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Romanticism, Victorian/19th 2010

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Romanticism, Victorian/19th-Century BritishEdit

Time Stamp: last updated March 11, 12:40 p.m. ESTEdit

Count Edit

Romanticist:16

Victorianist: 36

19th-Century: 16

Total: 65

Demographics Edit

ABD (early):

ABD (will finish this academic year): 17

Ph.D. in hand (one-year, VAP, Lecturer): 36

Assistant Professor: 9

Associate Professor:

Full Professor:

Lurker: 2

Already ready to write off another year of your life (in addition to one or more of the above): 15

Feeling disenchanted by the profession as a whole: 6

Is nervously checking my cell phone and my e-mail every five minutes hoping to get an MLA invite: 4 a campus visit: 1

Is nervously checking this wiki every five minutes: 2

Once again got materials requests from top-tier jobs only to not get interviews with any of them: 3 '

Post-MLA Job Listings Edit

Bemidji State University (18th- and 19th-century British 1/8)Edit

  • Heard from one of my recommenders that they requested a letter earlier this week. (1/30)
  • Request to have recommenders send letters via email. (1/29)
    • Had you not sent these when you originally applied? The supplemental questions asked us to email them.
    • Has anyone had requests for materials other than letters? Job call asked for letters.
      • A: I had Interfolio send letters when I submitted my initial application, back in late November. I'm not sure why they contacted at least one of my recommenders to have her forward her letter directly, as that was one of the letters Interfolio sent. I got an email yesterday (2/3) from the Chair, asking for a 4th letter, because 1 of the 3 letters I originally sent referenced this 4th letter (I did not know this).
  • Campus interview scheduled via phone (2/11X2)

Furman University, SC (VAP, Victorian 3/1)Edit

  • Any news on this one?
  • They made an offer last week (3/22). Don't know whether it was accepted, though.
  • Official rejection via email (5/13).

Morehouse College, GA (Victorian/Modernist 4/19)Edit

  • Has anyone heard anything about this one?
  • Contacted on 5/4 to see if I were still available for an interview.

Penn State (19c British; Postdoc)Edit

  • Interview requested by videoconference (4/22) x3
  • I get the sense they interviewed more than three of us. Anybody else who interviewed and still hasn't heard? (5/12) x1
  • Any insights on this one? The 18c postdoc search seemed to be determined / influenced by current grad students' work.
  • Any news? Are the interviews done? Seems like a great position... (5/10)
  • E-mail rejection letter (5/10). Other interviewed candidates made the "short list." Penn State plans to make a permanent TT hire in this field either this coming market season or next. Thanks for passing along this info, and I'm sorry about the outcome.
  • I heard the same thing about the TT position opening up. The search committee made it pretty clear that the postdoc would be terminal and that the position would not constitute anything like an inside candidate though.
  • When did the commitee say this (about not treating the person as an inside candidate)? During the interview?
  • Has anybody received an offer? (5/10)
  • I think they said the offer would be made Tuesday, 5/11. (5/10)
  • Thanks so much for the info. And good luck! (5/11)
  • No offer yet? (5/11 evening)
  • None here! (5/11)

Tel Aviv University (Romantic/Victorian 1/31)Edit

Trinity College (Hartford, CT 2-yr VAP 3/15) [HR page Edit

  • The successful candidate for this position must have experience teaching courses in British romanticism; literary theory might be a useful addition. Applicants for this position should also have demonstrated experience in teaching introductory literature courses. Ph.D. and record of publication required. (MLA JIL)
  • Pleasant and prompt email acknowledgement of materials rec'd. (3/15) (x2)
  • How did you send your materials? Regular mail or email? (3/22) A: e-mail (Me too.)
  • Anyone else not get an acknowledgment yet? (3/29)
  • Spring Break??
  • Applied by snail before the deadline but no ack yet.
  • Rejection via email (4/15) x2

Queens College, CUNY (Victorian 4/1)Edit

Reopening previous Victorian search, which was cancelled. (See the Queens thread, below).

  • Q: What on earth is happening at Queens College? Does anybody who interviewed at MLA have any insight? Does anybody think they'll work from the original MLA list or start from scratch? This whole thing is so curious! If you have insights, please share. Perhaps collectively, we can glean something. 3/11

Application acknowledgment and affirmative action form received, 3/10.

  • Me, too ... and the body of the letter was the same as the email, including the words "please reply to this email". Wow. To call them administratively backwards might be too kind.
  • Rejection letter received 4/17
    • And nothing since then? Anybody heard a peep out of Queens? (5/9)
    • Did they end up hiring someone for this job? (7/24)

Offers MadeEdit

Arizona State and accepted

College of St. Scholastica - Offer made 12/14 and accepted

Bemidji State - Offer made and accepted

Boise State - 1/13 Offer made and accepted.

  • Congrats--Just remember, pronounce Boise the way Idahoans do it!

Boston College (1/28)

Florida Atlantic U

Longwood University - offers made

  • Is this the Romantic position, or the Victorian position?
  • According to info. below, offers have been made for both positions. 2/11
  • Have offers been accepted?

Miami University - Offer accepted (2/15)

Misericordia University - Offer made and accepted (2/23)

Northern Kentucky University - Offer made and accepted (2/2010).

University of Nebraska

University of Southern Indiana (per post-interview rejection letter received 1/16)

University of Tennessee-Knoxville - Offer made and accepted (2/3)

Campus Visits Scheduled Edit

Arizona State

Boise State (12/7)

Boston College (1/7) x2

Bemidji State (2/11)

Carthage College (1/14)

Florida Atlantic University (1/11)

Longwood University (Victorian, 12/16)

Miami University (Ohio) (1/6) x2

Misericordia (1/5) x2

Pacific Lutheran (1/6, see Restoration/18th-Century page)

Queens College, CUNY (12/30)

Sam Houston SU (01/10) x2

University of Chicago x 2

University of Nebraska (Victorian 12/29) x 3

University of Notre Dame (1/5) x2

University of Southern Indiana (11/10, see Restoration/18th-Century page)

University of Tennessee-Knoxville (1/20) x3

University of Toronto-Mississauga (1/13)

University of Vermont (12/29)

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse (01/11)

Winona State University (19th century 12/18)

# MLA/Phone Interviews Received Edit

0 interviews -- and I'm ABD (x3); and I'm PhD in hand, employed in academia (x5); and I'm PhD in hand, not employed in academia (x0); and I'm an Assistant Professor (x1); and I'm an Associate Professor (x0)

1 interview -- and I'm ABD (x1); and I'm PhD in hand, employed in academia (x5); and I'm PhD in hand, not employed in academia (x3); and I'm an Assistant Professor (x2); and I'm an Associate Professor (x0)

2 interviews -- and I'm ABD (x3); and I'm PhD in hand, employed in academia (x4); and I'm PhD in hand, not employed in academia (x1); and I'm an Assistant Professor (x2); and I'm an Associate Professor (x0)

3 interviews -- and I'm ABD (x0); and I'm PhD in hand, employed in academia (x6); and I'm PhD in hand, not employed in academia (x1); and I'm an Assistant Professor (x0); and I'm an Associate Professor (x0)

4 interviews -- and I'm ABD (x2); and I'm PhD in hand, employed in academia (x2); and I'm PhD in hand, not employed in academia (x0); and I'm an Assistant Professor (x0); and I'm an Associate Professor (x0)

5+ interviews -- and I'm ABD (x0); and I'm PhD in hand, employed in academia (x3); and I'm PhD in hand, not employed in academia (x0); and I'm an Assistant Professor (x0); and I'm an Associate Professor (x0)

  • Again, could those who have scheduled MLA interviews please list the name of the school in the section below? 

