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- How many applications have you sent out this year?:
- 50 or above:
8+ MLA interviews: 6
4+ MLA interviews: 6 Q. Does it include MLA+Skype when there is no MLA? Gracias (I'd count phone/Skype if they're leading to campus visits.)
0 MLA (or prelim) interviews with 15+ applications sent: 4
Assistant Professor: 11
Associate Professor: 1
ABD (will finish this academic year): 16
Ph.D. in hand (one-year, VAP, Lecturer, post-doc, adjunct):16
Ph.D. in hand (unable to find academic employment at the moment): 0
ABD (almost done with Ph.D.) and currently in a one-year, VAP, visiting instructor, lecturer or adjunct position: 1
Completed Graduate Studies in US:25
Completed Graduate Studies in Iberia (Spain/Portugal): 4
Completed Graduate Studies in Latin America: 1
Assistant Professor who hates current position and is considering leaving the profession if nothing more interesting comes: 2 (Where's the "like" button? x2)
VAP who hates job insecurity and is considering leaving the profession if nothing comes this year: 1
How many of the candidates who accepted an offer this year will be on the market again next year?
Talking insiders. Does anyone with his ear to the ground have news about positions that already have a favorite in mind?
A: Let's also remember: Just because there is an insider, doesn't mean that that person actually wants to keep working at the institution at which they are visiting. Also, in cases of multiple insiders, (and I say this from personal experience), precisely because there is more than one person inside competing for the job, everyone involved, EVERYONE, knows that there are no guarantees, everyone is courting and being courted elsewhere... En fin... We should all just proceed under the assumtion that no one is going out of their way to be cruel or unfair. Is that untrue once in a while? Sure! But, why live one's life assuming the worst of people?
A: Certainly, insiders have at times gotten positions that were intended for them. Much more frequently, however, such speculation has been just that.
Things that are negative about believing in rumors of "insiders":
- They generally aren't true. Whether somebody made something up, somebody heard something secondhand, or some individual on a certain search did indeed have a specific candidate in mind, it usually doesn't indicate anything about the final outcome of the search.
- It is contrary to reality. Insiders can in fact face greater scrutiny because committees want to avoid the appearance of bias.
- It is delusional. Search committees are far from unified, faculty voting on candidates have different perspectives, and there are no guarantees for anyone.
- Believing that there is an inside candidate could make you take a very real employment possibility less seriously. It is foolish to put your own success in jeopardy by investing in such fantasies.
- Such speculation is a waste of time when you could be working to improve your own candidacy for this year and the future.
Things that are positive about believing in rumors of "insiders":
- It might give you a false sense of security after you have failed to get a certain job.
Q: How exactly does it give you a sense of security? Either the job is taken by an "insider" and then the rumor was correct and you can know why you failed, or someone from the outside gets the job and then you can feel no sense of security, unless of course you bury your had in the sand and avoid checking who got the job.
A: What I meant was, if you believe that you didn't get the job because it was a "fake search" (which is usually a fake excuse--just because a university hired someone again who was already an attractive enough candidate to hire once, doesn't mean they didn't take other candidates seriously), it will make you feel more secure that your own shortcomings for the position aren't to blame. My bottom line: don't believe the hype, and don't take it personally if/when you don't get any given position. There is no predictable sense of reason to this whole process and there are many subjective opinions involved in choosing the "right" person. So don't get worked up about whomever you believe to be an "insider."
A. Sounds like the above could be from a former insider!!
PLEASE NO MORE BS WITH THE INSIDER'S TALK!
Too Many Peninsular PositionsEdit
Peninsular speakers make up what, 10% of the Spanish-speaking world? (And the number of parlantes de español in the US is fast approaching--if it does not already exceed--that of Spain.) Why are there so many freekin peninsular jobs? Yea, Spain's great and all, but this Eurocentric crap is medieval.
The Euro-cultural conquest wasn't successful in much of Latin American anyway. But yet the nonsense continues, both in academia and with these idiots in black robes:
A: Claro, picha, ¿y dónde estaban los hispanoparlantes de Estados Unidos de hoy en 1600 cuando en España se componía la literatura más importante del mundo? En España se escribe literatura/filosofía desde hace más de 2.000 años. En Latinoamérica, dos siglos. Esa es la diferencia. Si fueras justo, compararías la atención que se le presta a la literatura actual española con la que se le presta a la latinoamericana. No se puede comparar un medievalista o siglodorista con latinoamericanistas. Es como comparar un bailaor de flamenco andaluz con uno de Bogotá.
- “Importante” en qué sentido? Llevaron armas (y enfermedades) más graves, nada más. Decir que su literatura era “mejor” o más “importante” que la que existía acá en aquellos tiempos es chiste. (De hecho, ese comentario euro-céntrico arriba es un buen ejemplo de cómo las mismas tonterías continúan.) Sí, intentaron borrar nuestros idiomas/literaturas/tradiciones por su ingeniería social modelada en lo romano, complementado por los diablos de capotes negros, pero cómo explican en Diarios “Este es el muro de los incas y este el de los españoles. Nosotros en forma de burla decimos que este es el de los incas y este el de los incapaces.” Y ahora la memoria colectiva habla por las nociones que tenemos del español: no es uno de respecto (cómo entiendo existe en EEUU para lo británico) sino que la imagen del español de hoy y siempre es de bobo. Y es precisamente por este tipo de comentario, cargado de aires de superioridad. Shhe eshhcucha en cómo burlasmoshhh de shushu athentoshhh … que es un acento que uno finge para demostrar que otro está siendo creído o prepotente.
- Lo que pienso es que los españoles que llegaron a América tendrían que haber exterminado a todos los indígenas como hicieron los británicos. A lo mejor, así nos tendrías más respeto. Resumir la herencia española en armas y enfermedades define tu ignorancia y subordinación al mundo anglosajón. ¿Cuando hablas de "nuestras" te refieres a los indígenas o a tus antepasados europeos? Por diablos de capotes negros, ¿te refieres a Bartolomé de Las Casas o Francisco de Vitoria que defendieron los derechos de los indígenas publicando libros y atacando a gente como Sepúlveda (llegando a prohibir su Democrates secundo en toda la Península) al contrario de los ingleses que los consideraban al mismo nivel que los animales?
- Me parece muy bien lo del acento. Se ve que tienes un gran respeto por la diversidad lingüística.
- Lee lo citado de más abajo:
- “That Spanish novels/arts/modismos are %350 more beautiful/relevant/important than, say, those from Colombia, is an untenable assertion….”
- Estoy de acuerdo. No he dicho lo contrario. Solo digo que la extensión, por historia y diversidad de periodos, de la literatura española es mucho más larga que cualquier otra latinoamericana. Lo cierto es que cuando Alfonso X escribía en Toledo y Sevilla, en Colombia, ¿qué hacían? Esa es la diferencia. Ni mejor ni peor. De mi comentario sobre las literaturas del siglo XX, has hecho mutis por el foro (perdón por los latinajos, no quiero ofender a tu cultura milenaria limpia de influencias de Virgilio, Horacio y Séneca).
- Decir lo mismo sobre la escritura/arte/pensamiento de los tiempos de los tontos extremadureños con armas caminando por aquí es igual a decir que la literatura norteamericana es la “más importante” hoy por sus intervenciones en Irak.
- "Extremadureños", ¿quiénes son esos? ¿aficionados al extremo duro? Hablas de historia del XVI y de ignorancia y no conoces ni el gentilicio de la gente de Extremadura. Ten cuidado porque seguro que tienes más sangre extremeña y andaluza que inca. No, no me refiero a ellos, me refiero a Cervantes, Góngora, Lope de Vega, Tirso o Calderón. No sé si los conoces...
- “En España se escribe literatura/filosofía desde hace más de 2.000 años. En Latinoamérica, dos siglos. Esa es la diferencia.”
