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20th and 21st Century American

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Links:
Academic Job Search Main
English Literature
Individual Stats: Interviews, etc.
Postdocs in the Humanities (2008)


Last Updated: Thursday, March 27, 3:05 p.m. EST PLEASE UPDATE DATE/TIME MANUALLY WHEN YOU ADD SOMETHING

Please don't use double-dashes!

OVERVIEW

Offers Made:

Northwestern (UCLA ABD)
Davis (UCLA ABD)
Yale (hired a University of Virginia ABD and a UCLA PhD)
USC
Pratt
Bates
University of Cincinnati
University of Colorado, CS (hired a Brandeis grad PhD)
Colorado State U (hired a University of Virginia PhD)


Campus Visits:

Bates College (1/15) 5 candidates scheduled for campus visit. Offer made. Potential inside hire. (2/26)

St. Bonaventure University (12/4) Q: I, too, had a campus visit at St. Bonna. I don't know if this is proper etiquette, but were you by any chance the successful candidate? (01/08)

The Citadel (1/3)

Colorado State University Email notification that I was not being invited to campus dated 01/07 (01/08)

Columbus State U (12/21)

Davis

Fairfield: I interviewed with Fairfield at MLA, and I see that there is another interivewee on here, too. I guess campus visits have been scheduled? They said that they would call the lucky candidates the last week of January. 2/07

Hampshire College Q: Has anyone had a campus invitation? NB I posted Hampshire with my question, it wasn't listed here already. Otherwise I wouldn't have this question. (1/31) Got a "still interested?" email back in Feb; nothing since. Anyone else? What might be going on? (4/4).

Manhattan College (1/2)

Northwestern U; Q: date of contact to set up visit? earlier than suggested timetable? A. I'm not the candidate, but I noticed that NU had scheduled all of its job talks online as of last Friday. Five candidates are being flown out, from what I can tell.

San Francisco State - post-MLA rejection letter dated 1/15.

Syracuse U (1/24)

Union College (12/30)

University of Colorado, Boulder (Digital Media with expertise in a second literary/creative field); campus visits scheduled for early February

University of Colorado - Colorado Springs (12/30) I was told at the interview that they wouldn't be making a decision about callbacks til the end of the first week in January. Have others heard from this school about a callback? No I have not heard anything since the interview. (01/08) I received a call for a campus visit at the end of January (1/7). Offer made and accepted.

University of Cincinnati (1/02)

University of Southern Mississippi (1/11)

University of Southern California (campus visit); rejection 24 Jan/08

Willamette: 1 job lecture has been posted on the Willamette English Dept. website. Does anyone know if other campus visits have been scheduled or if perhaps the dept. is inviting candidates out one by one? 1/19

Wilmington College (OH) Q: Has anyone heard anything yet about campus interviews? (01/08) A: I also interviewed with Wilmington and haven't heard anything yet. Did you post Wilmington up here along with your question, or did someone else put it here, indicating that he or she had received a callback? A: I posted Wilmington up here since my question was related to campus visits. Sorry if that was incorrect; I'm new to Wiki. (01/08) No problem! I'm just anxious (like you) because I'm waiting to hear! A: Wilmington's SC indicated that they would be meeting again to discuss candidates Jan 10. A: Campus visit invitation (1/11) Have they made an offer?

Yale: campus visits announced on their website

MLA/Phone Interviews:

Bates (12/13) **anybody get word on campus visits for this job in am. lit. and am. cultural studies? (1/8) Campus visit scheduled (1/15)

Bryn Mawr (12/13)

Buffalo State

Cal Poly (12/6) MLA (12/12)

CSU/San Bernardino (12/6)

The Citadel (12/8)

Colorado State U (12/13)

Columbus State U (12/10)

Fairfield U (12/7)

Florida International U (12/14)

Hampshire College (12/12) (2) Q: Has anyone had a campus invitation? (1/30)

Hartwick (12/13)

Manhattan (12/15)

Northwestern U (12/13)

Penn State Erie (11/15)

Philadelphia U (12/14)

Reed College (12/17)

San Francisco State U (12/17)

Simon Fraser U (12/11)

Skidmore (12/14)

Syracuse (12/14)

Tufts (12/6)

Union College (11/26)

UC Berkeley (12/13)

UC Davis (12/13)

University of Cincinnati (12/3)

University of Colorado, Boulder (12/10)

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (12/7)(2)

U of Hartford (12/8)(2)

U of Houston (12/2)

U of Mary Washington (12/11)

U of Nebraska (12/10)

U of New Orleans (12/2)

