The Barnacle of Higher Ed has been covering the controversy over academic blogging (or doing their best to manufacture one) for over a year now. The latest is a symposium on whether blogging “damaged” Juan Cole’s career. Cole is a middle east expert and a full professor at the University of Michigan. The “damage”? Apparently he was up for a job at Yale and there’s some suspicion that he didn’t get it because he blogged about controversial topics — topics in his area of expertise (which is more than I do most of the time).
So it is quite refreshing to read Cole’s response to the Chronicle’s forum, where he basically shames them. Even if he does go too far (it’s okay in my book for people without jobs or on the tenure treadmill to “worry about their careers”), it’s nice to see someone pointing out that not getting a job at Yale isn’t exactly a “damaged” career. A little perspective, please!