Interviews Scheduled Edit

Please specify method (phone, MLA, etc.)

Arizona State University (phone 12/11)x3

Biola University (phone, 12/11)

Boise State (phone 11/16)

Boston College (MLA 12/14)

Carthage College (MLA 12/17)

Florida Atlantic University(MLA 12/4), (MLA, 12/5)

Lehigh University (MLA, 12/8), (MLA, 12/9 x2)

Longwood University (Victorian, phone 11/18)x2

Longwood University (Romantic, MLA 12/1)

Northern Kentucky University (MLA, 12/1)

Miami University (Ohio) (MLA, 12/9)

Misericordia University (MLA, 12/16)x2

Pacific Lutheran University (MLA, 12/5 see Restoration/18th-century page)

Queens College CUNY (MLA, 12/10)

Sam Houston State University (MLA, 12/10)

University of Chicago ' (MLA, 12/17)'

University of Nebraska-Lincoln (MLA, 12/4)

University of Notre Dame (MLA, 12/16) x 4

University of Southern Indiana (phone 10/20)

University of Tennessee-Knoxville (MLA 12/11)

University of Toronto-Mississauga (MLA, 12/4)

University of Vermont (MLA, 12/16)

University of  Wisconsin—La Crosse (MLA, 12/6)

Winona State University (18th-century/Romantic, phone 12/1)

Winona State University (19th-century, phone 12/1)

Romantic, Victorian/19th-Century Jobs Edit

(please add jobs alphabetically and note Romantic, Victorian, or 19th-Century, if specified in the ad)

Arizona State University (Romanticism, Victorian as possible secondary interest 11/9) link Edit

  • email acknowledgement EEO e-form (10/29)(11/5)(11/10)
  • any news on this search?
  • wasn't this same search held last year?  If I remember correctly there was no word last year either, and I assumed they had lost funding for the job.  So glad I spent time and money sending them materials *again* this year.
    • This search was canceled last year because of budget issues.  This year, they asked for writing samples up front, so there won't be any word until they call people for interviews.  And it' s still early.  Many schools don't call people for interviews until the two weeks before MLA; committees often wait until they finish teaching to make calls.
    • Is this search still happening?
    • Phone interview scheduled (12/11)x3
      • Did they say whether they were forgoing MLA?
      • A phone interview means that they aren't doing MLA
      • Were all those who had interviews scheduled Romanticists?
        • Who else would they be? It's a Romanticism job: "PhD in English, Comparative Literature, or related discipline, with Romantic Literature and Culture as primary field."
        • Yikes, no need to be mean (x3).  But, yes, Romanticist here.
        • I agree, I do not see how it helps to be rude to each other.  The only thing I find worse than the current academic job climate is the tone of voice that a few people on this page are taking in their comments.  I hope its just one person who is having a particularly bad couple of weeks.  Is this really what we want to portray to search members who might be looking in on this page? 
        • For those receiving phone interviews, any further updates on campus visits? (x2)
        • They noted that they would let candidates know before MLA.  So perhaps this weekend?
        • I have a feeling that this search committee has already contacted the (what, 2?) candidates that they are inviting to campus.  Interviews were conducted several weeks ago now, MLA is over, and there is no logical need for them to hold out here.  It's likely that those invited simply aren't using wiki.
        • Yes. I know someone who has a campus visit scheduled with ASU.
        • For above poster:  Are you sure that it's for this position?  There are nine searches going on at ASU English right now.
        • Yes, I'm sure.

Bard College—Eugene Meyer Chair in British Studies (assistant to full-professor, no deadline) Edit

  • Does anyone know what the status of this search is?  It was posted last year without any word from anyone.
  • Q: Where was this ad listed? It's no longer on the JIL (even under "expired listings.")
    • A: I think it might have been listed on the Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Just for the sake of seeing something new here, following is the automated email I received back in October:
Thank you for your interest in the Eugene Meyer Chair in British Studies faculty position with Bard College.
Your application materials have been received and the search committee will contact you if your qualifications match the requirements of this position.
Due to the high volume of application materials, we are unable to respond to each applicant personally to acknowledge receipt, but we will contact you at the end ::of the search should your application be unsuccessful.
To learn more about Bard College and to keep informed on the status of our employment opportunities, access our web site at: ::http://www.bard.edu/about/employment/employment/
We sincerely appreciate your interest in Bard College and wish you luck in your search.
Should you have additional questions or submission of materials for this search, please send them to this email address and a representative of the department ::will contact you as soon as possible.
hr09063@mercury.bard.edu


  • Job offered and accepted at full professor level.

Biola University (Victorian, 11/16)Edit

  • email acknowledgment 11/2
  • request for more materials and attached university application via email (11/16)
  • rejection email (11/18) (12/11)
  • follow-up email from English chair about proceeding with supplemental form (11/19 x2) (11/20)
  • email request for phone interview next week (12/11) x3
  • I'm not sure this matters much at this point, but this is a 19th and/or 20th century job, not just Victorian. I'm a pre-1945 20th c. person and have a phone interview.
  • I received an email a few weeks ago after my phone interview informing me that I wasn't the candidate chosen for the campus visit.
  • I received an email telling me that the position has reopened and asked for a phone interview with the dean. Does anyone know what happened? Did the original candidate turn down the position? (2/16) Q: Had you previously been interviewed via phone in mid-December? A: Yes, I did previously interview in December but was informed afterwards that I wasn't chosen for the campus visit.
  • I got the impression, back when I interviewed in December and then got the "not the candidate chosen for campus visit" email, that they only wanted to bring one person to campus (probably because of money) and would only go to the second choice if the top choice didn't work out. Presumably that person either wasn't offered the position or didn't accept it, and you're next on the list? It would make sense, if they're jumpy about their top candidate not working out, especially if they're short on campus visit funds, that they'd want to make extra sure that the next person they bring to campus is who they want and/or is likely to accept the job if offered--hence the interview with the dean? Just guessing here, though. Good luck!
  • They have scheduled a campus visit and lecture by the final candidate on 4/15. They had pulled back on the position and were discussing seeking two American positions instead (acc. to someone on the search committee); apparently, they received the go-ahead for the Brit Lit position. (I also did a phone interview in December and I adjunct at Biola!)

Boise State University (19th-Century with primary emphasis in poetry, 11/2) Edit

  • Email request for EEO and AA info. (11/11 x4)
  • Scheduled phone interview (11/16)
  • Rejection letter, snail mail (11/25 x 2, 11/27 x7)
  • Offer made and accepted (1/13)

Boston College (Victorian Literature and Culture, 10/19) Edit

  • email acknowledgment (10/20), (10/27), (11/2)
  • postcard (11/2), (11/5)
  • Just spoke to the chair - the committee is set to make interview decisions on Monday (12/14) Thanks for the update!
  • I too appreciate the update! Out of curiousity, is it acceptable/customary to contact search committees re: the status of one's application? A: I think the short answer is no--and generally when I make these kinds of calls I use a pseudonym. On the other hand, the people I speak to tend to be friendly and the information forthcoming.
  • Email invitation to interview at MLA (12/14) x7
  • Poetry? The Novel? Other?
    • Novel (x2)
  • Rejection by mail (12/19)
  • Campus visit scheduled by email (1/7) x2

Boston University (Romanticism, 10/30) Edit

  • Search canceled due to budgetary constraints:http://www.bu.edu/english/DeptJobListing.htmlBummer
    • ...and so it begins.  Who's next?
    • Received official letter of position cancellation from department chair (11/20) x5
      • They must really be in trouble -- they didn't even use stationary for the letter I rec'd
      • 12/7: Received a second letter canceling the position.  (For the poster above, mine was on letterhead.  Does that mean that they liked me more because I got letterhead or less because they sent me two letters? ;-D )
      • Hmm, maybe you got my letter, cause I never received one.

