Academia

Recent posts

Gendered Micro-Inequities In Academia

Ah, the start of another school year! I love the beginning of the semester because it’s always an invigorating time. I’m excited to be teaching an introduction to folklore class, which means I get to view my beloved discipline through new eyes. However, this is also a time to reflect on and take stock of what it means to be an academic. And for women, people of color, and other minorities, this can be an unsettling topic. Continue Reading →

Professor Writes Romance Novels… And Keeps Job

Perhaps reports of a high-school teacher receiving criticism for writing erotic novels and of a transgender professor denied tenure have made me cynical, but I was surprised to read about this professor who is “out” as a romance novelist and seems to be doing fine. Her colleagues all agree that the caliber of her scholarship speaks for itself. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone who was somehow involved in thinking/writing about sex were treated with the same regard? Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Transgender Professor Denied Tenure

After completing her transition, a transgender professor was denied tenure and terminated. The professor also experienced harassment specific to her situation: she was told that she could only use one bathroom on the campus, a restriction that was placed on no other faculty member. After her tenure review, the professor was told that the dean and vice president of academic affairs found her “lifestyle” inappropriate, so she was going to be made to leave. There are no transgender anti-discrimination laws in the state of Oklahoma, nor are there specific laws about hate crimes based on gender or sexuality. Thus, there may not be any recourse for the professor, even though the president of academic affairs has openly stated that the professor’s lifestyle “offends his Baptist beliefs.” Continue Reading →

Review of Jonathan’s Engel’s “The Epidemic”

As promised, here is my review of The Epidemic:

The Epidemic: A Global History of AIDS promises two things in its title: to explore HIV/AIDS both from a global and from an historical perspective.  This promise of comprehensive coverage is met with aplomb as Engel takes us on a dizzying tour of the trajectory of HIV/AIDS.  Starting with its alleged origins in Africa, he traces the vectors of the disease into the gay population in the U.S., on to IV drug users, then back across the ocean to talk about how it currently affects the developing areas of Africa and Asia.  Along the way, he discusses the politics, civil rights issues, and how the disease actually works.  Engel approaches issues from all angles, making sure all dissenting opinions and seemingly crackpot theories are mentioned.  He debunks myths, gives proper credit for important advances, and attempts to keep a neutral tone while discussing these hot-button issues. Continue Reading →

Erotic ESP?

Check out this article from the Edmonton Journal about a pending study involving people appearing to have ESP, but only when the concealed pictures were of an erotic nature.  Apparently thinking about sex makes us psychic.  Makes perfect sense to me. Learn about MSP posts as they happen by following us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. You can also follow Craig VanKempen, the author of this post, @craigvk and make friends with us on Facebook. Continue Reading →

What Happens When Sex Work And Academia Collide?

I recently read an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about a “professor-dominatrix scandal”. In brief, various faculty members and grad students in the creative writing department at the University of New Mexico were involved with phone sex work, and the whole thing blew up with accusations, resignations, and so on. Notably, many of the people at the university involved in this thing were women, and they suffered terrible consequences at the hands of their colleagues. One of the smarter, more nuanced analyses of the situation is titled “The Scarlet SW for Sex Worker”. The author correctly points out that of the faculty members involved, one woman apologized, quit the phone sex job immediately, and was not found at fault by the university’s administration–however, the other faculty continued to persecute her. Continue Reading →