You know, this sounds so dumb that it can only be the product of denial, but I honestly hadn’t made the connection between the rhetoric of “counting” used by my academic superego and the tenure process, in no small part because the standards held by my institution are comparatively so rational and humane. Here, editing does “count,” though only additively, as research; in other words, it won’t take the place of appropriate peer-reviewed publications, such as the first book, but as a second book, it suffices.

I think it’s not just tenure standards, though, but job market standards, because what I’ve managed to internalize are to some extent the R1 standards, which is part of what makes me peg the whole thing back to grad school, and the moment at which my pal CSA and I attended a meeting held by the jobs placement officer of our department and a couple of junior faculty, who gave us specific numerical targets to aim for in various c.v. categories (2 articles, 5 conferences, etc). Since then, the sense that some things count and others don’t has apparently taken root in my unconscious, and spread throughout my work life.

Wow, this is like being in analysis. I can’t believe I’d never made that connection.