U of North Carolina - Greensboro (12/5)

USC (12/12)

U of Southern Miss. (12/5)

U of Western Ontario (11/30)

U of Wisconsin-Parkside (11/20)

Willamette (12/10)(2)

Whitworth University (11/27)

Wilmington College (12/4)(3)


Material Requests:

Belmont University (12/3)

Hartwick College (12/8): 2

Syracuse (11/27; most recent)

U of California, Berkeley (11/8)

U of Mary Washington (11/25)

U of Virginia (12/17)

Washington University (11/3)


Arizona SU
(Late 19th/Early 20th) Deadline: Dec. 7 E-mail acknowledgment of application; affirmative action form completed: Dec. 3 (4) Writing sample request 12/14 fly-back scheduled 1/6

Rejection e-mail received Thursday, March 27

Bates
Deadline: Nov. 1 Acknowledgement 11/18 by post (2) MLA interview scheduled 12/13

Belmont University
Deadline: Dec. 14
Q: Did anyone interview with this school at MLA? Or has anyone heard from the SC beyond a materials request? They posted the job late but were trying to get ready for MLA the last I heard.(12/30)
A: I've had absolutely NO correspondence from them; not even an acknowledgement (2). (1/08)

Bryn Mawr
Deadline Nov. 1 MLA interview scheduled 12/13 (IS THIS THE ENGLISH AND FILM STUDIES JOB? -- 12/15)
A: Yes, I've been assuming it's the lit/film position. (But I'm not the one who got the interview). Q: Yes (12/17)

Buffalo State
Deadline: Oct. 19 Ack. 10/19 Phone interview scheduled Rej letter dated 11/19, postmarked 11/27 (4)

Cal Poly
Post-1865 American Lit., sub-specialty in Modern American Fiction or American Colonial Lit. preferred eDeadline: Oct. 22 Ack. 10/26 E-mail to set up an 'informal' conversation of 20 min with one search ctte member by phone (12/4) Placement Director at my institution tells me that last year these 20 min interviews were a precursor to selecting candidates for MLA interviews. Telephone 'informal' chat 12/6. MLA interview scheduled via e-mail. (12/12)


Cal State, San Bernardino
Deadline: Nov. 1 Request for more materials, early Nov. Request for more materials 11/14 MLA interview scheduled by phone call 12/6 (can you clarify exactly what? I was asked for biographical info. like education/ place of birth, etc.) A: Offical transcripts, letters of rec., writing sample and teaching materials. Request for more materials, dated Nov 14, received Nov. 19. Q: Did you get the acknowledgement? Isn't education listed in the CV? And isn't it illegal to ask about place of birth? A: Yes, I got the acknowledgement also. Apparently, it is not illegal to ask about place of birth; they wanted to know if I was originally from California; the form also asked me to list all of my degrees and some other stuff that I can't remember. Comment: This is strange; why should whether you come from CA matter? I was only asked for official transcripts and my ref. letters; they didn't ask for a writing sample or anything about my citizenry, and I'm not even American. Comment/Answer: For what it's worth, I got mine snail-mail. I was asked for official transcripts and letters, but they also "suggested" a writing sample and teaching materials; maybe we're all getting different letters? Comment: I got a similar letter to the one mentioned above: "suggested" writing sample an teaching materials. Comment/Question: I also got the "suggestion" letter. Could the biographical info. material be the EEOC form? MLA interview scheduled: 12/6 Rejection letter stating position(s) filled 2/28


The Citadel
Deadline: November 1 Request for writing sample/dossier: 11/9, 11/7 MLA interview scheduled 12/8

Colorado State University
Deadline: November 15 [Asks for "evidence of strengths in teaching." I sent only teaching evaluation info and was asked for syllabi and teaching philosophy on 11/9.] (5) MLA interview scheduled 12/13 (3) Med-Board Secure Pharm Canada Drugstore Discount Generic Drugstore Super drug saver Drugs Discount Medicine-Doctor Trusted Drugs Pharmacy Without Prescription Canadian Pharmacy

Columbus State U
Asst Prof 20th C with trans-Atlantic perspective; ack 12/8; Phone Interviews Scheduled as of 12/10 Campus Interviews scheduled on 12/21

Fairfield U
20th C Poetry Deadline: Oct. 26 MLA interview: 12/7


Florida Int'l U
Deadline: Nov. 15 Has anyone received acknowledgement of application? Mail Acknowledgment 11/20 (3) MLA interview: 12/14 flyback scheduled 1/2

