We always like to learn more about how the OSP is being used, and sometimes this yields an unexpected treat. Here’s a short segment from a Japanese quiz show called ‘Wow! Surprising Japan,’ in which foreigners are quizzed about their knowledge of Japan. The segment discusses novelist Souseki Natsume, who comes in 11th in some sort of power ranking of famous Japanese people. Here, the OSP is used as an authority for what foreigners might know about Japan. According to our data, Natsume’s Kokoro is assigned with some frequency. Thanks, Daisuke!Continue reading →
The next version of the OSP dataset is beginning to take shape. It will have roughly 6 million syllabi, covering around 6000 institutions around the world. All the stats and breakdowns will bounce around as we refine the classifiers, decide which fields to consolidate, and so on, but here are a couple interesting initial views:
And a breakdown by field:
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We’re on a melancholic run for the winter months. February’s honoree is “The Professor of Longing” by Jill Talbot.
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243: The Professor of Longing
Dr. Jill Talbot
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | 426-7060
Office: LA 102 C (a room I share with a broken shelf and three people I never see)
Office Hours: Before and After Class and once in a booth in the Hyde Park Bar & Grill
Course Description: This course is about failed attempts. It’s about me standing in an office two states and two months ago handing over a letter declaring that I was leaving academia indefinitely. It’s about being on the road—Utah, Idaho, Montana—climbing north before having to turn around, scramble south. It’s about the trying months of summer and ending up in a circumstance not on any map. It’s about Boise instead of Missoula, about adjustments instead of adventure, about impediments edging out impulse, bi-monthly paychecks that can’t cover rent and daycare, my last cigarette. It will be writing in a cramped corner on a plastic tv tray in a foldout chair bought at a thrift store. By the end of the semester, the focus will be two am phone calls and bad checks. For the final, look for a bookcase and a loveseat in a living room with the front door left wide open, my four-year-old daughter’s favorite polka-dotted vest forgotten on the kitchen counter.
Texts: We’re not going to read anything beyond my own proclivities. We’ll discuss stories, essays, and poems that remind
This month’s honoree is:
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PHL289: THE PHILOSOPHY OF ADJUNCTING
Instructor: Kevin Temple
Office hours: By text message
There is no such thing as the Philosophy of Adjuncting; but rest assured, this course is authentic, for I am being deliriously underpaid to teach it. As the “instructor of record,” I have made the syllabus distinctly my own because that tiny gasp of freedom is to tenure what adjunct pay is to an actual salary. What have I put on it? Nothing of use. It is self-defeating, for that is what a philosophy of adjuncting must be.
- THE STRUCTURAL PROBLEM
Week 1: Marx on alienation
My adjunct friend says, “The irony of adjuncting is being alienated labor while teaching future alienated laborers about Alienated Labor.” Read the Alienated Labor section of Marx’s “Economic-Philosophic Manuscripts.” Alienation happens in a bunch of ways; for example, when instead of doing something great on your own terms, an arbitrarily powerful person forces you to do it his way. He ruins what you do by breaking it down into a series of distinct tasks, automating whatever can be automated, measuring how long each remaining task takes, and then paying you as little as possible per task. That’s how administrators created adjuncting. It’s almost like they’ve read Marx.
Week 2: Adorno saw it coming
We discuss the “culture industry.” Universities as a whole have what Adorno called a “culture monopoly.” As such, he says, “They cannot afford to neglect their appeasement of the real holders of
We’re pleased to announce that we’ve won a Catalyst Grant for innovative research tool-building projects, offered by Digital Science. The grant will support the extension of the OSP into other languages, beginning with German, Spanish, and Japanese (languages in which we have large document collections).Continue reading →