Saturday, December 15, 2007

'Tis the Season...

Dear Dr. *******,

I allowed my response to my sabbatical rejection to sit for 24 hours so that I could respond with a semblance of calm. Frankly, as a 23 year "veteran" at SMU who has never received a sabbatical I feel rather humiliated by the rejection of my proposal. I also have this great sense of urgency about my research, a sense that is shared by the newly founded Global Bee Breeders Association, an international organization of bee breeders and entomologists who have granted me membership in the GBBA on the basis of my wholistic research agenda even though I am neither a beekeeper, bee breeder or entomologist.

If I understood you correctly, your concern was that the sociological/anthropological implications of the proposal were not fleshed out enough; the proposal was too biological. Aside from what I think is an obvious misreading of this proposal , this assessment seems rather ironic to me:

1. The proposal was focused on improving an interdisciplinary course "Global Issues". Many global issues have obvious biological implications.

2. If you examine my career here you will notice that a lion's share of the courses I have taught have been either interdisciplinary or in some other discipline other than sociology. Look at my schedule next semester: two global issues courses, public policy and political and social thought I. None of these courses are primarily sociological. While other people have been able to focus their free time on their own discipline, I have always had to learn someone elses. Now this is turned around when it comes to a sabbatical?

3. My own sociological work has always been informed by strong currents of the "sociology of science" subdiscipline which has often put me at odds with people in the natural sciences. They would be quite amused to hear that my research agenda was primarily biological in focus.

I really don't know how to end this letter because I really don't expect that much can be done. I hope you will recognize and respect some of my frustrations though.


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