Carthage College (multi-year renewable position in 18th-21st-century British, 11/30) Edit

  • How exactly should I read a posting for a multi-year, renewable position?  Glorified adjunct?  Not-so-glorified adjunct?
    • It's just like a one-year (VAP, visiting assistant professor) position, but has the potential for multiple years
  • Email Ack. (11/24)
  • Mail Ack. (12/7)
  • Interview scheduled, 12/17( x 2)
  • Question: if this is like a VAP, how come they are hiring at the rank of assistant or associate professor? Is it possible they just are not using tenure language in the job ad?
    • Ah, no, not possible. They specifically state "multi-year renewable contract."  That doesn't meant that it couldn't become tenure-track, but it isn't for now.
    • But it IS possible. During my interview, they said it was tenure track.
    • That's excellent ... for you!  I am not the one who responded earlier, but I received this email response to an inquiry about the same thing:
"Thank you for your interest in this position.
   You are correct in assuming that this is not a tenure-track position.  We expect to offer the successful candidate a multi-year contract which could be renewed.  The details of the contract will be negotiated with the Provost once an offer is extended."
That definitely influenced my decision to not apply ... one I obviously now regret.  I expect your interview went well and wish you the best of luck!




    • I wouldn't worry about it. Seriously, you are not missing anything...I did not get a good impression at all.

College of St. Scholastica (Women's Literature, 18th/19th Cen. British)Edit

Has anyone heard any updates about this job?

  • I had a phone interview with the search committee in November. At the time, they told me that they anticipated holding campus visits in early December and making an offer before MLA.
  • Offer made 12/14

Florida Atlantic University (Romanticism, 11/2) Edit

  • Writing Sample Requested 11/20 (x4)
  • MLA interview scheduled (12/5)
  • campus visit scheduled 1/11

Harvard University (Romanticism, particularly poetry, 10/26) Edit

request for full dissertation + additional writing sample 11/19 (x2)

  • did they need some light bed-time reading? --haha, seriously.
  • kindling for christmas bonfires.  there's a shortage.
  • any other news about this one? not here.  fear mine has gone flamewards.
  • no news here either, alas.
  • Received an affirmative action email today (12/17), but since they didn't ask me for additional materials, why would I complete this?  ha ha
  • Rejection letter via email (12/19)
  • did anyone else not receive a rejection e-mail?
    • Nothing here either, but just assuming they aren't following up.
  • Q: Have campus visits been scheduled? (1/4)
  • Yes, campus visits are scheduled now (I'm not one of interviewees, but am at Harvard) (1/25)
  • My colleague has a campus interview for this job. (1/26)

Lehigh University (Victorian Literature and Culture, 10/19) Edit

  • auto email ack (10/19)
  • email of rejection (10/19 x2)(10/29 x2) (11/2)(11/5 x12)
  • Request for dossier by email (10/22 x5) (10/29 x3) (11/2) (10/19) (11/5 x3)
  • No rejection email, no dossier request...stuck in Limbo (11/2 x5)
  • EEO form received a week after email rejection (11/5x2)  Always a nice touch, no?
  • Anybody else still stuck in Limbo at this point? (11/6)
  • MLA interview requested by email (12/8) x3, (12/9) x3
  • Rejection letter via snail mail, specifying that only 10 people will be interviewed at MLA (12/21)
  • Did anyone happen to ask about Lehigh's timeline or get a sense of when they're going to invite candidates to campus? (12/31)

Longwood University, Farmville VA (Victorian Lit, 11/1) Edit

  • email ack and EEO forms (10/30) x2, (11/4) x4
  • Telephone interview scheduled (11/18) x4
  • Campus interview scheduled (12/16)
  • Campus visits occurred in January. Offer has been made.

Longwood University, Farmville VA (Romantic, 11/1) Edit

  • email ack and EEO forms (10/29) x2, (11/2)
  • phone call to schedule MLA interview (12/1)
  • Anyone know when calls for visits should go out? (1/25)
  • Has anyone heard anything since MLA? I'm assuming I'm not going to get a campus interview, but seeing as no one has posted anything about campus interviews I'm holding on to the little hope I've got. Any information would be great!
  • Campus visits occurred in mid-January. Offer made.
  • Were these visits and this offer for the Rom or the Vict position? Seems like the Vict search was on an earlier schedule...
  • Romantic position

Miami University (OH) (Romantic poetry, 11/2) Edit

  • Request for dossier and writing sample. (11/4) x 4
  • Request for dossier & writing sample (11/18) x3
  • MLA interview scheduled (12/9/09) x 4 
  • Ugh, I was hoping to get this interview after receiving the writing sample/dossier request.  Is there anyone else in a similar situation?  Possible that they might make more calls tomorrow?
    • Me, too. *sigh*
    • Were there any other calls for MLA interviews on 12/10?  They may have finished contacting candidates.
    • Email rejection (had made the first cut, sent dossier) 12/17 x2
  • Campus visit scheduled (1/6)

Misericordia University, PA (19th Century, 11/20) Edit

  • Postcard ack and EEO (11/3, 11/12, 11/20x2)
  • Q: In the ad, they ask for a "full" dossier, including the letters. What did you send to constitute the full dossier? Teaching statement, dis/book abstract and writing sample? So many places often have different expectations about what the "full" actually entails. I know it doesn't hurt to just send everything, but I'm curious to what applicants did choose to submit.
  • A: I sent letter, c.v. and ref letters and rec'd the EEO form as above. If "dossier" is supposed to mean something other than that, I think they'll say what they want. I have seen some ads that want teaching evals, etc, but they generally seem to say so.
  • Thanks so much for your reply.
  • Has anyone received any additional information on this position? (12/13)
  • MLA interview scheduled via phone (12/16)x2
  • Congratulations to those who got interviews! Did the University ask for any supplemental materials before contacting you for an interview?
    • A: Not from me (x2)
  • Campus interview scheduled (1/5) x2
  • Offer made and accepted (2/23)
    • Oh, congrats! This breaks my heart, I have to say, as someone who also had a campus visit.
    • OP here: I completely understand! I loved my campus visit, and was so happy it worked out. Good luck, and I hope you find something just as great!!!