- Qué triste es la ignorancia.
- La literatura colonial que se estudia hoy en día responde en un 90% a españoles o hijos de españoles. Mira cualquier programa de cualquier universidad y lo verás.
- Qué triste es la ignorancia.
But who knows...could be Aznar himself!
- Tal defensa de España en este dialogo me da vergüenza ajena.
Funny, because as a peninsularist, I had the opposite reaction. I felt like there were a ton of Latin American positions and SLA jobs, and a paucity of Peninsular jobs. That said, I also didn't dismiss the work in those fields just because I don't work in the those areas. Show me the numbers and then maybe I will listen to your silly whining.
There are always too many peninsular ads, that’s nothing new. What I see this year is an abundance of Caribbean and Mexico ads. It’s a nice change, I’d say. What the other poster didn’t say is that for there to be a descriptive cultural demography, there should be 10 times more Latin American jobs than Peninsular, as the Latin American population is about 10 times that of Spain. (It’s a bit more than 10 times the Spain pop. in reality.)
To put some numbers on the peninsular stranglehold in this field: as of Oct 20 there are 8 Latin American ads and 4 Peninsular on the wiki (if we subtract generalist and linguistics). That means the Peninsular jobs are overrepresented by around 350%.
Since when is the number of inhabitants of a specific region the sole or main criteria to determine the "correct" "size", "relevance" or "representation" of an academic subfield? By this same logic, the OP should be demanding that 1 in every 5 academic job positions be on Chinese literature and that all Classics departments stop hiring at once.
The way things are, I think we should all be glad that there are even TT jobs being offered...
Since when? Umm the end of the feudal period. Maybe the emancipation proclamation...or the Bastille. Number of inhabitants SHOULD BE determinative as in theory the west is democratic. What this last poster notes about Chinese is precisely correct in spite of his/her ignorant sarcasm. The Humanities should examine the human condition withouth these medieval preferences that currently pollute Spanish study in the US.
That Spanish novels/arts/modismos are %350 more beautiful/relevant/important than, say, those from Colombia, is an untenable assertion -- and these nondemocratic structures that determine the "best" themes to study flesh out as cultural imperialism. If the US academcy were to saturate with a single Spansh-speaking culture it should be Mexican or Spanish-speakers from the US, for obvious reasons.
- En Nigeria hay más habitantes que en Inglaterra. En la RD Congo más que en Francia. Miren la representación que tienen estos países africanos en los departamentos de inglés y francés y luego vuelvan quejándose. Eso sí que son tratados como colonias de esclavos. Pero claro, como son negros, nadie se queja.
There is one point I would like to add to this discussion. There are many, many elements that come into play when talking about the job market, and a fundamental one has to due with its tempos. My particular subfield in Latin American studies was historically underrepresented until many departments began to open positions during the late 1990s and early 2000s (which is when I got my TT job). This means that practically all departments large enough to offer this subspeciality have rather young, tenured associate professors. Therefore, for some years now there have hardly been any openings in my subspeciality, and I don't think this will improve much for a rather long period of time. On the other hand, in my department and in those I am familiar with, Peninsularists are usually older professors who are now finally starting to retire, thus freeing up lines that .--the economy and deans willing-- will translate into more jobs for this speciality.
For that same reason, one might argue that British literature is overrepresented in US academy. Perhaps, but both British and Peninsular literature are "the classics" of American and Latin American literature. And they will always be taught, get over it. I'm a Peninsularist, and I also believe this year there are a lot of Mexican/Caribbean literature positions. I'm glad for my colleagues in those subfields, what's the problem?
As for your assertion that "If the US academcy were to saturate with a single Spansh-speaking culture it should be Mexican or Spanish-speakers from the US, for obvious reasons," you're absolutely right. They are doing that very well, it's called chicano literature, it's part of the American literature curriculum, and it's beating the crap out of Spanish departments throughout the country. And, of course, it's taught in English. Doesn't that qualify as cultural imperialism?
Estas son las peleas del pobre. Instead of asking for more new lines so everyone can work, we are arguing to substitute one for other. Of course, there is no money and universities are freezing hiring but this is the kind of in-finghting that institutions love to avoid hiring anyone. I can hear the Deans: "No problem guys, you figure it out and you get back to me. In the meantime, I give your line to English or French. I hear they are doing cool thing there..." It would be a lot more constructive to place our energies in trying to figure out how to grow and consolidate gains intead of undermining our colleagues in the field. When we do that we also unwittingly hurt ourselves.
The original poster noted that we should be moving away from Euro-centrist models toward democratic ones, so this conversation has precisely to do with transitioning “classics” ("canon" is probably more appropriate) toward democratic representation – precisely what Chicano Lit does..for the penultimate poster above who mentioned it. And yes of course the Brits are overrepresented in English as are the Portuguese, French, and other former colonial powers in their respective fields/literatures/canons. That doesn’t mean that such a trend is positive, perennial, or unchangeable. Latin American Studies as a subfield hardly existed a generation ago. Until the 60s almost the entire field was peninsular…in 1970 only 150 uni-s even had Latin American studies...out of the thousands of US schools. This situation has improved significantly since then...and the democratization of the field has included a retraction of peninsular positions (as a percentage of all hires), but not a sufficient one.
Due to the enduring nondemocratic weighting of texts/traditions/canons/scholarly importance that still exists, just about any grad student can name 5 or 6 peninsular authors offhand--regardless of his/her subfield. Ask the same person to name more than 1 Afro-Latino author and head scratching will commence. Therein is the problem. Why should Peninsular authors be considered and treated as more important? Tradition is not an appropriate response. (The answer is because those who control the canon are dinosaurs. There are other reasons.....but those are for another post...this topic is getting exhausted.)
At any rate, this conversation certainly shouldn’t offend anyone. That fields shouldn’t be overrepresented says nothing against the specialists in that field. I am/was a peninsularist too but that doesn’t mean I believe there should be more peninsular specialists than what is demographically appropriate. It makes no sense for there to be such a slanted bias toward the study of Spain (even though it is the case) especially with the changing demographic in the US.
This entire debate is useless here and it's a complete distraction. It's not even tangentially related to the job market and only creates animosity in a forum that should be free from that. By trolling Latin Americanists or Peninsularists, you will piss ppl off and make them less likely to return and put info that they will have. So everybody loses out.
Also, try and get a lil' bit of perspective and realize that the importance of Spain in the US academe has long been on the decline over the decades, and it will continue to happen. It's already the case that medievalists and Golden Age scholars are expected to serve double duty more often than not. How about the disappearance of 18th-19th century Peninsular positions? Increasingly, 20th century scholars have to cover that era. And yeah, I realize that there are more and more post-Franco/XXI century positions, but they are expected to teach 20th and even 19th century as well.
NOT IN PITTSBUGH (Peninsularists disapeared there.... and now even the Peninsular accent.)
Amazing that a Latinamericanist would want to exclude Spain from the discipline. You cannot be a postcolonialist worth your salt if you are ignorant of the colonizer. As a Latinamericanist who knows something of Spain, I am astounded by those who want to disguise their lack of knowledge or training by facile pseudo-political positions. Guess where the Boom was first published? Guess where the capital for roughly 1/2 of the hotels in Cuba today comes from? Guess where myriad Latin American authors/intellectuals go to live today when they make it? Guess who is one of the largest European invstors throughout Latin America? Guess who is a major financer of contemporary Latin American cinema? Why do you see Banco de Bilbao everywhere in Mexico City? Who do you think is running the telephone system in Argentina? What country is the largest publisher of Spanish language materials in the world today? I might not particularly like any of this, but I make sure that my students know about it, especially if the plan on becoming Latinamericanists. We'll leave aside the fact that most writers ("peninsular" or "Latin American") are and have always been transnational the moment they write in a language shared by other countries, including Spain. I want colleagues in my department who specialize in Spain in its (often vexed, imperial, neoimperial, globalizing) relationship with Latin America. The presumption that studying the European side of the equation is "eurocentric" is sophomoric and parochial, and this kind of Latinamericanism is, well, embarassing. Anxiety about not finding a job is not a good starting point for reflections on the discipline. As for the argument regarding numbers of speakers, by that logic Spanish departments should be abolished and replaced with Departments of Chinese.