Guilford College
Deadline: 11/05 Rejection dated 11/28, postmarked 11/30 (7) Q: Did anyone interview with Guildford? I have heard nothing from them yet, not even an acknowledgment (01/08) A: A friend of mine interviewed with the SC at MLA. I received a rejection letter. 1/15

Hampshire C
Deadline: Nov. 1 Acknowledgement 11/15 (4) MLA interview: 12/12 (2) has anyone received a callback for this position yet? Not me... (1/30) See above...still waiting (4/4)

Hartwick College (NY)
Deadline: November 16 email ack. rec. 11/12 (2) Dossier request by e-mail (12/8)

Howard
Deadline: Nov. 15

Manhattan College
20th/21st C. Ack. 11/15 MLA interview scheduled December 15 (a Saturday, by phone)
Campus visit scheduled 1/2
Offer made to first candidate sometime last week (2/14)

U of New Orleans
Deadline: Nov. 2 "Seeking an Americanist in modern and/or contemporary literary and cultural studies w/specialization in one or more of the following areas: African-American literature, New Orleans or Louisiana lit., or lit. of the Americas" Dossier request: 11/7 MLA interview: 12/2 (2) Can UNO seekers posted here move this info to the earlier UNO post in the "U" section below?

Northwestern U
Late 19th/Early 20th C Deadline: Nov. 1 Email ackn. rec'd 11/15 (3) Affirmative Action rec'd 11/30, 12/7 MLA interview scheduled 12/13

Penn State Erie
Deadline: Oct.8 Ack. 10/23 Phone interview sch'd 11/15

Philadelphia U
Contemp. American Lit. and Writing Deadline: Nov. 9 Ack. 12/3 (3) MLA interview: 12/14

Reed College
Deadline: Nov. 15 MLA interview (via email): 12/17 (2)

S.F. State
Two positions, Asst. or Assoc. Prof. Deadline: November 12 Ack. rec'd via post 11/19 (2) Q: Will they ask for writing samples? MLA interview (via email): 12/17 (2)

St. Bonaventure University
"20th-century and contemporary American literature, with competence in multicultural American literatures" Deadline: Oct. 15 Phone interview 11/19 Campus visits concluded 12/04

Simon Fraser U
Assoc. Prof. 20th C Deadline: Oct 31 Q: Any word on this job? MLA interview scheduled 12/11

Skidmore
MLA interview scheduled 12/14

Swarthmore
Deadline Nov. 1 rejected via mail Dec. 12

Syracuse
20/21st Century Literature
Deadline: Nov. 15
request for additional materials 11/13 (2); 11/21 (2); 11/26 (3); 11/27
Q: Any follow-ups yet?
A: I was asked for extra materials, but I still haven't heard anything.
A. Received email to schedule MLA interview 12/14 (me too)
Rejected via mail Jan. 8 (letter dated Dec. 15 but not mailed until January. They said they were "impressed" by my credentials. Uh, thanks. Why is it so hard for these people to offer a simple rejection without a pat on the head? Or should I just assume that they mean they *were* impressed... negatively? (2)
Q2: Has anyone heard about campus visits? A: The committee has made recommendations to the department; departmental assembly to approve recommendations is scheduled for 1/16. (01/09) Q3: So has anyone been contacted yet--either for visit or rejection post-MLA? (1/18) A3: I still haven't heard anything after my MLA interview. A4: They contacted two finalists, have 5 others on a waiting list (1/24)

Tufts
Deadline: Nov. 1 Ack. rec'd via post 11/19, 12/1 (2) 12/8, 12/12 MLA interview scheduled according to Other Ethnic American wiki 12/6 MLA interview scheduled 12/6 Q. Is it wiki-polite to ask interviewees who is on their interview committee? A: Why not? This is what I know, Lee Edelman and some other folks. But there was a question about whether to run a search for Asian-American, or open, which they did and then gave preference to Asian American. Anyway, the department is divided on whether or not to hire outside Asian American. Q: Thanks for the note. I am wondering if all the interviewees are contacted already. Should I still have hope? A: I am a different respondent. I know that as of yesterday Tufts was still calling candidates to set up interviews.

Union College
Did someone erase Union College or was it moved to a different page? A: I haven't seen it elsewhere. A friend of mine received a writing sample request about two weeks ago (12/3) Scheduled MLA interview 11/26. Received e-mail saying they had too many applicants to interview, so they will keep my file on hold "should their situation change." I think that's like being afraid to break up with somebody and telling them you just need some space, instead. (6) (12/7) I know; the rejection letter was like a wimpy breakup! For what it's worth: I have a TT job at a place where I received two such breakup letters. They broke up with me before MLA then called, then broke up with me after MLA and then invited me to campus, then offered a job. One never knows! Campus visit scheduled 12/30.