Northern Kentucky University (19th-Century, preference for transatlantic or Victorian/Romantic poetry, 11/1) Edit

  • email acknowledgment (10/29) x3, (11/2)
  • request for dossier by e-mail (11/13)
    • Would those contacted by NKU care to note whether they identify as Romanticists, Victorianists, or neither/both? Asked by a romanticist.
      • A: I study the long 19th century.
  • Has anyone heard anything aside from the request for dossier on 11/13 (I'm posting on 11/17)
    • There have been others contacted (Romanticist) who have not posted here. Not me though. *sigh* (posted 11/18)
  • No, in fact, I have yet to receive an ack that they ever got my materials. (11/17)
    • Just the initial email ack.
  • MLA interviews scheduled (12/1)

Pacific Lutheran University (11/01; 18thc and Romantic lit) link Edit

  • Teaching load: 3/3
  • See also discussion on the Restoration/18th-Century 2010 page
  • Dossier requested by email, 11/09 (x1) and 11/13 (x1) and 11/20 (x1) [were those dossiers requested from Romanticists or 18th-century specialists who also "do" Romanticism?]
    • In answer, I am a Romanticist who also does the 18th-century, but I think they probably want 18th-century specialists
    • A: Last year, this was an 18th-century-only search that failed when a candidate rejected the initial offer.  This year, they expanded it to include Romanticism, so they must want both areas.  I am also a Romanticist who has researched and taught fairly extensively in the late 18th century
  • For what it's worth, I'm a true 18th c. with a decent amount of teaching (and debatably one article) in Romanticism and also got the dossier request. They seem to be open to the possibilities.
  • Pleasant rejection email including this information (11/23):
We received 134 applications, constituting a very strong pool of
candidates who all, like yourself, have impressive qualifications as a
teachers and scholars. As we must choose only fifteen candidates for
MLA interviews, I’m sure you can appreciate just how difficult our
selection process is.
FWIW, I'm a Romanticist with a lot of emphasis on the long C18.
I too was rejected and am a Romanticist focusing on poetry with some teaching/research in the 18th C.
  • Did anyone who was asked for dossier also get a rejection email? Or was this rejection to candidates who were never asked for dossiers?
    • Kind rejection email from dept. chair stating that all MLA interviews have been scheduled and that, although they'd requested letters from me earlier, I'm no longer under consideration (12/9)
  • Restoration/18th-century page shows interviews scheduled and none posted here, so guess they really only wanted 18th century after all
  • Restoration/18th-century page shows campus visits scheduled today (1/6)

Rhodes College (British Literature 1730-1830) Edit

  • Nicely written ack email from search chair and EEO forms. Classy. (11/2, 11/12)
  • Would you be willing to cut and paste the body of that e-mail here?
  • Here it is:
    Thank you for your interest in the British Literature 1730-1830 Position in the English Department at Rhodes College.
We have received your letter of application, c.v., and 3 letters of recommendation. Your application is complete.
We will begin screening applications shortly and will be in contact as the search progresses. Thank you once again for your interest in Rhodes.
  • Q. Email request for writing sample (11/20) (x3) [romanticists or long centurists?]
  • A. Long 18th, for me, but some teaching and publication are arguably romanticist. (x2)
  • A. Romanticist, for me, but with a dissertation that addresses several 18th century texts.

See the Eighteenth Century page for current status of this job -- MLA interviews have been scheduled.

Queens College, CUNY (Victorian, 11/26) Edit

  • Letter ack (11/9) (11/16) (11/25 x 2) (12/3) (12/4)
  • MLA interview request by phone -- date? (12/10 x3)
  • Anybody else receive a request? yes by phone
  • All received interview requests on 12/10?
  • Did they ever ask for writing samples?
  • They asked me to email them a writing sample when they scheduled the interview (and to bring a syllabus or two to the interview).
  • campus visit scheduled (12/30)
  • (3/3 x 4) Dear Applicant,

Our records show that you applied for an assistant professor position in Victorian Literature at Queens College . The College found it necessary to discontinue this search but has now elected to institute a new search for this position. We have retained your application material, and if you would like to be considered for the position, please let us know within ten days by simply replying “yes” to this email. [yes, with the email addresses of all the applicants fully visible: hi everyone!] I wonder if anybody currently holding an academic position was outed to his/her department by this email.

  • Anybody have information on what happened?
  • Also, did anybody have a campus visit? If so, what did you experience?

Sam Houston State University (Romanticism, 12/7) Edit

  • Note: this is an open rank search.
  • MLA interview scheduled (12/10) (x4) [Q: at what rank if I may ask? advanced assist or assoc.? A: unspecified, but assistant prof.is my assumption. A: I'm Ph.D. in hand, not working in academia, so for me it would be a brand new asst. hire]
    • This is truly open rank; they lost their Romanticist to an admin position and need someone ASAP.

Campus visit scheduled (01/10) x2

  • For those who got visits, what rank are you? (and congrats)
  • Be careful about what they sell to you on this university & its location.
  • Care to be a little less vague?

University of Chicago (19th-Century, 11/6) Edit

  • request for writing sample (11/21) x3 Q: Did this arrive by email?  Yes, in my case by email on Friday (11/20) night. 
  • email request for writing sample (11/23) x6
  • [Could those asked for more material specify what their focus is within the 19th c -- Romanticism, Victorian, poetry?]
  • [In my case, 19C poetry x3] [Victorian novel x3] [early 19th cen]
  • two questions for those who were asked for writing samples
    • 1) are any of you ABD?
      • Yes (x3) No (x3)
    • 2) were any of your listed publications available online? (eg. through project muse?--mine is, and I'm desparately hoping that's why they didn't ask me for a WS). thanks in advance!
      • A: No (x2) Yes (x3)
      • A: Do you really think that U Chicago's committee is going to take the time to look up online publications for each candidate when they probably received 200+ applications? This seems like wishful thinking to me. X2 I complete agree with this statement.  Of course that is wishful thinking. 
      • A: Seems to me (I'm not one of the above posters) that if Chicago wanted to read a sample and it is available via Muse, they'll look it up; it is extremely easy to do, and why would they bother asking candidate to send a sample if candidate has a published article available at the click of a computer key?  Of course UChic won't look up EVERYONE's articles, but if they're interested in particular person, they quite probably would look it up.
      • If they did not ask you for a sample, you are not under consideration.
      • While no doubt true for this position, I would like to note that this is NOT always the case.
    • Any news on this search? (12/17) 
    • They warned us when they requested samples that they wouldn't let us know until shortly before the convention, though personally I'm hoping that doesn't mean Dec. 26.
    • MLA interview scheduled by phone  (12/17)
    • I heard rumor that this committee wasn't making their decisions until the 24th.  Is this not the case? (12/18)
    • This is a bit weird, right?  Why has no one else listed an interview? (X4):  So, of the 9 people here originally reporting writing sample requests, only one (or maybe 2) have interviews?  Odd..
      • Why is this odd? Typically, 20-30 people make the first cut in a search, which is what the materials request meant: you'd made the first cut. Then, that number is usually pared down to something like 8-15 for interviews. Given that many jobs in this period receive 100-300 applications and there are only 63 applicants on this page, that only one person reported getting an interview doesn't surprise me.
    • i'm aware of at least one more person (not me) with an interview--scheduled two days ago, i believe.
    • Rejection email (so I guess it's official) (12/21)
    • a very polite rejection email (01/05) --Q: did you (1/5 poster) interview at MLA? A: no :( But I thought the rejection letter was quite kind.
    • I'm one who received the 1/5 e-mail, but I didn't interview @ MLA.
    • got one 1/6, didn't interview.
    • polite rejection email 1/7, didn't interview x2; 1/22, also didn't interview
    • Campus visit scheduled (x2)

University of Hartford (generalist in Anglophone with interests in 19th-century British, 10/28) Edit

  • asked to fill out "Applicant Data Sheet" via email (10/30)
  • request for more materials (11/20)
  • rejection email rcvd (12/10) -- note that neither email nor letter indicate the school, no message in body of email, no signature, no letterhead on attachment;  I don't even let my students send me emails without name and message in the body; this was just annoying and sloppy (went directly to my spam folder too)
    • I also received a blank email with the rejection letter attached, but it was clearly emailed from a hartford.edu address and the letter states the school's name in the first sentence. The absence of letterhead did seem a bit strange, but at least this committee took the time to let people know what's happening. Most don't.
    • Same email here. Good to receive some notice. Sloppy way of doing it, but at least they sent something. I figured I was out of the running when I didn't receive a request for more materials anyway.