We should overweigh our departments with peninsular themes because of investment bankers, cinema funding, and Varadero Hotels? Come on. We can do better than that. Not that I would agree, but maybe a peninsular apologist (even s/he who is a Latin Americanist) could come up with something like: “authors from Spain have been/are very influential in the development of many Latin Americans writers, and the field should reflect this by…”
That capitalist line is close but not quite as bad the NBC commentator saying, “We must remember that Joe Paterno did for Penn State. Even if he did know about Sandusky, he donated 2 million dollars for the library and many other charities. His work was remarkable for everyone in the community.” The producers quickly cut to break.
No one here has argued that peninsular study should be abandoned, but that it should be studied in its appropriate proportion. Peninsular writers are not producing better or more relevant texts than Latin American authors, but the curricula are saturated in that direction (as pointed out above, more than 10% peninsular is overweight). That circumstance is the point of the conversation. Discussing Latin American authors in the contexts of colonialism/transnational/cosmopolitanism does not generally involve studying peninsular texts themselves, and therefore that’s a topic for a separate heading.
“As for the argument regarding numbers of speakers, by that logic Spanish departments should be abolished and replaced with Departments of Chinese.”
The Chinese line is a tired one, as these are the Western Humanities. Is this poster defending a non-democratic approach to curricular formation? Sure smells of it. Ugg.
Latin America (450 million potential authors) vs. Spain (44 million potential authors)
Dear Peninsular Apologist:
How should the L.A./P. texts we find in our curricula break down: 50/50? 80/20? What is the justification for more than a 9/1 ratio in favor of writers from Spain? The empire? Banco Santander in DF? Because presses in Madrid have more cash than those in Quito? Santiago in Clavijo? Varadero Hotels built by Catalans? Because Márquez went to Spain (before saying he hated the place)?
To study a text is to celebrate it. The cultural lag in this field, most present in the can(n)on’s current weight toward Spain, has profound outcomes. One obvious result is the preference for study abroad. Is Spain the destination of 10% of US undergraduates who study in Spanish-speaking countries? Of course not. If the curricula were weighted to Bolivia/Peru, celebrating those societies/cultures for the next 150 years (as Spain has been studied/celebrated for centuries…) what would the study-abroad map look like in 2161? These are kids who have never seen Bolivia, Peru or Spain, and their impressions of them (and of what is a “good” place to spend a year away) come almost exclusively from the classroom.
Just my $0.02:
As has already been hinted by other posters, the curricular distribution of Latin American / Peninsular texts usually has little to do with demographic reasons. In the language and general culture courses, I would say that the proportion can be of 80/20 in favor of L.A. culture. However, once we move onto the literature courses (and therefore an important part of the hiring needs of departments and the distribution of job openings) we are talking about something entirely different and other factors come into play.
In the first place, the 450 million inhabitants vs. 44 million inhabitants fact is basically a moot point from a curricular point of view, since the idea of "Latin American Literature and Culture" usually counts as 1 "conceptual unit", just like the idea of "Peninsular Literature and Culture" counts as another "conceptual unit". This means that the core curricula of most schools I am familiar with don't offer a survey course on contemporary Mexican literature, one on contemporary Caribbean literature, one on contemporary Argentinian literature, one on Chilean literature, one on Bolivian literature, etc. They offer just one survey course on contemporary Latin American literature (= 1 conceptual unit), and the plurality of readings depends on the teacher in charge of that course. The same happens in relation to Peninsular literature: they offer one survey course on contemporary peninsular literature (= 1 conceptual unit), and it is the teacher's responsibility to offer a plural perspective (from a chronological point of view as well as from a territorial one). So regarding the basic courses, there is basically a 1:1 proportion beteween Latin American and Peninsular studies because the plurality of these realities are simplified, from a curricular perspective, into almost identical "conceptual units".
This is certainly different at R1s that have the resources to hire a Mexicanist, a Southern Cone specialist, a Caribbeanist, etc. who can offer several specialized courses, but I am at a SLAC that is ranked about 50th nationally. There are four TT professors in my department who teach literature courses, plus one VAP. Two of us teach Latin American literature and culture, and my other two colleagues are peninsularists. The VAPs we have had since I have been here have taught both L.A. and P. courses, depending on the circumstances. We can't hire more specialists, even though we would love to, because our dean has made it very clear that funding will only be available for a new line in somebody leaves or retires. And the same thing happens at all my friends' departments at similar or better SLACs, and at some state schools. There is just not enough money to hire more people.
In short, the distribution of jobs depends, among other factors, on the need to cover a core number of courses, which are based on "conceptual units" and not the number of inhabitants of a specific region, and the limitation of available resources. It is true that the current status of the canon clearly benefits the Peninsular tradition for reasons well known, although this has certainly been changing in the past decades. As for the growth of Latinamericanists in Spanish departments, I agree with another poster that Latino Studies is the area that has experimented a greater change in the recent years. Who knows what will happen during the coming years with the constant attack on the humanities from so many sides and fewer and fewer resources.
PS: Regarding the study abroad options, the advantage that Spain has is that it is part of Europe. This is a big, big, big, big plus for my students, who see their semester/year in Spain as their great chance to visit Europe, whereas many of them see Latin America a lot closer to home and believe that they will have many more chances to travel there in the future (like many of them have end up doing).
PPS: As for cultural imperialism, I am personally more concerned on the pressure of English culture (with)in and (with)out USA academia. Here we are, writing in English, when we are all Spanish-speaking academics who should be using, celebrating and promoting our language beyond the classrooms.
A. The reason why peninsular literature is relevant for modern Latin American literature is b/c the damn modern Latin American writers themselves have the audacity to ... you know ... know about the actual literary history of the language in which they write. I recently went w/ a couple of assistant profs to a new Spanish Caribbean play in a major US city and I had to explain the play to these Latin Americanists b/c they simply didn't have a strong enough of a background in classic and vanguard Spanish theater to "get" much of the play. And they explained parts of the play as it related to certain things that I didn't have the background to "get".
As far as the division of courses and faculty and the numbers game, bear in mind how the numbers need to be weighted. There weren't 400 million Spanish speakers in Latin America in 1621; historically, the majority of the production of lit in Spanish at that time was in Spain. It took a couple of centuries for Lat. Am. to catch up (in large part b/c the Enlightenment writers focused on non-literary endeavors, and what was produced was rather mediocre). If we break down the numbers of professorships for specialists post-independence, it more than leans heavily towards Latin America.
A couple of years I was a finalist in a 5 person department. The way that they divided up the courses was that pretty much anybody could teach in any field. They wanted somebody that did modern Spanish poetry and theater b/c the medieval/Golden Age prof didn't like doing theater, and the 2 modern Latin Americanists don't like teaching poetry, and btw the 2 of them, they could easily cover post-Spanish Civil War novels. I was bummed I didn't get the job b/c the fluidity that they promoted btw Lat Am and Spain was beautiful and aproximated how writers themselves approach literature.
Also, for the most part, those "Transatlantic" positions typically replace peninsular lines. And yes, I'm aware of the politics that can go behind those searches (namely that peninsularist faculty members want peninsular-heavy scholars).
¿Pero qué estupidez es esta que dice que se ofrecen muchos más puestos de peninsularistas?