U of California, Berkeley
"Ph.D. required by the end of the first year of appointment" Deadline: October 26 A writing sample (~20 pp) was requested in the ad as part of the original application package Ackn. postcard rec'd 11/13 Additional writing sample request 11/8 Affirmative Action request on 11/22 MLA interview scheduled 12/13 (2) Q. Did the interviewee above also receive a WS request, or is the interview based solely on the initial application package? A: Based solely on initial app package, which included one writing sample.

U of California, Davis (Open Rank)
"United States Literature 1870-Present" Deadline: November 9 Any acknowledgment letters? Yes, on 11/21 by post (3) Did it say something like "if you haven't already sent your placement file, please do so ASAP"? If so, what is a placement file? A: My letter said this too. I took it to mean the letters of recommendation. This was required as part of the initial application. AA: Thanks for the reply. Guess it's just a standard letter that they send to everyone? I had my dossier sent a week before all my other application materials, so it shoulda arrived by now. MLA Interview: 12/13 (phone)

University of Cincinnati
Contemporary American Fiction Deadline: Nov. 8 Writing Sample and dossier request 11/12 (2) MLA interview scheduled 12/3 (2) Campus Visit Scheduled 1/02

University of Colorado, Boulder
(Digital Media, with expertise in a second literary and/or creative field) Deadline: October 20 MLA Interview scheduled, 12/10

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Deadline: 5 Nov. MLA interview scheduled (by phone call) 12/5 (5), 12/7. Has anyone received a callback for this position yet? (1/4) Yes. (1/7)

U of Hartford
Deadline: Nov. 1 Ack. 10/31 Apologies: earlier note about dossier request listed here was for another position. Is this actually the Hillyer College position? Hillyer College at the U. of Hartford (generalist/multicultural lit): MLA interview scheduled 12/8 (2)

U of Houston
Contemporarary Poetry Deadline: Nov. 1 Request for more materials 11/5 MLA interview scheduled 12/2

Universite Laval
Open rank TT, American literature MUST be bilingual French/English Deadline: 15 February 2008

U of Mary Washington
Deadline: Nov. 1 Rejection (snail mail) 11/19 Dossier request (e-mail) 11.25 Rejection (email) 11/28 (6) Note: rejection letter said, "We have selected another candidate who is more closely suited to the position at this time." Think this means the hire is concluded? A: Certainly sounds like it. They have selected another candidate. They wouldn't send out rej. letters unless they had made a concrete decision. No? A2: No. They've selected other candidate(s) as for now. I imagine they think it considerate to send out the rejections ASAP. Personally, I appreciate this. Unless we get a confirmation that the position has been filled, we should probably assume that they're still deciding who to interview. Seems like the fact that "another candidate" is in the singular implies that they have already made their choice. Was it definitely in singular? That's my two cents, anyway. A3: Maybe they only have one rejection letter, and they use it in all cases?

  • see additional info on the American South page

Just to make people feel better, I am from Virginia and it is a really horrible place. Thanks. That *does* make me feel better!

U of Nebraska
20th C American Poetry Deadline: Nov. 2 Writing Sample request emailed 11/16 MLA interview (scheduled via phone) 12/10

U. of New Orleans
Nov. 1 Request for more materials Nov. 6 (3) Rejected November 9 Email Rejection Nov. 12 MLA Interview scheduled 12/05 Campus visit scheduled 1/3
Q: Are any of you Afro-Am specialists? Any with NOLA ties? A: Yes, on the Af-Am, but no NOLA ties here.


U North Carolina - Greensboro
Deadline: early Nov. MLA interview scheduled 11/20, 12/05

USC
Deadline: Nov. 1 Email acknowledgement: Nov. 6 MLA interview via email/phone call 12/12 Campus Visits scheduled January/February (I'm a grad student in the department who knows, not a candidate)

U. of Southern Miss.
Deadline: Nov. 19 MLA interview scheduled 12/5 (2) Campus Visit scheduled 1/11

U Virginia
Deadline: early Nov. Is this the American Studies position? If so, email acknowledgement and AA link received 11/15 (although dated 10/17!) If this is for the Am Studies position, request for writing sample came via email 12/17.