University of Nebraska (19th Century, 11/1) Edit

I'm just being paranoid because the UNL website kept crashing on me as I was applying. So ALL they are asking for at this point is our cover letter and CV right? They didn't ask for letters of reference or a writing sample....did they? Again, I had a lot of trouble with this website so I'm just double checking with "all y'all!"

  • As far as I know, you are absolutely correct -- they just want the CV and cover letter at this point. (ensuing discussion moved to "Discussion" below)
  • email request for more info (recs, teaching portfolio, transcripts, writing sample (11/9x12)
  • Any requests after 11/9? (11/12)
  • Does this mean the above question was posted on 11/12 or that someone received a request for more material on 11/12?
  • For those who did get request for more material/info, when did you send in your application? I'm hoping they just haven't gotten to mine yet... but of course this is wishful thinking on my part... Even Lincoln, Nebraska doesn't want me :(    [That definitely could be; I uploaded my materials 10/18, and was asked for more info on 11/9.] [I uploaded my materials on 10/29 and was asked for more materials on 11/9 x2] [Req for more on 11/9 as well]
    • Gee, why would a good R1 university not want someone who looks down their nose at them? (x3) There's probably not a single person on the market who hasn't had her/his share of disappointments, so the 'even Lincoln' comment, in addition to being plain obnoxious, is also insensitive in the utmost.
    • Perhaps the "even Lincoln doesn't want me" didn't bother to do research on this school; this English Dept. is one of the top in public universities and they're hiring for the 2nd year in a row; wonder if the OP actually got any interviews?
  • Any word from Nebraska about MLA interviews?
  • MLA Interview scheduled by phone (12/4) x6
  • campus visit scheduled by phone during MLA (12/29)

University of Notre Dame (Romanticism, particularly poetry, 10/30) Edit

  • Notification letter explaining that application materials were received and are "being circulated to the committee."  11/2; 11/5 (I'm in the Netherlands - snaaaiiilll maaaiiiilll)  
  • No such letter in NY. Letter finally arrived.
  • Email request for letters of rec and writing sample (11/17) x7
  • Letters and sample requested by snail mail (11/20) x2
  • Rejection via snail mail (11/22) x2
  • the wait on this one is becoming excruciating x2
  • Rejection via email (12/16) (x3 -- after receiving dossier/writing sample request)
  • Email request for MLA interview (plus diss and teaching portfolio) (12/16) x3
  • Email request for MLA interview (did NOT include request for diss or teaching portfolio) (12/16)
  • Campus visit scheduled (1/5) x2
  • Pleasant rejection email after MLA interview (1/5) boo-hoo

University of Southern Indiana (Long 18th-Century or Rom./Vict., 10/1)Edit

  • Email request for phone interview (10/20 x4)
  • Request to contact references (10/30)
  • Rejection email from search chair (11/13 X3)
  • Timeline: campus visits in November; will make offer in early December
  • Is this unusual, or somethng a lot of schools are doing?  Making offers for 2010 before the MLA conference?  Doesn't the MLA have guidelines about this? 
    • A: Indeed, I believe they do. 
    • A: Some schools are operating outside of MLA guidelines/protocol in order to take advantage of a down market.  It stands to reason that they can save money by choosing not to do MLA interviews, and instead invite candidates to campus without that step.  Doing it earlier rather than later allows them to make offers without negotiating against competing offers, while taking advantage of candidates' anxieties about lack of available jobs, thus perhaps landing a more attractive hire than they would have otherwise.  While I disagree with this course of action in principle, I admire their pragmatism.  They're clearly making no secret of their process.
    • A: There's always a few schools who do this every year. I don't think it's necessarily a result of the down market.
    • A: A more charitable reading might be that in the face of impending budget cuts, they're trying to secure the line ASAP.
    • A: Indeed, all biases revealed, I heavily favor realism over charity.
    • A: The person who gets this offer, negotiate the hell out of it.  In a down market, some places will offer the lowest salary. Let's not take that.  It's not enough to have a job; make sure it's a good job and that employers will support everything you do.
    • USI is making the candidate be dishonest.  You should accept the job and go ahead with the MLA interviews.  If you get a better job, withdraw from USI.  Or, use this as a renewed bargaining position.  If they weren't playing at least a little dirty, the applicants would not have to as well. 
  • Q: I have a campus visit in late November at USI for another field (non-18th/19th century). What am I supposed to do if I get offered the job in early  December? How can I tell them that I have to wait until the MLA at least? Can they force me to make a decision before the MLA, etc.?
    • It's standard practice that you have two weeks to make a decision. In this case, it's likely that they are doing the search early to force people to decide before MLA. For the smaller schools, this allows them to get good candidates without having them stolen away by bigger schools. And, yes, they can force you to decide. This happened to a friend of mine two years ago: she got an offer from a school she really liked in early December, but had three MLA interviews already scheduled. She ultimately rejected the offer, interviewed, and got a better job in the end. Good luck.
  • Q: If the MLA has guidelines about this, as suggested above, can't these practices be called into question? Does anyone know a contact person at the MLA?
    • You must be confusing academia with some other system where the powerless (e.g. applicants) have rights. MLA guidelines are just that: guidelines. There is no way to enforce them.
    • Right. Another common misconception is that this is not "business." There's nothing stopping any school from playing hardball, esp. in this market.
    • Here is what the MLA guidelines actually say (as someone else noted above, these are guidelines and recommendations not rules that Departements are necessarily bound by): "No candidate should be required before 22 January to give a final answer to an offer of a position without tenure for the following academic year, however early an offer is tendered. A formal good faith offer is a written document on official letterhead from an authorized representative of the institution (e-mail transmission of offers is not recommended). This document should stipulate the terms of appointment. Candidates should be afforded a minimum of two weeks following receipt to accept or reject a formal offer."  Note the language here - much virtue in "should."  I wouldn't be surprised if more departments start trying to get offers out early this year as they attempt to shortcut potential budgetary cutbacks that may result in the loss of a position.  Job-seekers should definitely negotiate strongly, but be mindful of birds in hand as opposed to focusing too much attention on hypothetical birds in bushes!
  • Q: Has anyone who was interviewed for this position heard back from them yet?
    • Well, I received my rejection email after the phone interview, but I am assuming you mean the campus interview and I can't help you there...
    • See the Restoration/18th-Century page for campus interviews scheduled
  • Search Committee was to meet during week of 11/30 to discuss finalist candidates prior to anticipated December offer.
    • Does anyone know if the offer was extended on their stated schedule before MLA?
    • Yes, they made an offer before MLA that was turned down by their first candidate. I heard that the next candidate they offered the position to has accepted it.
    • Thanks for this update.
    • Snail mail rejection letter dated 1/14 stating that search has been completed and position filled (1/16)