Los departamentos contratan profesores dependiendo de sus necesidades. Hoy se produce mucha más literatura en Latinoamérica que en España (aunque la mayoría necesiten a España para publicar sus libros o realizar sus películas) pero es que antes de 1900 la proporción era exageradamente favorable a España. No hablemos ya de antes de 1700.
Si miramos los puestos que se ofrecen para literatura peninsular de siglo XX son muchos menos que los de literatura latinoamericana para el mismo periodo. Y es lo normal. Donde yo trabajo, por ejemplo, hay más gente haciendo literatura argentina post-siglo XX que peninsular en todos sus periodos.
Lest we forgetEdit
Try doing Portuguese when 99.9% of departments, including the ones that brand themselves as "Spanish and Portuguese," are really just Spanish departments.
A: The only way to be in the market is with a combination of Portuguese and Spanish! If you do Portuguese-ONLY you are toasted!
A2: I disagree. Believe it or not, there are positions for candidates who do Portuguese only. It is not merely a sub-field of Spanish. It would be nice if people would recognize that.
A3: There are some positions for Portuguese Only but candidates who speak Spanish have an undeniable advantage. Doing Portuguese ONLY does not make sense in the US academic market.
A4: Brazil is on the rise. Doing Port. only will make more and more sense over the next decade.
A5: When a candidates in Brazilian Lit positions can not speak spanish... What do you think happens? R1: It depends on the candidate, the department, and the position. You probably shouldn't generalize.
A6: No Spanish (Port-ONLY) makes a Port. candidate weak! Nojudgement. Just the reality of the market
Format of this Year's Wiki Edit
New format is just silly with the number of positions that come up..is the person who started the page going to put up a section for every new position?? I doubt it. The format of the page has been the same since I started looking at it 2007! and it has not been problematic as long as you have the common sense to scroll down and add new info at the bottom..I don't mind typing the insider info I know at the bottom of the list, but this new format is tedious, who wants to find each place individually and edit it...I know I won't06:13, November 10, 2011 (UTC)126.96.36.199
This format is seriously deficient for the volume of info that will be on this page. There will be over 200 positions, and come MLA interview notification time, it's far too tedious to search for 20-60 universities. Sure there are a few obsessive-compulsive types that will be fine doing that, but the strength of the wiki as a public info-sharing space is the ease with which we can add info and READ info. I would change it, but I'm not on the market this year and I've got other things to do. But if it stays this way, I'm not going to update the 4-6 positions that I'll know about. I might not even update the position in my dept.
A: This is how the person / people who put the effort into setting up the page chose to do it. One could argue that is it actually easier to navigate to the schools you are interested in because you can now see them in the "Contents" list at the top of the page. This basic format is followed by other pages that have as much (if not more) jobs (see Rhetoric/Composition 2012 & Communication and Media Studies 2011-2012). However, the people in this field should determine how they want the page set up. If you have strong feelings about it, please express them below. Furthermore, if you, or someone else, wants to reformat the page based on popular demand, go for it. This is a community endeavor. Una74 14:42, October 4, 2011 (UTC)
Please, it is possible to return to the last year format? Putting the entire list of positions is very tedious...
Tedious compared to last year's section, are you kidding me? Last year there was one set of posts for the jobs, another for calls for interviews, and another for offers made. You had to do three searches! The new format has a contents section!! You don't have to scroll or search, just click on the job.
A: Page has been reformatted into a modified version of last year's page (following model of French and Francophone Studies 2011-2012). I am not reformatting this page again; further format changes are up to the users of this Spanish page. Una74 19:40, October 13, 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the effort Una74, but come on, this new format is nonsense. Everyone will be adding changes to each sub-section with a different format...meaning the page will be impossible to scan at a glance. The other way has a contents option at the top, which does exactly what this new format does--but it won't be clogged with useless info. Yes, the page looks fine now, but 6 weeks from now it will be cluttered and useless. Pages with far more positions that Spanish use the other format because it is streamlined.
This is now reformatted back into the 21st century.
WELL.... this format SUCKS!
Please, Please, Please return to last year's format!!!
Hmmmm. Just like many have predicted, this year sees significantly less updates than previous years. The old format was great b/c come MLA interview notification time, I'd come to the site several times a day, see that one or 2 or 3 or more schools had notified since the last time I checked, and if i felt comfortable adding a school that a colleague had received an interview for, I'd add it. Now, I just don't come here nearly as much. Less traffic = less information. Here's the clincher: it's going to take another job season to get the traffic back up.
Actually there is almost no difference in number of posts to the wiki with this new format thus far. (Total posts can be counted through the history function.) It would be an interesting comparison to see the page-hits per day--but I'm not sure there's a counter anywhere. At any rate, if you want to thumb through the daily posts, click the arrow next to edit, then history. It brings up all the posts chronologically.
The old format might be better for boredom-browsing, but the new format has all the info for each job in the same place. The other one was all over the place. All over the place might be best(?!) This is the humanities... and it seems we are dealing with peeps who 'did their phds in the 90s....
I have to agree with the "this format sucks" contingent. It's not just worse for "boredom browsing," but for really getting an easy idea of how the field is developing over a timeline. But hey, if you want it changed, you just have to change it. There's nobody in charge of this thing, and the only reason it is the way it is, is because someone who wanted it to be different put in the effort. So no need to say "please, please, please," just go right ahead and change it! (I'm the "lurker," not on the market this year, so I'm not putting in the effort...good luck!)
Purdue University - Spanish Linguistics Edit
Comments moved from main page (12/17/11):
ONE OF THE FINALISTS IS A FORMER STUDENT OF THE CHAIR OF THE SEARCH COMMITTEE. THIS SEARCH IS RIGGED! SHAME ON PURDUE'. RI: That does not mean that the person is not still the best candidate.
R2: INTELLECTUAL ENDOGAMY IS NOT ACADEMICALLY RIGHT! IT GOES AGAINST EVERYTHING WE BELIEVE IN. I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED IF THIS CANDIDATE GETS HIRED.
R3: Only two people have been invited. Is someone trying to make this search looks more fair than it is? R: No sé sobre este caso particular, pero puedo asegurarte que tratándose de una universidad pública ésta es una práctica muy habitual (cada vez más). Hay universidades que sólo invitan a una persona y si quedan satisfechos ya se quedan con el/la candidato/ta. Hay a veces que hay candidatos/as que sobresalen mucho, por lo que quieren a ese/a a toda costa. Y, la verdad, para qué hacer perder el tiempo a todo el mundo, además de dinero, si ya lo tienen claro. Personalmente lo prefiero así.
R4: Whoa. Remove the "caps lock" -- there's no need to shout.
R5: There were actually three people invited for campus visits (not two as it says above). Secondhand info: this search is definitely not rigged and all candidates are being considered equally.
R6: There were three candidates who interviewed (first hand knowledge). For the ignorant one who thought this search was rigged: the candidate that received the offer and accepted was not the candidate that was formally a student at Purdue. No intellectual endogamy in this search; the committee chose a candidate who never studied at Purdue and they even opened up a position for the candidate's significant other. In response to R3, by law public universities must conduct an unbiased search and so they have to conduct more than one interview (usually at least 3).
University of Texas, Austin Edit
Comments moved from main page:
- was told "the two" interviewees have been selected--sound like the 3rd may be an inside candidate.
- No specific knowledge of the UT search, but the likelihood of there being an "inside candidate" w/ a true inside track at the job and that they get the job offer and they actually accept the job is virtually zero. UTA has a massive faculty (they had 10 Mexicanists a couple of years ago!), and to get them all to ratify ANY candidate is a major accomplishment. I don't think Jesus H. Christ could land a job as an inside candidate at such an institution. 1/3 of the faculty would reject him for being a Liberation Theologian (soooooo '80s), 1/3 would reject him for failing to engage his scholarship in the current neo-socialist cultural production in the context of left wing Latin American politics, a handful would reject him for failing to address the Chicana Lesbian experience (not that there's anything wrong w/ that), but more important, one senior prof w/ a lot of pull would lead a powerful intra-departmental rebellion b/c at the one departmental MLA cash bar, Dr. Christ converted water to RED wine when he knew perfectly well that said prof prefers white wine. The nerve! My point is, the "inside candidate" in academia exists in paranoid minds more than in reality.
