of Notre Dame is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer with strong institutional and academic commitments to racial, cultural, and gender diversity. Women, minorities, and those attracted to a university with a Catholic identity are encouraged to apply. Information about Notre Dame, including our mission statement, is available at http://www.nd.edu.


Colgate Job Ad (11/23/11)

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: October 31, 2011
  • Filed Under: Job Ad

The Philosophy Department at Colgate University invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professorship in Philosophy to begin Fall Term 2012.  Applicants must have an AOS or strong AOC in either (i) some area of non-Western philosophy (Chinese philosophy, Indian philosophy, etc.), or (ii) philosophically important issues of diversity (queer theory, philosophy of race, feminist philosophy, etc.). 3/2 teaching load; highly competitive salary.  Completion of Ph.D. is expected prior to or shortly after the date of hire.

In addition to teaching courses within the department’s curriculum, all members of the philosophy faculty are expected to participate in all-university programs, including the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum.  Further information about Colgate’s philosophy department and its Core Curriculum can be found on the University’s website, www.colgate.edu.  Questions about the position should be addressed to the chair of the search committee, Jason Kawall (jkawall@colgate.edu). Review of applications will begin November 23, 2011.  Candidates should submit a dossier containing a CV, three letters of reference, a writing sample, and evidence of teaching effectiveness. All application materials must be submitted through https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/1172.

Colgate is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.  Developing and sustaining a diverse faculty, staff, and student body furthers the University’s educational mission. Women and minority scholars are especially encouraged to apply for this position. Applicants with dual-career considerations can find postings of other employment opportunities at Colgate and at other institutions of higher education in upstate New York at www.upstatenyherc.org.


Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies (12/1/11)

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: October 28, 2011
  • Filed Under: Fellowships

Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies

Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, 01.10.2012-30.09.2013

Deadline: December 1, 2011

Request for Research Proposals on Advanced German and European Studies

The Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies offers up to
one year of research support at the Freie Universität Berlin. It is open
to scholars in all social science and humanities disciplines, including
historians working on modern and contemporary German and European

The program accepts applications from U.S. and Canadian nationals or
permanent residents. Applicants for a dissertation fellowship must be
full-time graduate students enrolled at a North American university who
have achieved ABD status by the time the proposed research stay in
Berlin begins. Also eligible are U.S. and Canadian Ph.D.s who have
received their doctorates within the past two calendar years.

The Berlin Program is based at, funded and administered by the Freie
Universität Berlin. The program’s publicity and selection process is
organized in cooperation with the German Studies Association (GSA).

The Berlin Program Fellowship stipends are EUR 1.100 per month for
fellows working on a dissertation project and EUR 1.400 per month for
fellows working on a postdoctoral research project.

More information on the program’s homepage.

Karin Goihl
Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies
Freie Universität Berlin
Garystr. 45
14195 Berlin

Tel: +49 30 838 56671
Fax: +49 30 838 56672
Email: bprogram@zedat.fu-berlin.de



  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: October 18, 2011
  • Filed Under: Call for Papers

Call for applications: The Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en philosophie
politique de Montréal (GRIPP), spanning the departments of political science and
philosophy at McGill University, l’Université de Montréal, Concordia University,
and l’Université du Québec à Montréal, invites applications for its 2012
manuscript workshop award. The recipient of the award will be invited to
Montreal  for a day-long workshop in April/May 2012 dedicated to his or her book
manuscript. This “author meets critics” workshop will comprise four to five
sessions dedicated to critical discussion of the manuscript; each session will
begin with a critical commentary on a section of the manuscript by a  political
theorist or philosopher who is part of Montreal’s GRIPP community. The format is
designed to maximize feedback for a book-in-progress. The award covers the costs
of travel, accommodation, and meals.


A. Topic: The manuscript topic is open within political theory and political
philosophy, but we are especially interested in manuscripts related to at least
one of these GRIPP research themes: 1) the history of liberal and democratic
thought, especially early modern thought; 2) moral psychology and political
agency, or politics and affect or emotions or rhetoric; 3) democracy, diversity,
and pluralism. 4) democracy, justice, and transnational institutions.