University of Tennessee (Romantic Literature and Culture, 11/1) Edit

  • Email ack with complete info on the search and the committee's schedule. Nice touch. (11/2 x3)
Posting this schedule would be most helpful, if it's possible.  I am not applying for this post (I'm a Victorianist), but appreciate seeing other departments processes.
  • OK, here you go:
"By mid-November, those making the first cut will be e-mailed and asked to have their dossiers and writing samples sent to us. By mid-December, the committee will select the candidates to be interviewed at MLA. If you are among those selected, we will be in touch with you by phone at that time. Please let us know a phone number and/or e-mail address at which you can be reached in December if these are different from those on your Vita.
"We expect to complete this search shortly after MLA, inviting final candidates to campus in January and February. If you are among those invited, you will hear from me by letter or phone. If you have any questions about the search process or the state of your application, feel free to e-mail me anytime after November 15 and I will tell you what I know."
  • Emailed request for dossier and writing sample. (11/13) (x4)
  • Email to set up MLA interview on 12/11(x4) [check your spam filters, for some reason, gmail popped this email straight to spam]
  • Any word on this job? I'm not sure if campus visits have been scheduled. A: Some have been.
  • A: Three campus interviews scheduled for January.
  • Job offered and accepted.

University of Toronto-Mississauga (Victorian, 11/2) Edit

  • email acknowledgment (10/27, 11/1)
  • email ack and request to upload application material to online recruitement system (11/9)
  • November commentary moved to discussion section below.  
  • Interview request by e-mail (12/4 x6)
  • Just out of curiosity, were any of you who received an interview request Canadian? (no x4) -- surprise, surprise...
  • I neither asked the question about Canadian citizenship nor did I apply for this job, but I have to say that I think it was a reasonable question to ask. The job call posted in the JIL stated the following: "All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority." I think it's helpful to discover whether or not that administrative-speak plays out at the interview stage with Canadian schools. To the last poster ("surprise, surprise"), surely you will consider this and, perhaps, temper the sarcasm.
  • Yeah, I don't get the "surprise, surprise" comment. Usually people are complaining that Canadians are getting the interviews for Canadian jobs. (?) What am I missing? Or have I entered an alternate universe? [I hope it's the latter and I get 5 requests for MLA interviews tomorrow.]
  • I would guess that the "surprise, surprise" commenter is a Canadian rolling his/her eyes at the fact that no one being interviewed (at least among those responding here) is Canadian. Recently Canadian universities--especially the top-tier ones--have been hiring Americans at such a rate that there is a standard bitter joke that it's impossible for Canadians (especially those with Canadian degrees) to be hired in Canadian universities. But it's a joke that would be lost on people without the context, and especially when most of the context non-Canadians have for Canadian jobs is the standard line about Canadians and permanent residents being given preference. If I'm right, the sarcasm in "surprise, surprise" is directed at the UTM SC, not at anyone here.
  • Thanks for the interesting perspective (although I was hoping for the alternate universe). I didn't realize that the Canadian hiring process was trending this way. I remember 2 years ago when I was on the market, people were complaining about the exact opposite issue--i.e. Americans were complaining that they couldn't get interviews b/c of the law for Canadians to get priority in the hiring process.
  • Much depends on the university, but Toronto is predominantly hiring Americans with Ivy degrees these days. Same with McGill and UBC. Some of the smaller universities still markedly prefer Canadians.
  • This has been going on longer than two years.  The complaints the above commenter heard two years ago were probably just sour grapes, certainly w/ regard to Toronto. 
  • I can attest to all the above: lots o' bitterness amongst Canadians that only Americans are considered for jobs. I'm an American at a top-tier Canadian institution and we've hired ONLY Americans for the past 5 or 6 years.
  • Any news on this one? Post-MLA signs of life from SC?? (1/10)
  • campus visits are scheduled (1/13)
  • They offered the job to someone who turned it down. And then it was hung jury - yet again. So, a new search is likely next yr - best of luck, everyone!

University of Vermont (19th-Century novel, 11/15) Edit

  • UVM wants rec letters either uploaded or sent via email, correct?  Anyone find any indication they'll accept post if one's dossier service doesn't do email and one's referees are nurturing a healthy paranoia about sending things electronically?
    • I don't know if this helps but Interfolio Doisser Services does deliver to e-mail addresses. Maybe you can tranfer dossier services? Interfolio is cheap (and I've found it to be extremely reliable.) If not, I'm sure hard copies sent to the department would be fine (especially if you noted that in your cover letter). I can't imagine why they wouldn't accept hard copies.....
  • Out of curiosity, does anyone happen to know the teaching load at Vermont?
  • A:  2/2
  • writing sample request (12/4) x10
    • Oh, why, Vermont, why? :( x2 + 1 million :( :(   To infinity.
    • I'll go with the optomistic (too much so, I believe) question posed by the U Chicago hopeful: Do those of you who received a writing sample request NOT have something available on JSTOR? [A: several things on JSTOR, actually]
    • How would the SC know what you'd want your writing sample to be? Just because you have something published doesn't mean that is what you'd use for the writing sample. So, if they didn't ask...
    • MLA interview scheduled by phone (12/16)x5  
    • [To x2: did you also receive a call in the morning or was it this afternoon?]
    • Anybody else? If so, can you let us know what time you received a call? [Original poster here: I was called at 11:20 this morning] Thank you! Very much appreciated. Any idea why nobody else is posting?
    • As someone who's been on several search committees: it tends to be very bureaucratic and in my experience a SC would never go looking on Project Muse for a writing sample.  Asking someone for a writing sample is part of the process. 
    • In response to question above: I was the x2 and the call came AM of 12/16. Thanks! And congrats.
    • To the person who got the campus visit: it appears they made campus visit decisions at MLA and notified finalists then? A: Yes, a phone call came after the interview but during MLA.
    • does anyone know if offer has been made?
    • Did anyone receive post-MLA rejection letter?
    • Offer Made?
    • Interviewed at MLA; no campus visit, as yet no rejection. Assuming they hired somebody?