- A. Very witty, indeed but is the moral of your story that the best candidate gets the job, insider or not? A bit naive, no? A. Uh, no. The point is... that... the inside candidate's ... inside track... exists... in... paranoid... minds... more... than... in ... reality. Just to be clear, the person who gets the job is the person chosen by the group that votes, usually the entire department faculty, and many times completely ignoring the search committee's recommendation. THEY are the ones who define what "best" means. It's incredibly naive to think that there's some objective truth as to who the "best" candidate is. Best = subjective view of department in question.
- An addendum to above (by the way, I completely subscribe to the inside-candidate-as-paranoia, theory, especially as a way to assuage our own shortcomings): if we look at it from the point of view of the so-called inside candidates, I have seen many a search where there was an inside candidate and, even if they were finalists, they were not offered the job. In almost every job, if you're there as a temp or special projects person AND you do a good job, there is an advantage to being the inside candidate. In academia, this is not the case. If they like you, it's very easy for you to disappoint them because they're expectations are overly high. If they don't like you, well, game over. Especially in large departments, this is exacerbated by faculty members' perception of the candidates, how they will fit in the department, and/or how they might threaten or shore up their role. Don't focus on the inside candidate, focus on yourself. It's the only real option any of us has. Would anyone really not go to an MLA interview and/or a campus interview just because there was an inside candidate (and probably there isn't)? If you don't play, there's really no chance of winning.
Q: I am a little confused. There are two on campus interviews and two MLA interviewees? A: yes, there are 2 job talks already scheduled for Nov. and 6 MLA interviews for Jan.
There are no inside candidates. There were two job talks this month and the third candidate will probably be one of the people interviwed in the MLA. It will be a whole discussion within the search committee to decide who they're going to hire.
- This (campus visits and MLA interviews) doesn't seem surprising since it's an open rank search. Senior searches don't always go through the MLA visit stage. FWIW, the one rumor I've heard is of interest in an outside candidate. Q: Is this interest in one of these senior candidates? (I guess it would make sense).
Accepting an offer and continuing to interview. Edit
Q: If one accepts a position (that isn't their top choice) and continues to interview and happens to land a better position, what, exactly, will happen? Can the institution sue you or do anything to you?
R1: NO. They can only hate you.... the worst it can happen is a call from the dean to your dean... but I only hear that happening once.
R2: Do this at your own peril. A lot of time and money goes into these searches and if you cause a search to fail, you could screw an entire department for a year (or more, if funding for the position gets withdrawn). Be aware, too, that the reputation you'd acquire for this kind of behavior could very well haunt you for the rest of your career. That said, sometimes (for personal as well as professional reasons), you have to make tough and unpopular choices...
R3: I only agree with R2 to a point. Yes, it is a big investment for the department and no one wants to cause problems. But we need to keep in mind (even in this very difficult market) that while we are on the tenure track we are proving ourselves and demonstrating our value just as much as the X university is demonstrating theirs. Let's face it, it is even harder to move around once you have tenure. So you better be happy! If an AP and his or her family is not happy with the university, department or city/town, I think that it is normal to think about the future.
University of Illinois, Chicago - Peninsular search Edit
moved from front page (1/19):
Q: And have you heard anything else post-interview? A: Not yet x 3. Q: any news?? A: Not yet (12/20) x 8 Q: Really? This is so weird...I guess they have contacted someone and that person is just quiet... I have heard about someone being contacted already, can't provide more details. A: A woman, a Princeton grad student. She is still writing the dissertation. Q: They should have three finalists in any case, right? Also, would they not send us a rejection email? A: Well, I guess they do not have a lot of money -the reason why they interviewed via skype. So, I guess they will invite a candidate and, if they are not happy with "her", they will contact two others. However, there are also two other inside candidates... A: I see. It makes more sense now. A: I am pretty sure they will go for one of the "inside" since there is a HUGE difference among them and the one "outsider". A: That's is probably true. The two inside persons: one did not get tenure at Emory and the other has been visiting professor since graduated from Cornell. They probably called an ABD because usually ABDs don't even negotiate salary. Q: This search smells a little...you know...
A: Although looking up people's IP is a bit much, the fact of the matter is that most of the info that talked about how the whole search was rigged was totally true. This was never a real search because they had the inside candidate already picked for the position, in fact the ad was placed to fit that candiate. Q: So, an offer was made? A. Yes, an offer was made to the inside candidate (who is the wife of a faculty in that department), as was stated many times on this page and erased.
Arizona State - Golden Age Search Edit
Moved from Front page (1/20):
Es cierto que hay campus visit programadas, pero este puesto ha sido ya ofrecido a un inside candidate (second hand, very very reliable). Q: Who is this person with this type of information "very very relaible second hand"? A: Como podrás suponer no voy a decir quién soy. Sin embargo puedo aclararte que el anuncio para el puesto fue "fake", como muchos otros. Como ya sabrás, no entrevistaron en la MLA, ni tan solo por Skype...Y más que te podría contar. Incluso te podría decir quien viene al campus la semana que viene, antes de ti. En cualquier caso, si me quieres creer o no es asunto tuyo, a mí me da absolutamente igual, ya que sólo pretendría ayudar. Debes saber también que éste es un departamento donde no abunda la discreción...A: I agree. I am a grad student here and the offer has been already made. There was someone teaching Golden Age, Colonial...and the ad was made according to her/his profile...Just to comfort you, this is not the best place to work..., you know...believe me. However, if you do not believe me, when you go there put attention to the interaction between professors and ask the grad students...
JUST IS SO SAD THEY DO THIS TO PEOPLE, getting ready for a campus visit takes so much time and effort, let alone getting someone's hopes up when they have already made their minds up.
ALSO just shows what these people knew..especially the "solo pretendería ayudar" the position DID NOT go to an internal candidate.
Kansas State University - Spanish-usage based linguistics searchEdit
Moved from Front Page (1/20):
- Has anyone heard from Kansas?
- Yes, see above.
- ¿Pero esta búsqueda va en serio con el interno (visiting) que ya tienen?
- Disculpeme por favor lo que le voy a decir al que le preocupa la seriedad de la busqueda y especula sobre el "candidato interno." La bobada y la paranoia van de la mano. Que importan los candidatos internos? Este parece ser el caballito de batalla de quienes quieren pensar que si no consiguen trabajo es porque hay algo corrupto que conspira contra su exito.... Hay mil respuestas mas logicas e inteligentes que el "candidato interno." La falta de seriedad esta en estas especulaciones.
- R: No es de sorprender que estas búsquedas (¡en este país!) se hagan para satisfacer los requisitos de un llamado "decano", esto es, un procedimiento "nítido" que, al final, todo queda en un informe que aquel recibe por parte de un comité (manipulador) . El comité, de estar contento con el que ya tienen, se limitará a desviar la búsqueda, invitando (a MLA/campus) a candidatos que sean ABD, que no reúnan las características del perfil, etc., única y exclusivamente para favorecer a uno (el ya interno) y desventajar a otros (los que están en la brega). Esta respuesta no es para desalentar, sino todo lo contrario, para hacerles ver (a los que aún no lo conozcan) cómo es el funcionamiento en este país, guste o no.