B. Manuscript: Book manuscripts in English or French, not yet in a version
accepted for publication, by applicants with PhD in hand by 1 August 2011, are
eligible. Applicants must have a complete or nearly complete draft (at least 4/5
of final draft) ready to present at the workshop. In the case of co-authored
manuscripts, only one of the co-authors is eligible to apply. (Only works in
progress by the workshop date are eligible; authors with a preliminary book
contract are eligible only if no version has been already accepted for

C. Application: Please submit the following materials electronically, compiled
as a single PDF file: 1) a curriculum vitae; 2) a table of contents; 3) a short
abstract of the book project, up to 200 words; 4) a longer book abstract up to
2500 words; and, in the case of applicants with previous book publication(s),
(5) three reviews, from established journals in the field, of the applicant’s
most recently published monograph. Candidates are not required to, but may if
they wish, submit two letters of recommendation speaking to the merits of the
book project. Please do not send writing samples. Send materials by email, with
the subject heading “2012 GRIPP Manuscript Workshop Award” to Arash Abizadeh
<arash.abizadeh at mcgill.ca>. Review of applications begins 10 January 2012.
Contact Arash Abizadeh <arash.abizadeh at mcgill.ca> with questions.


Developing Your Teaching Portfolio

There are many ways for arranging your materials. One aspect to keep in mind is that you want to compile and format your materials in a way that is accessible and easy to use for exhausted search committee members who will be looking at your and 200 other candidates’ materials at the end of their Fall term. It may be a good idea to include a table of contents and use file dividers.

One way of organizing your teaching portfolio is

  1. Teaching Statement
  2. Past/Upcoming Course Responsibilities
  3. Course/Instructor Evaluations
  4. Examples of Course Materials

If there are particular courses that you would be eager to teach — especially in the area(s) the job ad mentions — but you have not taught those courses, it may be a good idea to include example syllabi that show how you would teach those courses.  A course description and list of weeks with texts are fine for this purpose.

The article below gives some advice on how to develop your teaching statement. It can be found at the teaching center at Ohio State U along with more information on teaching portfolios:

Nancy Chism’s five components of a teaching statement

In her article (Chism, 1998), “Developing a Philosophy of Teaching Statement,” Nancy Chism, former Director of Faculty and TA Development at The Ohio State University, suggests five major components.

1. Conceptualization of learning

Ask yourself such questions as “What do we mean by learning?” and “What happens in a learning situation?” Think of your answers to these questions based on your personal experience. Chism points out that some teachers have tried to express and explain their understanding of learning through the use of metaphor, because drawing comparisons with known entities can stimulate thinking, whether or not the metaphor is actually used in the statement. On the other hand, most instructors tend to take a more direct approach in conceptualizing learning, i.e., to describe what they think occurs during a learning episode, based on their observation and experience or based on current literature on teaching and learning.

2. Conceptualization of teaching

Ask yourself questions such as “What do we mean by teaching?” and “How do I facilitate this process as a teacher?” Chism suggests that personal teaching beliefs on how the instructor facilitates the learning process would be appropriate for this section. Again, the metaphor format can be used, but a common practice is a more direct description of the nature of a teacher with respect to motivating and facilitating learning. Along with the questions above, you may also address such issues as how to challenge students intellectually and support them academically and how the teacher can respond to different learning styles, help students who are frustrated, and accommodate different abilities. Furthermore, you may talk about how you as a teacher have come to these conclusions (e.g., through past experience as a student or teacher, or as a result of literature reading or taking classes).

3. Goals for students

This section should entail the description of what skills the teacher expects her/his students to obtain as the result of learning. You may address such issues as what goals you set for your classes, what the rationale behind them is, what kind of activities you try to implement in class in order to reach these goals, and how the goals have changed over time as you learn more about teaching and learning. For instance, you can describe how you have expected students to learn not only the content, but also skills such as critical thinking, writing, and problem solving, followed by elaboration on how you have designed/planned individual sessions towards accomplishing the goals.

4. Implementation of the philosophy

An important component of the statement of a teaching philosophy should be the illustration of how one’s concepts about teaching and learning and goals for students are transformed into classroom activities. Ask yourself, “How do I operationalize my philosophy of teaching in the classroom?” and “What personal characteristics in myself or my students influence the way in which I approach teaching?” To answer these questions, you may reflect on how you present yourself and course materials, what activities, assignments, and projects you implement in the teaching-learning process, how you interact with students in and outside class, and the consequences.

