Feminist Philosophy on the High Seas?

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, an article about lecturing on luxury cruises:

Once or twice a year, Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman boards a luxury cruise ship for a working vacation. She spent most of last month in the waters off Iceland and Britain, enjoying the same privileges as passengers who paid full fares in the thousands of dollars.

But it’s not all champagne and shuffleboard: Ms. Hoffman is not paid and must write and present four lectures that are informative, interesting, and relevant to the cruise itinerary. Though she is an American historian by training, she has lectured off the coasts of France on romantic love, Italy on Garibaldi, Peru on the Incas, and Australia on aborigines—all topics that she had to bone up on before she could teach them. For this month’s trip, aboard the Silversea Cruises vessel Silver Cloud, she gave talks on Vikings, druids, and Celts.

And Dr. Hoffman took her husband along for free.

I suppose there might be a problem about relevance to the cruise’s destination, though those working on  ancient philosophers might not have a problem.  Perhaps worse, one might end up stuck at sea for days on end listening to the sort of comments that show up on the NY Times’ The Stone series.  Arrghhh!

When asked how to sign up, the article’s author said:

People do it a whole bunch of ways. Elizabeth Hoffman wrote letters to several different cruise lines, pitching her skills. Others get approached by talent agencies that are contracted by the cruise lines to find specific lecturers. One such agency is Sixth Star Entertainment. If you go to their Web site (http://www.sixthstar.com/), they have a form you can fill out. However, they actually charge the lecturers a small daily fee in exchange for placing them on a cruise, so it’s a better deal if you can work directly with a cruise line. That said, experience is experience, and once you’ve established  that you can do it, it would probably be easier to persuade another cruise line to engage your services the next time.

3 thoughts on “Feminist Philosophy on the High Seas?

  1. There’s an interesting account of this sort of thing in J.M. Coetzee’s book _Elizabeth Costello_. It’s not his best book, I think, but one that will stab at many academics, and perhaps especially philosophers.

  2. From the top of my head, there could be Rawls/Nozick and various European (and other) debt crises, and a philosopher of art could find all kinds of awesome stuff to talk about pretty much wherever the boat put in or on the way to wherever.

  3. The problem with this? You have to go on a cruise. And that’s a supposedly fun thing (I hope) I’ll never do again.

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