Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Want to bet what English faculty are watching tonight? 

One of the people I met at the blogger gathering was Jim Styczynski, a frequent reader and contributor to the Fraters, who offered to show me some research he did on Ivy League English departments.  Keegans being what it is with much tasty beer, I wasn't sure he'd remember.  Boy was I wrong!  I received an email with three attachments, the first being a summary that begins thus:
I went through the web-site of each Ivy League English department and compiled the academic interests of the faculty as listed on the web-site.  I considered only full, associate and assistant professors; I did not include visiting professors, adjunct professors, or lecturers.  The interests tended to be quite varied, so I attempted to put them into broader categories, thirteen that I judged to be more or less traditional, and five that struck me as, well, non-traditional.  I broke down the information by school, by professorial rank (when available), and year of Ph.D. (when available).  While I was at it, I ran each professors name through http://www.tray.com/ to see how they donated money politically.   Most did not contribute any money at all, but 7.7% donated to John Kerry, another Democratic candidate, the DNC, or Emily�s list.  None showed up as having donated any money to Bush/Cheney or any other Republican or conservative group.

I have been wondering with another frequent reader whether perhaps liberals are more likely to give generally to political causes than conservatives.  I'm trying to figure out why this pattern keeps happening.  Here's a summary of what he came up with:

Number who contributed to Kerry, a Democrat, and or Democratic Party Related Group 25 (7.7%)

Kerry for president $16,500
Howard Dean $1,650
Wesley Clark$3,000
Dennis Kucinich $500
Joe Lieberman $2,000

DNC $4,713
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee $250
Cohen of New Hampshire (Democrat U.S. Senate) $500
Patty Murray (Washington, Democrat, U.S. Senate)  $750
Barbara Boxer (California, Democrat, U.S. Senate) $800
Betty Castor  (Florida Democtrat, U.S. Senate) $300
Allyson Schwartz (Pennsylvania 13th, Democrat U.S. Congress)  $300
Emily�s List $3,850
Bush/Cheney or any other Republican candidate or organization 0

Over on my personal site I've posted his excel file with his results, along with a summary of his findings and a list of faculty publications.  The most interesting comment he had:
I had no idea that there was so much academic interest in Mary Shelley�s �Frankenstein�.  I didn�t make a count, but there were quite a few papers.
Common Sense and Wonder thinks this pattern applies to all Ivy faculty.  Maybe Jack can contribute some observations as well.