CFP: Academic Blogging and Workplace Politics (ongoing; e-journal)

full name / name of organization:

In recent weeks, a heated debate over the dangers academic bloggers may face when applying for jobs has emerged as a result of a recent essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education ( The author, writing under the pseudonym Ivan Tribble, claims, among other things, that often the simple practice of maintaining a "blog was a negative" for applicants seeking employment in his department. "The content of the blog," Tribble continues, "may be less worrisome than the fact of the blog itself. Several committee members expressed concern that a blogger who joined our staff might air departmental dirty laundry (real or imagined) on the cyber clothesline for the world to see. Past good behavior is no guarantee against future lapses of professional decorum."

Elsewhere, the author warns "[y]ou may think your blog is a harmless outlet. You may use the faulty logic of the blogger, 'Oh, no one will see it anyway.' Don't count on it. Even if you take your blog offline while job applications are active, Google and other search engines store cached data of their prior contents. So that cranky rant might still turn up."

He concludes the essay with "[w]e've seen the hapless job seekers who destroy the good thing they've got going on paper by being so irritating in person that we can't wait to put them back on a plane. Our blogger applicants came off reasonably well at the initial interview, but once we hung up the phone and called up their blogs, we got to know 'the real them' -- better than we wanted, enough to conclude we didn't want to know more."

Not surprisingly, a large number of blog postings addressing Tribble's essay appeared around the web in the days following the essay's appearance on the Chronicle's website. While many bloggers criticized Tribble's essay as hypocritical, close-minded, bigoted, or unrealistic, others reluctantly agreed that blogging, for academics, can be a very risky practice.

Sobriquet Magazine, a non-profit online publication, seeks intelligent, scholarly consideration of the impact blogging has had on the academic job market, the potential benefits and risks of academic blogging, and speculation on the future role academic blogs may have both in and out of the classroom.

Essays must follow the MLA style sheet.

All essays accepted for publication remain the property of the author.

Questions, queries, and submissions may be sent to: editor_at_sobriquetmagazine_dot_com

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Fri Jul 29 2005 - 08:40:15 EDT