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It’s official

I’ve written to professors other than my advisor to ask for letters of recommendation — my first major step in “hitting the job market.” I may also draft a letter of application today for a particularly promising opening that has an early deadline. Prep work up to this point has included going through the AAR job listings, requesting friends to get me APA and MLA job listings, and creating both a Word document and a spreadsheet tracking the jobs that seem plausible to apply for.

A note: If anyone would like to simply give me a tenure-track job without any kind of application, interview, etc., please let me know before I get too far into this process.


August 31, 2008 - Posted by | life of the mind


  1. I have an opening for a pool boy and in-house ghostwriter. The pay is poor, the benefits nonexistent. Interested?

    Really, though, good luck. And always remember that the market, for assistant professors at least, has much more to do with luck and ephemera than anything else.

    Comment by ari | August 31, 2008

  2. The spreadsheet is very important. It’s sad, but true.

    Comment by bitchphd | August 31, 2008

  3. America is weird. Don’t you just go to conferences, give realy good papers, then argue with people in the pub who then later give you jobs? That’s how we do it over here. I suppose that’s one of the advantages of not having tenure at all! Have you thought about the UK?

    Comment by infinite thought | September 1, 2008

  4. Really? I thought that was how they did it in American indie movies about the UK, not in the real UK.

    Comment by Sajia Kabir | September 1, 2008

  5. The bureaucratization of American academia is a function of the militarization of the university during WWII. No joke, no exaggeration. I’m writing something on this, though it probably will still be unfinished when I croak.

    Off topic:

    In their day the anabaptists were the most radical radicals of all. Check out the Muenster Commune (book: “The Taylor King”).

    Not the best radicals. They were pretty awful in certain respects. But they were radical!

    Comment by John Emerson | September 1, 2008

  6. The UK might be a good fit for me, given my workaholism. I think I need to find something in the US first, though, so that I can afford plane tickets to go to conference/pub events.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | September 1, 2008

  7. Which American indie movies about the UK?

    Comment by infinite thought | September 1, 2008

  8. There must be some out there. I guess Miramax hasn’t counted since 1993.

    Comment by Sajia Kabir | September 1, 2008

  9. Still not sure what you mean – I would be interested to watch any US indie films about UK academia, if indeed they exist.

    Anyway, unfortunately all the stereotypes either way are true. The UK is a ‘good fit’ for no one, as we don’t believe in such things. And all our teeth are bad. And we are always in the pub. Americans like Kotsko would make us feel like substandard puritans, although we would probably give him a job for that very reason.

    Comment by infinite thought | September 1, 2008

  10. Sorry, just my feeble attempt at humor. Not interacting well with the world today. Trying to contrast American stereotypes of the UK with the stereotypes the UK holds of itself.

    Comment by Sajia Kabir | September 1, 2008

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