5. Professional growth plan

It is important for teachers to continue professional growth, and to do so, teachers need to set clear goals and means to accomplish these goals. Think about questions such as “What goals have I set for myself as a teacher?” and “How do I accomplish these goals?” You can elaborate this plan in your statement of teaching philosophy. For instance, you can illustrate how you have professionally grown over the years, what challenges exist at the present, what long-term development goals you have projected, and what you will do to reach these goals. Chism suggests that writing this section can help you think about how your perspectives and actions have changed over time.

In summary, these are the main questions Chism suggests to answer in a statement:

  • How do people learn?
  • How do I facilitate that learning?
  • What goals do I have for my students?
  • Why do I teach the way that I do?
  • What do I do to implement these ideas about teaching and learning in the classroom?
  • Are these things working? Do my student meet the goals?
  • How do I know they are working?
  • What are my future goals for growth as a teacher?


UMass Amherst Ancient Job

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: October 9, 2011
  • Filed Under: Job Ad


Rank: Assistant Professor. Starting date: September 1, 2012. AOS: Ancient Philosophy. AOC: Open. Undergraduate and graduate teaching, two courses per semester, with usual non-teaching duties. Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Applicants should submit: a letter of application, a CV, at least three letters of reference, a writing sample, and evidence of teaching effectiveness. Ph.D. in Philosophy by August 31, 2012 preferred; ABD considered. Electronic applications preferred. Please send application materials to: search@philos.umass.edu Hard copy materials may be sent to: Search Committee, Department of Philosophy, 352 Bartlett Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003. To be considered for an interview at the Eastern APA meetings, applications must be received by November 15, 2011. Applications will be reviewed until position is filled. UMass/Amherst is a member of the Five College Consortium along with Amherst, Smith, Hampshire, and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and is also a member of the Academic Career Network, a resource for dual career couples. The University of Massachusetts is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. The department is committed to developing and sustaining a diverse faculty, student body, and curriculum. Women and members of minority groups are encouraged to apply.


Email Subscription Button Added

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: October 7, 2011
  • Filed Under: How to

For those who prefer email subscription to an RSS Feed, I created an email subscription link at the bottom of the page.  Scroll down and click!


Job listings site

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: October 7, 2011
  • Filed Under: Job Market

Another site where jobs are being posted: This one is run out of the UK and posts UK and North American jobs: http://philjobs.org/jobs.


CfP: Philosophy and the Arts (due 1/13/12)

  • Posted by: Annika Thiem
  • Posted Date: October 4, 2011
  • Filed Under: Call for Papers

Still Life?

New York City, March 30-31, 2012

The Masters program in Philosophy and the Arts at Stony Brook University in Manhattan focuses on intersections of art and philosophy. In an effort to encourage dialogue across disciplines, we offer this conference and concurrent month-long exhibition in Chelsea as an interdisciplinary event and welcome participants working in a variety of fields and media to respond to this year’s topic: Still Life?

Dr. David Wood, Keynote Speaker
Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University

Submissions are due by January 13, 2012 (instructions here)

The theme Still Life? might provoke an existential, ontological, and/or ethical questioning of life as we know it. Additional topics might include: questions about (universal) human rights; the distribution of protections and risks; personal freedom, agency, and choice; disability and dependency; aging, decay and entropy; becomings, stunted potential, stutters and stammers; material, cognitive, affective or spiritual motion/mobility; vitality, time and rhythm; practices of preservation, plasticization and documentation; distillation and/or dilution; memory, nostalgia and haunting; exchanges, transitions and continuities between life and death; conceptualizations of eternity; enduring, waiting and patience; the life of art objects; ephemera(l) tracings; questions of motion and stasis; the uncanny or animate-inanimate; the inorganic life of things; causa sui or nascent morphology; contemporary still life; the endurance of painting/the painted gesture; the ‘freezing’ of photography; the stillness or kinetic affect or quality of sculpture; performance and the moving image.

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Last Modified: October 4, 2011