- ^^^^ Let me guess you have been in the market for how many years? 3? The market has been bad and unfair right? Give us a brake with the "internal candidate" BS! R:
- Me niego a entrar en conversación de besugo; simplemente aclarar que no llevo 3 años en el mercado ni mucho menos; precisamente, hace 3 años obtuve "tenure" y he formado parte de comités en varias ocasiones. Lamentablemente he podido ver desde el otro lado del aspirante cuán lamentable burocracia envuelve cada búsqueda, contando con tan buenos candidatos en el mercado que son excluídos "sin ton ni son". Period.
- Tenemos aqui a un profesor con tenure (el cual obtuvo pese a la sintaxis!) que dice que ha participado en el chanchullo que denuncia y que se siente compelido a participarnos de la paranoia del famoso "candidato interno."
Manhattan College search Edit
Moved from Front Page (1/20):
- Anybody knows when they said they would contact people for a campus visit? A: I am wondering the same thing.
- Me pregunto si acaso lo saben ellas. El año pasado tuve "la suerte" de entrevistarme con tal caótico comité. A: No saben lo que quieren. A ver si pueden encontrar a alguien este año.
- Me identifico con el comentario anterior. A los que sean entrevistados en el MLA les aconsejo que se preparen todo tipo de pregunta de metodología de la enseñanza. Sí, siendo de literatura, el año pasado se pusieron a preguntar "¿Cómo le explicarías a un aprendiz de español el verbo to appear? ¿Y a un hablante bilingüe?" Por cierto, vayan preparados para el juego de miradas: (1) lastimera, (2) indiferente y (3) penetrante. Sí, (1) se limitaba a mirar al candidato con compasión, (2) aparentaba como si no fuera con ella, y (3) se ponía a mirar fijamente con intención de despistar. Compartí esta experiencia con otro candidato y me lo corroboró. Posiblemente este año no tengan tanta distracción en Seattle (vs. Los Angeles el año pasado) y se preparen el papel en vez de hacer gastos innecesarios.
- Ojo con la espanola que hace Cuba.... R: Además de identificarla con el (3), la española que "supuestamente" hace Cuba mejor que se aplique el cuento de estar viviendo en un país de habla inglesa y que antes de entrevistar le pida a alguien con una pronunciación aceptable que lea en voz alta las preguntas. De esta manera, al menos, su pregunta de entrevista podría entenderse.
- Mi entrevista fue via Skype. De acuerdo con el comentario sobre la española que hace Cuba.
Notre Dame, Brazilian / Latin Am. Search Edit
Comments moved from front page, 1/23:
(inside info- they made an offer to a strong candidate and have another one in line) THIS IS NOT TRUE!
'Q: 'What does "in line" mean? If there is already an offer extended, will they still continue with interviews)? R- it means that if the first person does not accept they already chose the second in line to get an offer.
^^^^^COMPLETLY FALSE! NO OFFERS MADE YET.... CAMPUS INTERVIEWS SCHEDULED. This person from The Hebrew University Of Jerusalem, is just acting in an unprofessional manner... spreading rumors that she knows to be untrue. Ms. D.H. please!
People editing Wiki with false info.?Edit
Seems to be happening a lot lately. Not sure why anyone would do this, but it is exasperating, to say the least.
Somebody deleated information about campus visits in several universities ... Why?
A: don't know if it was an accident or malicious, but that edit has been reverted. Una74 22:48, January 26, 2012 (UTC)
Waiting. . . Waiting.Edit
We are on the cusp of February here and many of the jobs on the list look like they have not made invites to campus yet (granted, some may be blank because no info has been posted). Do folks think this is departmental slowness or perhaps departments being hung up by budgetary approval process higher up. . . ? Regardless, I have to wonder, is there a camera somewhere where they are just watching me squirm?
THE FORMAT SUCKS this year so that is why nobody is posting, it is understandable that often people don't post about their own visit, but usually you tell enough people that you have a visit, or somebody at the school knows offers have been made, etc. that it finds its way onto the wiki by the casual browser looking at the LIST of schools that have scheduled visits, NOW with the new crappy format it take ten years just to scan through and find the couple of schools you have to look for, so who is going to stop and HUNT FOR the school their office mate or friends got a visit with?? ANSWER: NOBODY I am sure that the four schools I am waiting to hear from, who all said they would make calls right after MLA have already made those invites, and that thanks to the HORRIBLE FORMAT no one has bothered to take the time to post it.
Let's not take it out on this site. We are all feeling the brunt of the wait, but no, let's not get antagonistic here. People will help out either way, and the format is actually pretty user-friendly. This is my 3rd MLA, also my 1st time using this wiki, and I find it just fine. I am more frustrated about the wait than anything else, the prolongued silence and lack of consideration on the part of a few departments. After all, the proper way we should find out we've been voted out is not in a wiki forum, but by a simple yay/nay from a courteous committee.
I still haven't decided whether the format is better or not. The old format was inconvenient because there were multiple places where information on the same university appeared (i.e. lists for every part of the process). More importantly, though, for all the pathetic whiners complaining about having to scan the whole page, learn to use your computer. In any web browser you can hit CTRL-F or APPLE-F and then type in the name of the school, or better yet however many letters makes it a unique query. You don't have to type the whole name. Ex) oma for University of Nebraska at Omaha. Dumbasses.
University of Pennsylvania Edit
Q: Are they all women? Just wondering...Thanks
Can anybody confirm that the campus visits have been scheduled? The calls were scheduled for the coming week. Thanks. // Confirmed: 4 candidates.// A. Not all the candidates are women. A: They NEED a woman to balance the department. The job will be offered to one of them for sure (inside info). // eso de las contrataciones por género es una falacia total... de ser así también se seguiría la lógica de contratar primero a nacionales que a extranjeros... a minorías que a no minorías... mejor hay que alegrarnos por la persona que tenga este o cualuquier otro trabajo, finalmente es un colega.
The need to hire a woman was dire and, frankly, an embarrassment to the department if they didn't. Who has a department with 8 tt male faculty and 1 woman in 2012? From the MLA interviews, it was pretty clear why, but they need to fix it, to remain reputable.
Career Change Edit
Being on my 3rd MLA round, with no job offers, and after returning from a campus visit in a remote, isolated location, I came to realize that my odds are pretty bad for getting an OK TT job (or even a visiting one). I am aware of what this all means, and have decided to try my luck elsewhere. Problem is, after spending a decade in grad school and visiting posts, I have wandered too far from the real world. Any suggestions as to what an unemployed Spanish PhD could do for a living? Thank you! 188.8.131.52 15:42, February 5, 2012 (UTC)
- A more blunt response: you should also look in the mirror. You might also want to look at yourself, at what you have been doing wrong. You are correct to blame the changing market for professors in the humanities, but someone out there is getting the available jobs, and you can't possibly believe that it's all "their" fault, and that somehow academia is conspiring against you (as many people believe). How did you write your cover letter? How did you write your CV? How are your reference letters? What drives you to to do what you do? Is this motivation reflected in your letter/CV? Do you, as a candidate, offer anything more besides teaching experience and research? And by this I don't mean to suggest that you become a jack of all trades, but rather that in the letter you present yourself in a more full light, in a way that letter readers and departments say "oh, this person seems great because of X, Y and Z", where x, y and z are something beyond research and teaching. At the same time, this does not mean that you tell them about your aunts and uncles, but that you convey that, besides a professor, you are also a person. Just my two cents.
- Response to looking in the mirror: Your comment is not only way off, but also out of line. I never blamed anyone for not being able to get a job, nor did I state at any moment that academia is conspiring against me. You should be able to know that from simply reading my message: "chances are limited, better start looking elsewhere, what can I do?" In addition to that, I am a pretty darn good candidate, have good letters, good job-hunting materials, just no luck. And yes, others are getting jobs, both better and worse candidates, with better and worse letters. I will also disagree with you, I am NOT at fault, it's a numbers thing. Your position is quite arrogant and unfair, especially in relation to a comment aimed not at venting or whining about academia, but rather to look for other options and to seek advice from others who migh know where to start looking (you know, being proactive.) Finally, a job in academia does not necessarily have to be the only option for PhDs, there is a world out there that might benefit from our skills and talents in many different ways. But since I've been in the ivory tower a little too long, I don't know where I might be needed (aside from classroom, yet another conference panel, or the next departmental committee).
