Life as a Captive of the Job Market

tags: Chronicle of Higher Ed., job market, Eunice Williams, PhDs



Eunice Williams is the pseudonym of a Ph.D. candidate in history at a Southern university. She is working as a writing fellow while she searches for her first tenure-track job or a postdoctoral appointment. Her first three columns in this series were "In Which the Academic Market Looms," "Going Rogue," and "In the Thick of It."

The academic job market is an exercise in captivity, and I am still its prisoner.

To some extent I've ensured my place in this life by acceding to the terms of academe. I've defended my dissertation, and so I've unofficially transformed myself from Eunice Williams, Ph.D. candidate, to Dr. Williams. Even if I'm befuddled by the job market, I've still agreed to abide by the rules of the game.

The problem, I think, is that I'm still not sure that I've learned all of the rules. I had a campus interview in December that seemed to go well, but, alas, I got no offer out of it. It felt good to practice my job talk, to see what it was like to meet with potential colleagues, and to learn the etiquette of breaking bread with search-committee members....




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