It’s Tuesday, It’s Hot: You Need Shorts

August 2, 2011, 9:50 am

For those of you who are new to Tenured Radical, you should know that people send us stuff all the time.  Little stuff, big stuff, stuff that goes viral as a featured post and other stuff that we just save and kick out every once in a while with other stuff we like.  So without further ado, today’s stuffed shorts are:

Moonlight, Magnolias and Marriage Myths. In today’s Grey Lady, Princeton historian Tera Hunter has a superb op-ed about the ways in which Republican right-wingers are re-writing the history of slavery to suit modern political agendas.  The excising of the 3/5th clause in the Constitution during a Republican reading of that document on the House Floor, and the outrageous assertion in a document authored by Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum “that ‘a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President,’ was amended after the outrage it stirred,” Hunter writes.  Why?  Because enslaved people could perform marriage rituals, some of which were sanctioned by their owners, but they had no legal right to marry, form families or raise their own children.

Seriously, does the GOP have no shame?  No shame at all?
Journal of Women’s History Graduate Student Article Prize. The Editorial Board of the Journal of Women’s History is proud to announce the initiation of a biennial prize for the best article manuscript in the field of women’s history authored by a graduate student.  Manuscripts in any chronological and geographical area are welcome.  We seek work that has broad significance for the field of women’s history in general by addressing issues that transcend the particulars of the case or by breaking new ground methodologically.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically, along with a cover letter specifying the author’s graduate advisor, program, and status (i.e., year in program, ABD, etc.), by March 1, 2012 to each member of the committee:  Durba Ghosh(; Pamela Scully (; and Judith Zinsser (

Need Advice? You Are In Luck — The Professor Is In. Karen Kelsky, a former tenured faculty and department head from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Anthropology and Japanese) has left the academy to start a new consulting business as a mentor to graduate students, job market candidates and nontenured faculty.  The Professor Is In is a website, blog and pay to play full service mentoring shop that you might want to check out if you have tried your hardest and things don’t seem to be clicking.  Some of what Kelsky has to offer is free (my favorite page? It’s OK to Quit) and other stuff is fee-only.  If you are asking yourself why you would pay for advice on your career, do be clear:  most professionals have access to services like this and use them to move forward in their lives. For some reason, academics think that they should be able to do everything themselves.

Speaking of families….. Upon the return of the Radical family from vacation, we quickly caught up with the final three episodes of a favorite television show, Friday Night Lights. I always regret it when quality television goes off the air, but part of what makes it quality television is that the creators know when they are done:  two cycles of football players and students shepherded into adulthood by Eric and Tammy Taylor has probably exhausted all available story lines about this Texas high school. Another thing that reminds us this was quality television is that the creators had to fight to keep it on the air. FNL was almost cancelled after both its first and its second seasons, and a creative deal with Dish Network produced the revenues needed to keep it going.

But here’s an interesting little factoid.  In both FNL and Big Love, another fave rave of mine that closed down production in 2011, the end of the story is the beginning of a new one in which a wife’s realized aspirations re-shape the family.  It does not seem accidental that these are also two television shows for which religion has been crucial to driving and/or shaping the plot. Since I am a person who is personally offended by shows that feature fantasy religion (i.e., plots driven by angels, reincarnation, rebirth into alternative bodies, or a character being in direct communication with God), this may or may not shock you:  television shows that have the guts to show how faith shapes and drives he daily lives of ordinary people have the Radical stamp of approval.  I would like more of them.

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