- Clarification. I should clarify, because I did not mean to say that you were a bad candidate (I don't know who you are), but rather that you shold look at yourself and what you are doing or not doing in looking for a job. Yes, there are good candidates, so so candidates, and bad candidates, and many of them get jobs, some better than others, and that speaks to the luck factor. However, if you think that you are absolutely powerless, and that it's just a numbers game, then you are only limitting your chances of finding that coveted position. Try different approaches: if the letters you wrote didn't work, rewrite them; ask for different letters of reference; change your CV, etc. I know it sounds repetitive, but those are the factors that you have control over. In spite of what the person bellow wrote, not all schools are looking for exactly the same thing. Yes, if you apply for a position in an Ivy League or R1 school, then the competition is tougher, and they are looking for candidates with a strong record of publications. However, ask yourself the following: how many R1 jobs come out every year? The truth is that the majority of TT positions are in mid-size to small institutions, some better than others, but most of them are looking for something more/different than just a researcher. Lastly, ask yourself another question: what helps you more, telling you to take a long, hard look at what you are doing in your application process in order to find areas where you might improve, or telling you "oh, there is nothing you can do, it's all a numbers game, we are all screwed". After all, you asked... (By the way, I completely agree with the person farther down the thread who wrote about translation/interpretation work. Also, I have always thought that creating a language/business consulting firm could be a good career move).
- An even blunter response: it's not your fault. Let's be honest: there are way too many PhDs for way too few tenure-track positions. From that small pool of t-t jobs, most of them are either in undesirable locations, in crappy colleges/universities, or both. The best jobs are taken by the best candidates (who do not impress search committies by "presenting themselves in a more full light". Give me a f...g break!). Best candidates are people graduating from Ivy League universities, with powerful mentors, and with meaningful publications. The rest of us (99%) are completely screwed. It's as simple as math. Too many people, too few jobs.
- Great advice! I am sure that with your insights the OP will be able to find a job in no time.
- It is math, but one can also work on his/her CV/cover letter. Did you hire a coach? It is pretty common. (I liked The Professor Is In.)
- Response to an even blunter response: I agree with your response, thus the idea of finding a job outside of academia. Thank you for keeping the dialogue at a mature level, I wish mirror-dude could understand what the conversation is about. By the way, my CV wasn't the problem, I know that for sure, but thank you for the referral, I will keep it in mind.
- Sorry to read this “academia is conspiring against you” sarcasm from a “very male” (at least according to his wiki profile…) poster in New Hampshire (location also from his wiki profile). In reality the academic hiring process is very poor at measuring merit. The post reminded me of something related from last year’s venting page. It’s probably the best thing I’ve read on this website. (I’ll cite part of it here below.) After seeing it I read Caesar’s fantastic book…and another on the subject: “Affiliations: Identity in Academic Culture” which has a superb essay--“Affiliating the Rejection Letter”-that documents the experience of a few scholars at “second-rate” institutions who had had articles rejected multiple times. While on visiting positions at “elite” schools, each sent out the same texts on new letterhead and had multiple publication offers. At hiring time it’s the same nonsense. Academic hierarchy is particularly unstable in non-US cultural fields. Anyway here’s the post. Hilarious and spot-on:
- I've got to address these two comments.
- "I'm in the humanities. A PhD from a top-5 School in the Ivy League. Famous advisers. Had a contract with a top university press to publish my dissertation, which wasn't half done when I signed the contract....Then, as I was about to leave academia and possibly the country, I was contacted for an interview with an R1 at very top. They invited me to campus. I got the job. So I went from nothing to getting the best imaginable job in terms of prestige, research support, quality of life (three things important to me, even if tenure here is tough). So crazy things happen. They really do. You can't predict anything. If I got a job - this particular job - there's hope for everyone."
- "Scanning the pages here, it seems like there is nothing that suggests a clear pattern as to who gets these interviews and jobs."
- Look closer. Most people do not hide their IP addresses, so you can see where they are. (No, I'm not really in Fremont, CA, btw...) I've been on this page a few years and have seen a total of one (1) rejection posted from a New Haven IP address. (Yea, I know, it was probably someone from University of New Haven…) I have yet to see a single rejection post from a Palo Alto, Cambridge, or Princeton IP address, and have seen dozens of “x4” and “campus visit scheduled” and “offer made” etc from each of those places. Terry Caesar's book should be required reading by all the landed pissants on their way to MLA with Georgetown and UTexas and UChicago and on their agendas: Traveling Through the Boondocks: In and Out of Academic Hierarchy http://books.google.com/books?id=NwfDEalw_GIC&
- I am from the States and did a phd in Paris. As an ABD I started going to conferences…and at one in France I met a few US-based grad students studying the same thing I was (which is a topic I won’t mention, but after a week they were on planes back to Durham and Chicago to study what I was living). Fast forward a few months, they’re sending out apps to the same openings I am, and getting callbacks. Last I heard from the little group of guys/girls at this conf, one was interviewing at Yale and NYU, another at Grinnell, another Notre Dame. I don’t know where they ended up. I did not have a single MLA callback that year. I had exactly two calls in the spring round of “who’s left?” postings and I ended up with one interview in the capital of Nowheresville USA for a one-year position. I took a job I got from cold calling a university in the French Caribbean…earning 20% of what those jerks were probably taking home, jerks who came to France for 10 days and now teach using that as their basis of “real life” experience in the subject.
- Fast forward another few years: I published a monograph--it won an award—have another on contract, a recent international grant, journal pubs, and student evals that are off the charts.
- So I decided to send out a few hooks and lines again…and what?..::Crickets crickets:: Who are these SC calling? Each place I applied had a transnational, postcolonial, border studies, etc. focus. I have been abroad since I was 23… I have two mother-tongues and am fluent in a third lang...I work at a university in a French colony…I was plenary speaker at two conferences last year.
- They are interviewing these 28-year-old puissant ABDs who went to California or Massachusetts from their suburban SUV-land to study “International Writing” or "Border Studies" or "Postcolonial Studies" (how to even study those topics in Boston surrounded by PhDs with 500-dollar glasses-frames, I don't know...Maybe they had a ten-day trip to a conference in Europe or the Caribbean? May-be!... Maybe they even went abroad for a semester…or a whhhoollee year!) I was working as bar-back in the Marais, driving a cab to make rent, living in flophouses with Algerians and Senegalese former soldiers with stories that would make your skin stand up for a week at a time…while these pampered enfants were sipping Starbucks and crying foul because the wifi was down once in their offices. Then they write up their journal articles and dissertation chapters on “Post-colonialism” (a topic that should be renamed “I read some books about someplace far away and visited that place once”). Then they get callbacks and interviews and jobs and at some point muse reflectively about how hard it's been for them and that they deserve the seats of greatness they currently occupy. They must be great, right? …
- Response to above: This is far too simple an understanding. I do not come from an Ivy but an Ivy equivalent and have friends from Yale, Princeton, and Harvard, and there are plenty of rejections to go around amonst us. To the contrary, I would say those coming from middle-tier universities fare even better in some cases, because many SCs view them as sure things and can understand their heavily dated approach (Do they still quote Foucault?). Not to mention that many faculty in the post-2008 market are intimidated by candidates that apply for their positions, because they publish much more than they ever did as junior faculty. I do not meant this as a provocation but simply as insight into what I have heard in the past few years.