U of Western Ontario
Am Lit and Culture, 1865 to the present Deadline: Nov 1 Ack. 11/23 phone interview: 11/30 (2)
Rejection: 01/03 (I emailed the department secretary who promptly replied that all eligible andidates had been contacted for interviews)
May I inquire as to whether you are Canadian? I am curious how strictly they are giving preference to Canadian citizens/residents. I'm a U.S. citizen; have heard of the preference to Canadians though... Hi Canaadian departments are obligated to give preference for Canadian applicants because of institutional hiring practices nationally. However, that can be worked around, because MANY successful applicants are non-Canadians (ie. American Ivies grads). I'd take the thing with a grain of salt; it's so easy to say, "Oh, there wasn't any Canadian good enough."

U of Wisconsin-Parkside
American Lit., preferably Colonial to 1920 Deadline: Nov. 1 Phone interview: Nov. 20

Washington University, Saint Louis
"Professor or Associate Professor in American literature and culture 1900-present" Writing sample/teaching philosophy request 11/3

Westminster C

Willamette
Deadline: 11/5 Ack. 11/7 Received writing sample, recs, transcript, sample syllabi request on 11/16. According to "Other Ethnic" list MLA interview has been scheduled 12/10 1 job lecture has been posted on the Willamette English Dept. website. Does anyone know if other campus visits have been scheduled or if perhaps the dept. is inviting candidates out one by one? 1/19

Whitworth University
Deadline: 10/26 Request for MLA Interview, 11/27 Q: Are you Christian? I got a request for a "statement of faith" and, as an agnostic, haven't heard back. A: Same thing happened to me. Q:from god or sc? A:Is there a difference?

Wilmington College (OH)
Amer. Lit. since 1900 MLA interview 12/4 (also requested dossier; ad asked only names & contact info)

Campus visit invitation (1/11)


Yale
American/British/Anglophone after 1900 Postcard Acknowledgement: 11/2 Ackn. postcard 11/5 Request for dossier 10/26 Request for writing sample 11/20 Request for dossier 11/26 [note the significant gap between my request and the other request] Request for second writing sample, 12/10 Postcard rejection: Dec. 21;


Questions, Comments, Other
As someone on the market for the first time this year, I have a question about this site. Does the number after the info, i.e., (2) mean two requests have been made? If I haven't heard from a school by the time others have been asked for more information, does that mean I have not made the first round? Any info would be helpful. Thanks. Yes, that number in parentheses refers the the number of people using this wiki who have been contacted (for interview, extra materials, etc). Of course, if others have been contacted and you haven't (I'm in the same boat), it isn't exactly the best news. But I don't think it means that you're out of the running necessarily. A lot of departments work in stages. Anyone else have thoughts? A. I agree: I don't think anyone's out of the running until he/she receives a rejection letter, right? People send in their applications at different times, so someone who sent his/her application in sooner than you just may have been reviewed sooner. Is it also possible that some applications are so strong that the committee doesn't need additional materials? (Wishful thinking, I know.) I'm thinking particularly of second writing sample requests; I doubt any school would interview someone on the strength of his/her abstract and letter alone. A: While it varies by department obviously, if a couple weeks go by without anyone getting further requests for materials from a given university (unless they already have everything, of course), I think you can probably count yourself out of a school (sigh). I still haven't gotten some rejection letters from last year. And regarding the last answer: I do know people who have been interviewed on the basis of just letter/cv. It was a bad college and a strange interview, but it does happen, especially with SLACs with little in the way of dedicated resources for job searches: when everyone is teaching a 4/4 to begin with, _plus_ you're short a couple people, and you're searching for someone outside your area, extra materials might start to seem overwhelming or even pointless, especially if you or your whole dept. are demoralized. �A: I must echo the remarks of the previous commenter. Schools do work in stages, but if they request writing samples from some, they will request samples from all candidates whose applications they are interested in pursuing (for legal, as well as administrative, reasons). If they've gone through several rounds of requests, and you haven't heard, the news is not good. Also, search committees will usually make up their interview list and then contact all of the candidates over a day or two. There might be a back-up candidate, in case someone withdraws, but this is unusual.

Here's my two cents (just to keep hope alive for some who are hurting as we all wait): I have several interview for MLA lined up. None of them asked for secondary materials. They are nor SLACS; They're IIA or better. Now, the places that have asked me for secondary materials did a while back (before their searches closed), and I am waiting in agony with the rest of you. My point: I don't think it can be reiterated enough that, while SCs have many similarities... they also have many distinguishing features that differentiate them. Don't lose hope (Most of the calling goes out starting this week up well into December!). Have some faith!

Forget faith. Have some bourbon.

Hear hear.

...or a big hot fudge Sunday...right after I get back from Wiki-Anonymous to help me stop checking this page so often...