"University of  Wisconsin—La Crosse (19th-Century, 11/20) Edit

  • 11/20 received a blank email with an image attached. The image is of a cloudscape. No text. Any interpretations? [I don't have an answer for you or even a witty interpretation; I'm just writing to say that this is hilarious!] OK- So, I called on Friday, but everyone had left the office. All weekend, I was musing on the cloudscape, slipping into zen reflections. Monday morning comes and I wait for the office to open... And voila! Here comes another email. No text again, same image attached! I wish this story had a better ending, but it doesn't. I got on a different web browser and opened the email to discover that it was only alerting me to the fact that I needed to send them another reference letter. I gather that the cloudscape is a background that my browser didn't support, blanking the email out altogether.
  • Strange.  I received an email today from the same university informing me that one of my rec. letters had not been submitted.  I responded to the address that contacted me with a question and the respondent (who did not give a name in the communication, oddly enough) was quite polite and congenial.  So email back and let them know there was an issue with their email!  And let us know what it was all about, please.
  • I couldn't figure out how to get them my rec. letters. How did people applying for this job submit them?
    • Did you read the job ad?  It said, "To submit 'confidential references' with your Profile and supporting documents for this position, please have the letters mailed to Diana Johnson, English Department, UW-La Crosse, and indicate recruitment # 0600077 in the cover letter accompanying the reference letter(s). Please also indicate in the reference letter attachment during the online application process, that your letter(s) are being submitted confidentially." In addition, the job application generated an auto email to each of the references that you listed
    • Apparently I didn't read the correct ad. Of the 3 versions available, only the one on the English department site has the information you just shared. The MLA ad doesn't have it, nor does their HR site ad where you submit the application.
    • Oh, I didn't use any of those sites. They posted this ad on the Chronicle of Higher Education and HigherEdJobs.com late last spring (May-ish).
  • MLA Interview Scheduled (12/6 x4)
  • Does anyone know who will be on this interview committee at MLA?  I'm curious.
    • Didn't you ask?  A:  I'm not being interviewed by the committee, I take it.
  • I got an email today (12/22) saying that I made it through the " [missing text?]
  • me too. I got an email saying the same as stated above...I received the email as well. 
  • The email suggests that there are no MLA interviews.  I wonder if the department sent out the wrong letter, or if people are posting incorrect information on this page.
  • I have an MLA interview scheduled with UW-L -- the day/time, hotel, and committee have been confirmed (both over the phone and via email)
  • I too got the 12/22 email stating that they were interested and would let me know if I ended up as one of three who would be asked for a campus visit in mid-January. No mention of an MLA interview, which I guess they thought it was too late to reasonably schedule.
  • They are running 20th-century British and composition searches, too.  From what is posted above, it's hard to tell what the email was referencing.  Did those of you who got this blank email on 12/22 also apply for the 20th-century position?  I didn't get anything from them on the 22nd, and like the above poster, I have an MLA interview for the 19th-century confirmed by phone and email.
  • The 12/22 email that I got isn't blank. It just states that I made the first cut and am being considered for a campus visit with no mention of an MLA interview. Somewhat apologetic/defensive in tone ("Thank you for your patience, but I trust you understand that the pool was very large and the process quite time consuming." Signed by the chair of the search committee.
  • I received the email on 12/22, and I interpret it as a mistake.  They'll certainly choose their campus visitors from the MLA interviewees.
  • Campus interviews scheduled 1/11 (not yet received a post-MLA rejection, though)
  • Rejection letter received (3/12)

Winona State University (18th-Century/Romanticism, 11/9) Edit

  • The job ad defines 18th century as inclusive of Romanticism (1642-1832)
  • The online app is kind of a pain, so if you wait until the last second, beware.
  • Phone interview scheduled (12/1)
  • Good luck.  I interviewed for a similar position with this school last year (they seem not to have hired anyone).  There were seven people on the phone, none of whom was the person who initially contacted me.  They asked some very odd, vague questions (I had to go through an entire checklist of 10-12 fields and tell them everything that I'd done in fields ranging from medieval to K-12 education to new media), and they seemed offended that I had any research agenda at all.
  • I didn't think the interview was that bad. The questions were vague, but relevant (tell us about your background in 18th c. lit, tell us about your teaching experience), and thanks to the heads up, I was prepared for the question on that checklist of fields (which was included in the online job app).
    • Sounds like it was much more focused this time. Good.
  • Committee says campus visits will be mid-January (beginning of next semester)

Winona State University (19th-Century, 11/9) Edit

  • This job is for British and/or American
  • automated email acknowledgment (11/6)
  • Request for phone interview (12/1)

Discussion/Questions Edit

Bemidji State University, Assistant Professor of English - Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century British Literature

  •  I was curious if anyone had heard anything about this job. It is not listed in the groupings above and, as such, I had wondered if the position might have been cancelled due to finding concerns.
    • This was canceled last year because of budget issues. It was just listed on the MLA a week or so ago, so it should be live.
    • Many thanks! I'd be curious if anyone has heard anything from them.
    • You probably won't hear until after the deadline passes.  This is a late-season (post-MLA) job.


Queens College, CUNY

  • Reposted on CHE w/ deadline 11/26 (10/29) Same job, right? A: Yes, the deadline was a typo from when I posted it here yesterday.
  •  In trying to reach the application website, I received a warning message stating web certificate contains invalid information. In order to get to the actual application, you need to override your computer's security settings. Has anyone else had this problem?   A: I didn't have this exact problem but the online application system seemed to be erasing sections of the application--after I had saved them--then the whole application disappeared, then I couldn't log back in, then I got a message saying my application had been submitted--when I hadn't finished or gone near the 'submit' button . . . what a mess! My application is going in the post regardless of the urgings to use the online system. Between this and the conflicting job ads, I'm already horrified at the institution's poor organization!
  • Please answer two questions: (1) Do we have to apply for Queens online? I'm following their MLA posting from October, which asked for materials to be mailed.  (2) What is CHE? (I'm only familiar with the ADE/MLA job websites.)  Thanks!
  • CHE=Chronicle of Higher Education([1])
  • Queens does not require online applications, though the posting indicates that they strongly encourage it.
  • My September record of the QC MLA JIL posting gives no indication of an electronic submission preference or procedure.
  • Check out the latest CHE listing.[2]
  • If I had to apply again, I'd mail my stuff in. The website (CUNYfirst) is insanely frustration. It's bloated, slow, and kept kicking me out when I tried to preview documents. Many buttons either work incorrectly or don't work at all. Waste of time and sanity. Argh. Followup: I spoke too soon. Unable to complete the application online. I'm sending it by snail mail. Unbelievable. Worst online application I've ever seen.
  • Seconded.  I would've cheerfully jumped through all their silly hoops but there wasn't, so far as I could tell, a place to upload the cover letter.  Oh, wait, found it,but it doesn't seem to work.
  • I was able to upload materials onto the website, but I had switch browsers and reset some of my browser settings in order to do so. It's tricky, but (for those still struggling with the system) it can be done!
  • Nov 25 -- I just submitted my application online and had no serious problems with the online system. It is a little disorganized, so some patience is needed, but no hair pulling was necessary.
  • Q: did the letter of acknowledgement arrive via mail or email? I haven't received one yet :S
  • Q: Did everyone else's letter of acknowledgement say that you should send the dossier if you haven't done so already?  I'm trying to judge whether this means they never got it, or if it is a standard statement. A: It is a standard statement.  I sent my dossier in plenty of time and my ack letter said it too.
  • A: Get this, I am so nervous that when I received this letter I instantly emailed the chair to be sure my letters were received.  I was told that it is indeed a form letter.
  • Q:  did the ack. letter arrive via mail or email? 
  • A: I received mine via snail mail.
  • Q: Do you suppose Queens College, CUNY has asked anyone for writing samples? It seems a bit late for them to not get started on that...
    • Not all schools request these before interviews. Sometimes, they ask people to bring a sample to the interview at MLA or just ask people they interview to email one after interviews are scheduled.