- I do not come from an Ivy but an Ivy equivalent and have friends from Yale, Princeton, and Harvard, and there are plenty of rejections to go around amonst us. To the contrary, I would say those coming from middle-tier universities fare even better in some cases...
- Response to above: Let me speak for many: fuck you.
- Seriously - - do you actually believe that crap? I mean come on. GET A CLUE. There are mid-tier PhD programs in English that have not had a t-t appointment in over a decade. THAT’S ANY TENURE-TRACK APPOINTMENT, ANYWHERE, IN TEN YEARS OF “HIRING” SEASONS. As you asshole Ivy and Ivy-equivalent “victims” chalk up those rejections, why don't you all get together for a trip on some Crimean River.
- I just moved part of this dialog over to the Venting Page. http://academicjobs.wikia.com/wiki/The_venting_page
- Response to sorry...: Thank you! It makes total sense. I will continue searching, and finding courteous and encouraging responses.
- Hey, just to let ya know I just accepted a tenure-track, and this was my FIFTH year on the MLA, I was not a bad candidate, my CV and cover letter got me lots of interviews, and phone interviews got me lots of campus visits, I just sucked at the campus visits. For me a professional coach would have been a good idea, if I had known that such a thing existed. This year I had half a dozen MLA interviews and not a single invite, and when I wasn't a finalist for the tenure track position at the small regional university where I am now a visiting, I was heartbroken. I thought that at least with a search committee of people who knew me, I wouldn't screw up the campus visit....and there I was, rejected, not even being invited for a "visit" for my current job, I smiled and kept a brave face as I saw the candidates come and go...and then, when I finally had decided to start packing my bags, and give up academia altogether, I got an email, they would like me to come for a "visit," I may not have been their first choice, but I got the job. So if you decide to leave the profession, and it is the right decision for you, more power to you. I know (and you can tell lots of the stuck up people on this list fall into this category) lots of people who would only be happy at an R1 in a major city or college town with a Starbucks on every corner, and a Whole Foods to shop at. If you fall into that category than you might be happier doing something else if it means you can live where you are comfortable and in a city where you can have a life. If you are like me, and are capable of being happy at a small regional school, no Whole Foods..no Starbucks, than it might just take awhile. I agree with you that it is a numbers thing, so it just depends on how many times you want to roll the dice, and maybe have to pack that uhaul again for yet another visiting position.
I am in the same boat, except that I have been doing the MLA for longer, in any case, one thing that a friend of mine who was lucky enough to stop with his masters does is working as a Judicial interpreter (in court cases and such), when a defendent is Spanish speaking the court has to provide an interpreter, in each state it is different, some require you to take a state test, others do not, but my friend studied a bit on his own, went to a workshop and easily passed the state test, it is free lance and paid like $50 an hour, he supplemented his income teaching adjunct at a college, but once he had more experience he took the Federal exam for interpreters in the court system, federal court cases pay much more, so now between state and federal jobs in the city he lives in he makes more than teaching as a lecturer used to pay him, and he sets his own schedule and has time to pursue his music interests, and he is doing an MA in translation online thorugh NYU so he can get more work doing translations, it is one thing I am thinking of exploring once I move back home after finishing my current visiting position. Another thing is office positions, student sevices positions at a larger university. A starting administrative assistant at my old school doesn't make much less than I do now, and they have better benefits, working in admissions or with students in another capacity is one way to stay in a university setting/town, but having a more stable career, and free time that is your own.
You might also consider looking into government jobs. Examples include FBI, CIA, DOD, etc. These agencies are always looking for bright, well-educated people who speak more than one language.
There is a website that lists all government jobs, it might not be your first choice, but there are usually listings looking for language teachers for the military, (civilians to be teachers, you don't actually join the military) they have several centers across the country where military personnel go for intensive language training, so you teach a small class five days a week for like 12 weeks or something, if you like to teach it could be good, or at least a way to earn some $$ and see some other parts of the country.
Another option is teaching in private high schools and academies. The salary tends to be excellent. I'm looking into that myself, to be honest with you. Academia is not that great.
Regarding the commenter above who wrote: "[...] 'Affiliating the Rejection Letter'-that documents the experience of a few scholars at 'second-rate' institutions who had had articles rejected multiple times. While on visiting positions at 'elite' schools, each sent out the same texts on new letterhead and had multiple publication offers": Couldn't agree more. I have several colleagues who sent out job applications last year, while affiliated with middle or lower-tier schools, and got very few interviews but in some cases managed to land a visiting position at an elite or higher-tier school. Lo and behold, when they sent out their virtually unchanged application materials again this year (same exact materials, just with Ivy letterhead), they got multiple interviews and callbacks. This is not a coincidence.
Declining an offerEdit
- Would appreciate if anyone can offer advice on how to phrase an email declining to accept a position offered. Thanks!
I would just thank them for the opportunity to visit their campus and to meet with them. That you enjoyed..blah blah, but unfortunately you will be unable to accept the position. You really don't need to give them a reason, but if you have accepted elsewhere you could just say that you have decided to accept a position elsewhere, or that for family/personal reason you cannot accept. Just use the same respectful/full of crap tone that they use in rejection emails... after much consideration we have filled the position...and though you are not a loser, and are highly qualified...we have selected a candidate that better suits the needs of our deptartment...we wish you luck in your search!! (we really don't care). A. Thanks for the advice. I had not considered the wonderful possibility of using the "letter of rejection" discourse in reverse...
-Quote Dave Chapelle perhaps. .. ? A. Thanks...?
A 3. : Do it it with class, as soon as possible, and first with a call to the chair (before sending a letter). Do not use email.
The rejection letter we wish we could all sendEdit
Erasing posts? What's up with all the erasing of posts on the "Offers Made/ Accepted" List in the past couple of days?
That edit is reverted. If such deletions occur again, user will be blocked. Una74 16:03, March 6, 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, again!!!
Columbia U. - TT pre-1700 Spanish Cultural Studies Edit
Discussion moved from main page (4/11/12):
Talks have now miraculously been erased.
R: No mircale, the talks were scheduled for 2/7. Likely that the offer wil be made soon (if it hasn't already). A shame for the focus on Ivy pedigree though (for both on the short-list). There are strong(er?) scholars outside of the elite schools, and this kind of myopia may not be all that helpful for the discipline. Nonetheless, congrats to the successful candidate! --- Pues sí, los americanos se quejan constantemente de la endogamia de la universidad española.pero callan (los Ivy Leaguers, claro) ante este sistema que te acepta o descarta dependiendo de donde hiciste el doctorado y de los padrinos que tengas. Así estamos, que hay profesores que empezaron a estudiar siglo de oro en el segundo o tercer año de doctorado, que carecen de una preparación amplia (muchos ni siquiera habían leído antes a Cervantes o Lope), pero que ocupan puestos de prestigio porque han dedicado todo su tiempo a un tema raro y han tenido un advisor con influencias. Si gente así eso es lo que quieren, adelante.
OJO: there are also Spaniards practicing la endogamia de la universidad española in Ivy league universities.
Claro que sí, compañero. Y es una vergüenza. Pero la mayoría son americanos.
Response: Have you ever considered that perhaps your stuff is just not as good as that of the "ivyleaguers"? Have you considered that perhaps the "americanos" you despise can see right through your spite and that's why you don't have a job?
At the RSF, there was a lot of nasty things being said about this search, unethical from start to hire. At least people say something.
Jorge--is that you? How I've missed you! Please tell us all what's up! What horrible (and/or gay) people are screwing you up now?
No idea about ethical, but I had an MLA interview with these guys for a different position a year or two ago, and what a bunch of ivy-league macho pricks...condescending, asses, you would almost have to be an ivy-leaguer to deal with their crap, and their sense of entitlement, my shit don't stink egos