Or a draught from the River Lethe. The problem with that, though, is I'd probably just go to grad school all over again. Eternal recurrence of the same.

By the Power of Grayskull, I demandify that you SC folks start making some phone calls! This I command!!! ... What? It worked for He-man :).

Is it me, or are the 20/21 c search committees responding more slowly than other periods? Is it because there are more of us? Because we are cooler and therefore always late to the party? Or am I just nervous and seeing phenomena where there is none?

I don't know if you're cooler or not, but there are definitely more applicants for 20c American than 19c! A: Maybe that's the reason but I definitely also have the sense that things in 20/12c Am Lit are slower this year than last. AA: Paranoid response: the people who are hearing back from some of these schools aren't on the wiki. This actually isn't as crazy as it sounds: if I wasn't on the wiki, for instance, there's 2 schools which would be blank at this point. It could just be that we're overall a bad sample, at least of the people who are actually getting responses. Non-paranoid response: Thanksgiving was early, so they planned on doing everything after Thanksgiving instead of being at least started before it. Alternate non-paranoid response: They're taking their time because the 21st C. just started, so what's the rush to study it? Sci-fi non-paranoid response: they're actually from the future, and they already know what's going to happen so they're in no hurry to inform us. Semi-logical answer: So many of these schools asked for reference letters & writing samples up-front because there are so many 20thc people, so they're only going to inform us for MLA interviews. Or at least that's what I'm hoping. One more response from a committee chair: applicant pools in this field are 400-500 and our committee was completely overwhelmed. We got done on the 14th, made calls, and collapsed.

I just came over from another academic wiki and you people are the party. Lord, I wish my cohort would loosen up a bit.

So are they uptight because they're rigorously disciplined in the hopes of actually getting a job? Or are they uptight in spite of the fact that they're as doomed as most of us are to the perpetually twilight of the untenured? On that note, I need to grab a third drink and grade my freshman comp papers. (2)

OK, I have zero MLA interviews and I'm starting to think about canceling my flight and hotel reservation ... how long should I wait to bail? This weekend? (12/12)(me too) A: I have zero interviews, too (yea! I'm not alone!), but I just ran into one of my committee members who told me it's early still, especially considering how many jobs asked for writing samples upfront. He suggested the next five days or so are still prime interview-scheduling days, since finals are just ending at most places and committees may finally have time to make decisions. So take heart! I'm not ready to give up yet. Plus, there's always the wiki party to look forward to. That alone will surely be worth the hotel . . . um, right? (12/12) A2:Im thinking of having an alternate protest conference. I shall be chairing the panel on scotch. A3: I posted your question on the Eng. Lit. general questions. (BTW, my CAPTCHA" word is "optimistic" now.:) I also have zero interviews (third year in a row :( ). We should have a Pity Wiki Party for those of us in this wretched situation. A4: May I ask everyone something? With only 40% of us statistically likely to get TT jobs in our field, how long do you plan to strive for this? This is only my second year and I'm already burned out. And my CAPTCHA for this post is $2,127,238, which is, coincidentally, the amount I owe the feds for my student loans. A5: This is my 2nd or 3rd year, depending on whether you count ABD. I had a phone interview and have a regular interview scheduled, so I don't know whether to count myself lucky or unlucky - I really feel for those with zero. I've been there. I hate this process more than I can describe. Great teaching evaluations, serious publications - it's not worth much. I guess that's why I have two interviews instead of zero, but honestly this whole process is controlled by luck more than anything (coming from an ivy helps, so does having a hot subfield - other than that, shrug). So my answer is this: I'm planning on adjuncting for 1 more year, and after that I'm getting out, if only slowly - I might try for another year or two while I get another degree or work a 9 to 5, although I'm sure not being actively employed is another black mark for the search committees. I'm not interested in getting a 4/4 paying 40,000 when I'm 40 - I'm just not that persistent.

I've thought about other degrees beyond this sometimes useless seeming Ph.D. in English---but what. Law school? Most of us don't want to work for a corporation after having played out the freedom of academia. What about academic administration and working up through that? I'm open to suggestions...


A6: second year here too; c. 150 applications and one conference interview, and one campus interview to show for it. That is with degree, lots of teaching experience, and publications. It does make you wonder - but i reckon I'd better keep at it for another couple of years. It wouldn't be so bad if the job search season, when you aren't successful, lasts what, 7 months?

Thanks for all the posts. I'm in the same position, that is the bad one. I'm ABD, but big grant, great teaching evals, several pubs and no interviews at MLA. Anyway, since my partner is about to leave me as a result of my obsessing and complaining I'm glad to have found this site. Also, just got a rejection from Swarthmore.