U Nebraska

  • Tis the season to be paranoid.
  • I'm curious to see how this works out for them.  Seems an odd process, doesn't it?
  •  According to MLA guidelines, schools are not supposed to ask for all of the materials up front because it is expensive for candidates, and, really, it makes sorting through all the applications more difficult anyway.  Search committees who ask up front for letters of recommendation (most of which they won't even read) are asking candidates using a dossier service to spend $6-8 per packet of letters.  Now add $10-30 in fees for official transcripts from (in my case, four) schools for search committees that request those up front, too.  That's $16-38 expense per school so far.  Then, multiply that cost by 30-70 job applications per year.  Search committees should be able to tell whether they want to interview you by what you say in your letter, what your CV shows that you've accomplished, and how well those facets match their departmental needs.
  • in this market, where is anyone finding 30 - 70 jobs to apply to a year? I must be doing something wrong. 
    • A:I work in literature and two interdisciplinary/theoretical areas, which widens the pool of jobs.
  • I, for one, do not send official transcripts when asked in the first round.  That's ridiculous and expensive.  I also have nowhere near to 70 jobs to apply to this year, but maybe this Friday will be different...
    • A: Same here for official transcripts.  They don't need official copies until they hire someone.
  • I'm curious about the cynicism in the statement regarding up front letters of recommendation - "most of which they won't even read."  If this is in fact true (and for the three search committtees for tenure-track positions I have served on it is not, personally) perhaps the fault lies in the recommenders and/or the candidate for controling her or his portfolio of letters to the extent that they are able to do so.  I do start to skim the second, third, and fourth letters from dissertation committee members in the sections where they EACH recount a detailed 3-4 page, single-spaced precis of the dissertation.  But I zero in on what (if anything) is original and unique to those letters. 
    • Many of these schools receive 100-200 applications, and if my comment seemed cynical, that is because I doubt that committees in general read 300-600 letters of recommendation before making the first cut. Maybe your institution is more thorough.


University of Toronto-Mississauga


  • Is this a request to upload *more* materials or the materials that were initially required for submitting the application (letter, cv and writing sample)? (11/12). In answer to the question, to upload material initially required, including transcripts/ref. letters. Anyone else get this request? Was I the only one to mail in my application?  Fourth year running they've advertised this position. Are they that hard to please? Is it just a quirk of the Canadian process?
  • they had a candidate turn down this position several years ago; his profile was fairly idiosyncratic, and my suspicion is that they are trying very hard to find another copy of this person.
  • just out of curiosity, what was his profile [the person who turned down UTM] like? I'm just trying to be as "realistic" with myself as possible, and recognize I likely won't be getting a job this year. Does anyone know, for example, if he was from an ivy league US university, with ample publications? Or was his area of specialization of particular interest to the department?  
  • Actually, they filled the position several years ago -- a year or so after the other person turned them down-- but the person they hired found another job soon after and left. they ran the search last year but didn't hire anyone at the end of it. said they couldn't find anyone suitable -- in this job market! they ought to give some thought to how they run their searches: they have at least six professors from two campuses participating in MLA interviews but it isn't the same six the whole time. can't imagine how a committee can reach a fair decision if the same members aren't participating the whole time. depending on who participates you could get someone who gazes at the wall or someone who rolls her eyes and tries to prod another committee member to laugh at you. i had both, lucky me. they won't ask a single question about your teaching but they will ask a number of dumb questions that you should be able to answer on the spot but, because they have nothing to do with your research or teaching, you'll be so taken aback that you won't know what to say. you won't have a conversation about your work with them. rather, you'll be defending it against outrageous statements and questions that will make you wonder why they selected your application in the first place. (i know five people who have interviewed with them and their experiences are all consistent with mine.) oh, speaking of applications, they'll all on be on the table in folders with the short-listed candidates names on them, and the committee members will have a little chart of the candidates in front of them. i had four other MLA interviews and all of them made me feel like I was the only candidate they were interviewing. the other schools asked tough questions but they weren't rude or hostile. oh, and the best part about utm's MLA interviewing process: they'll invite all of the job candidates to a cash bar where you'll be forced to talk with your competitors because the toronto faculty and students will be too busy conversing among themselves to mingle with you.
  • wow! sounds horrible! I'm really sorry you went through such a horrible experience, but thanks for your vivid description. If I do get an interview (which is doubtful), at least I know what I'm in for.
  • could the person describing the horrible Toronto interview be more explicit about the committee's disarming questions? I'm mystified by what exactly a committee might ask that would be so unusual (even if "dumb," as you say).  curious to know more.
  • as horrible as the experience sounds, it's not unusual for schools to invite anyone who happens to be at MLA to sit in on the job interviews, especially if they are not planning on doing flybacks. So one can easily end up with random questions and an eclectic committee. but even when this is the case, most schools are better at making the candidate feel like s/he is not at an open call casting. re: the previous poster, it's not hard to think of the totally random questions an uninformed committee member might ask ("So, how might your work on early american poetic form illuminate my field of study, postmodern material culture?")
  • For what it's worth, I had a great experience interviewing for this same job a few years ago; once I got over the surprise of encountering at least nine people in the interview room, we had one of those lovely conversational interviews in which they began with a few questions about teaching and moved on to research; everyone asking questions seemed to have at least looked over my file, and some had obviously read it carefully. And I had some good conversations with Toronto faculty at the cash bar. So, seems like experiences with this committee varies from year to year, perhaps depending on the composition of the committee?


Winona State

  • how exactly is one supposed to submit letters of recommendation online for Winona State? or do they mean names of referees only? This is one of the most bizarre submission formats yet...
    • A: Agreed--also add annoying.  I had my dossier service scan and submit letters (gave them my login information and password and asked them to upload them--recommended only if you know/trust your dossier service).  Turns out it was all irrelevant: after you submit your electronic application, it says something like, "If you have not yet submitted letters of reference, have them mailed to..."  Would have been nice for them to say as much in the posting.  Editorial aside: it seems like the lower quality the institution, the higher the degree of aggravation in its application procedures (transcripts?  Who wants transcripts?).
    • If you consider it a "lower-quality institution," then why apply?  leave it for those of us who think it sounds like kind of a neat place to be.
      • A: Calling it a "lower-quality institution" doesn't mean it's not a great place to teach.  There's nothing wrong with calling Southern Indiana and Winona State of lower quality than Lehigh and BC, and likewise, the discussion comparing these schools and the application materials required is relevant and revealing.
  • The job ad for Winona says to just submit the names of the references: "Please submit the following materials: 1) A cover letter addressing how you meet the responsibilities and qualifications in the order listed above; 2) Resume; 3) Transcripts (undergraduate and graduate); and 4) a list of at least 3 references, with addresses and telephone numbers."
    • Yes, that's what the ad says, but the online submission form asks for letters to be uploaded or sent via post.  In fact, it says something rather alarmist, like "Your application will not be forwarded unless it is complete!"  So, does the online submission form, with its fearsome threat to withhold your incomplete application, take precedence over the ad?
  • "...it seems like the lower quality the institution, the higher the degree of aggravation in its application procedures..." I second that motion!  Aggravated X2.
    • My favorite are the persnickety questions on applications such as this, asking for entire employment and education background with corroborating phone contacts and dates and the like.  You would think by this point I would have all this information cleverly written down in one place for future reference.  But no.
    • I don't think the lameness of their HR site reflects badly on Winona State's department or programs. They probably just want to hire someone and are putting up with whatever HR mandates. So many of these HR systems use the exact same software interface, down to the type font and site design. ("Click "LOGIN" at the left!") Can we please have a centralized site, HR departments? I have never felt more innocent of all felonies and misdemeanors in my life, because your sites have made me say so 37 times...
  • Everyone else may already know this, but Interfolio has an option for one to upload confidential letters of rec to webpages.
    • Q: How does that work exactly? How do you upload into a web form where you have to be logged in?

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