Office Doors of the North American Professor

We have often noticed, as we stroll down the hallways of academic buildings, how the doors of the faculty beckon to us — with whispers and insinuations, exhortations and declamations, jeers and jests — via a motley collection of decorations: cartoons, articles, quotations, posters, advertisements, photographs, and artwork.

What motivates such postings by that increasingly threatened species, the North American professor? How do those office doors reflect upon the professors or the disciplines in which they study and teach? —James LangOffice Doors of the North American Professor  (Chronicle)

On my office door:

A printout of my home page (redesigned so it fits on one page).

A brand spanking new nameplate (everyone on the floor seems to have gotten one, which sends a nice unifying, inclusive message).

A small number of business cards, stuck by the corners in the windowpane and fanned out for the taking. They disappear at the rate of about one a month. (Every so often I rearrange them so it looks like one has just been removed, and then for some reason they disappear quickly after that… maybe because they fall out and get swept up… I don’t know.)

To the side of my door:

Articles from The Onion: deconstructing a Mexican take-out menu, and “English Replaced to be New Syntax With.” Maybe one more that I can’t remember. (I’m blogging this from home.)

A feature from the local paper on Pittsburgh weblogs, forwarded to me by an administrator. (Two pages, with artsy pictures of computer keyboards and bloggers.)