Yeah, year 2 for me (year 2 ABD). Had a phone interview last year and was apparently going to get asked up to campus when the dean canceled the search. I had another phone interview with them this year, but no invite to campus. Got 1 interview up in Chicago so far, and my advisers confirm that this week is prime callback time. I published over the summer, have had some sizable responsibilities in the past and a broad range of neat experiences with archival work, some awards, papers in the pipes, and the type of teaching evaluations that would be the envy of most cult leaders. I suspect that I will be an attractive candidate if I ever get this $%#^@&* dissertation done.


1st year on the market ABD. Definitely finishing in May. Have, like all of you, worked my ass off. Major publication, Book Chapter, and Book contract (for a project after my diss), and have 3 presses interested in the diss. But faculty says to hold out. American Studies degree, with focus on Lit. Not even a bite nor a nibble. How do you all do this year after year? And my dissertation mentor died over the weekend. Seriously.

My sympathy on the death of your mentor. That's horrible. As for the market, I think it's time to mutiny. If tenured faculty would put their collective foot down and refuse to accept any more students into their programs than the market can support, things would slowly improve. But of course, it's against the universities' market mentality to deny themselves the chance to create a permanent, cheap labor force of adjuncts and TAs. And the tenured faculty may cluck in pity or beat their chests in frustration, but I imagine many of them secretly think, well, I got a job because I'm actually better than the competition. Aren't we all primed to harbor that sort of competitive mode of thinking? And so the cycle continues . . . If I get no interviews this year, I'm jumping ship. I didn't seek out an education so I could worry about money the rest of my life like my high-school-educated mom (I love that woman!) has had to do.

My sympathy, too. The job market is horrific, but it's worth remembering occasionally that there are far, far worse things in this life. But now here I go again, anyway, in response to the previous poster's thoughts on mutiny and existing tt faculty. I'm one of the hyper/over qualified (book contract, etc.) getting few interviews. I got to sit in on a search committee, and here are my fairly nasty thoughts: like hires like. If everyone came from an ivy, they want to hire from an ivy. If not, not. If everyone had a slow but solid research agenda, that's what they'll hire - someone with a brewing project, not a completed one. Seriously - who wants to hire a hotshot jerk (e.g., me, or some of the above posters) who has become a bug-eyed workaholic, primed to churn out project after project? Who wants to compete with that? Better to hire someone comfortably similar to oneself. That's horribly oversimplified, I know - but I'm trying to figure out why having my credentials isn't really such a good thing. You don't _want_ to hire someone who already has the qualifications for tenure - what power does that give you over them? I realize all of that was obnoxious, and it's all a farce anyway, since really, unless you're teaching less than a 2/2, most of your work will be teaching anyway. But it's not like they care about that so much either - I've gotten interviews at several liberal arts colleges who had no interest in looking at my teaching materials. Oversimplification again, but there's truth in it. Research matters a little, teaching matters a little, connections matter a lot (that's what gave me my best interview), luck matters a lot, but at the end of the day, I think most of the time you'll find that the real internal logic of the hiring process boils down to "like hires like." Which is far from saying that those actually hired aren't qualified - the sc I mentioned above did hire someone awesome, but also someone very much like themselves.

For the person with the Am Studs degree. I am in the same position. I have two book chapters and a big national grant. I have a very literary committee. I did get one interview, but I am also starting to wonder if English programs aren't interested in Am Studs degrees. I was worried about that this fall (not like I could have done anything to alter my situation) but English folks told me not to be concerned. Nonetheless, how far does an interdisciplinary degree take you?

To the poster above: I think American Studies degrees and dissertations are typically big idea projects (or so it seems in my department which is a has been around for decades). Had an interesting talk today with an old friend who got an AMS degree from my department and who finally landed a English department tenure track at a very good school (not ivy). He claims that the real problem for interdisciplinary Ph.D.s is explaining what they do in a job letter (i.e. people are threatened). It took him three years to land a good job (and in the meantime he got his book out and it won awards). So his suggestion to me was to take any postdoc/lectureship that would give me time to revise and get the book out. Then, once the book is out they have a much better sense of who you are as an interdisciplinary candidate. So, now I think I might go with one of the less prestigous presses, rather than wait for the big dog press that I have been talking to--they want to do extensive one-on-one work with an editor, etc. But who knows. And I have the spousal complication. Husband is a full professor at a University that doesn't have an AMS program. So I try to bend to lit (but I am truly interdisciplnary). My book project (post-diss) and under contract, is an editon of a major author's notebooks (I got very lucky to get this). But lit departments don't seem interested. Any advice out there? And I'm ABD with an entire chapter left to write before finishing in May! Ugh!

