Joni Mitchell’s Application for a Tenure Track Philosophy Position

joni philosophy

Image by Asy­lum Records (Bill­board page 2) [Pub­lic domain], via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

Michael Stipe has a teach­ing gig at NYU. Lyn­da Bar­ry has one at UW-Madi­son. Sun Ra gave a clas­sic lec­ture at UC-Berke­ley. So why can’t we imag­ine Joni Mitchell land­ing a job at a uni­ver­si­ty too? That’s what Jedidi­ah Ander­son did, when he wrote a satir­i­cal piece over at McSweeney’s called “Joni Mitchell Applies for a Tenure Track Phi­los­o­phy Posi­tion.” It begins:

Dear Search Com­mit­tee:

I am apply­ing for the posi­tion of Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor in Phi­los­o­phy. I am an advanced doc­tor­al can­di­date in Phi­los­o­phy (with minors in Urban Stud­ies and Eng­lish), and expect to defend my dis­ser­ta­tion in May, 2015.

My dis­ser­ta­tion, Both Sides Now applies a bilat­er­al, hylo­mor­phic analy­sis to the phe­nom­e­non that is described by the sig­ni­fi­er “clouds.” Hav­ing been con­sti­tut­ed in West­ern dis­course both pos­i­tive­ly as “rows and flows of angel hair,” “ice cream cas­tles in the air,” “feath­er canyons every­where,” and neg­a­tive­ly as objects that exist sole­ly to obscure the sun, express rain and snow, and hin­der the achieve­ment of var­i­ous goals, we can con­clude that after the appli­ca­tion of this bilat­er­al, hylo­mor­phic analy­sis that due to these con­tra­dic­to­ry “up” and “down” epis­te­molo­gies of cloud tropes, the real­i­ty of clouds is some­how still under­stud­ied, hav­ing been ignored in favor of their Pla­ton­ic form/sign, and that we real­ly don’t “know” clouds at all.

You can read the rest of her “appli­ca­tion” here and then spend the evening dream­ing about tak­ing Joni’s class­es on Pla­to, Exis­ten­tial­ism, and Urban Devel­op­ment. I know I will.

You can find more great Joni Mitchell mate­r­i­al below.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Vin­tage Video of Joni Mitchell Per­form­ing in 1965 — Before She Was Even Named Joni Mitchell

James Tay­lor and Joni Mitchell, Live and Togeth­er (1970)

The Music, Art, and Life of Joni Mitchell Pre­sent­ed in a Superb 2003 Doc­u­men­tary

Free Online Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es

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