I'm not AMS with a literary bent, but lit with an American Studies bent, with an interdisciplinary book under contract at a decent press. Having a book is about as useful, seemingly, as having a engorged spleen - I'm actually getting less interviews now (but with a few days left, who knows, right???). I have no good advice (other than to quit, but I'm apparently not taking that advice myself, even though I know it's probably pretty sensible), just trying to be informative. Maybe waiting for a top press is the right move - but also, it might never come, right? So here's my question to the world - what on earth actually gets interviews?

For those of you out there who are on the market for the 2nd, 3rd, nth time, what are you doing to make a living? Are you guys instructors somewhere? As an ABD not sure what to do. Do more post-docs and instructorships show up on H-Net or the MLA site in the spring??? Any advice would be greatly appreciatied. And I do feel such empathy and compassion for those of you suffering through this process. I am trying to remember that I still believe in my ideas and that somewhere, someone will give me a shot. A: Sending out a whole bunch of "cold" adjunct letters around April to schools in my area has worked for me. Of course it helps if there is more than one or two schools close by... The Chronicle had a good discussion thread on adjuncting and "cold" letter writing--most of those folks said they always get something and at times more than they can handle.

The like hires like thread was really interesting and based on my experience, very true.

Just want to speak from the position of a committee chair. I was on the market for 5 long miserable years in the mid-1990s, and most of those in my recently tenured cohort and below who are employed don't think of ourselves as superior -- just incredibly lucky. I routinely tell people that it's basically a chance game; draw a line in the sand and say "I'll do this for X years and no more," and then give 110% for the years you are trying. That does not guarantee a job, but it does guarantee a small degree of sanity. What got people interviews for our R1 job in 20-21st American were, in rough order: an original project conceivably aligned with our desired subfield, range within and across one or more subfields, a positive relationship to the teaching of literature regardless of subfield or interdisciplinary interest, and at least one peer-reviewed publication (we have a very unforgiving tenure track and we hire those whom we think we can tenure; a publication in a peer-reviewed journal shows that someone has the process underway). The gold standard is definitely a project that stands out as deeply researched, textually acute, and creative, showcasing either exceptional archival work or supple theory (or ideally, both) and able to articulate its relationship to more traditional nation-period categories even if it was not deeply attached to them. Negative factors besides a weak or narrow project, letter/writing sample, or recs, included a research record incommensurate with the year of Ph.D. as compared to cohort peers at an R1, weak or no teaching experience, no publications, lots of publications or conferencing at the same level (grad student, regional, or less prestigious: move on up with every try, please, or you are simply padding your cv), cynical trendiness, or stubborn attachment to completely unreconstructed versions of a field. Here is what did NOT eliminate people: place where they received their degrees, presence or absence of book or book contract (except, obviously, with senior people or very advanced assistant professors), affiliation as an adjunct vs. as a visiting or tenure-track person, ABD status vs. older Ph.Ds if research progress was OK, presence or lack of superstar recommenders. The chance elements of any search are: composition of the committee (if your subfield isn't represented, you stand a lesser chance of being read well), committee fatigue, materials not arriving or arriving on the later side (when readers are tired). Hope this helps someone, somehow, out there.

To whoever wrote the above post: Thank you. That informaiton coming from a committee member is extremely helpful. And you were kind to offer it to those of suffering through this difficult process. I particularly appreciate the advice to send the application in early to avoid committee fatigue. Interesting insight. Thanks again.

To all those who have turned up nothing on the market this year or are still waiting and slowly losing hope: I'm at a selective LAC in a nice place to live (don't want to reveal more than this at this point), and we have just approved a position in 20th-C Am lit. for the job season next fall. Don't ever worry, because there is always next year. It took me 4 tries on the market to get a tenure-track job. Just use the remainder of this year to do whatever it is you need to do to make yourself more marketable--whether it is finishing your PhD, getting more teaching experience, and/or more pubs--and then go back out next fall with those new credentials. See you at 2008 MLA in San Fran, perhaps? Good luck!

Thank you - I applied to 13 schools this year and received only two acknowledgments and two rejections. What happened to the rest of my applications? I have a dissertation that has received honors; major scholarships....I won't go into a long rant. I just didn't fit these schools, but a one line email about my status makes all the difference - you know? In any case, your encouraging words really help. This is my first year on the market (I feel like a little academic piggie sent off for slaughter), and I know to expect more of the same until the golden moment of acceptance.

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