Calling Academe's BluffHistorians in the News
tags: history crisis
● She Wrote a Farewell Letter to Colleagues. Then 80,000 People Read It.
● HNN Hot Topic: History Profession in Crisis
For all the recent efforts to promote career diversity among Ph.D.s, it’s still awkward to talk about leaving academe due to the poor tenure-track job market. The scholar moving on often feels sadness, frustration and shame, however unwarranted. Meanwhile, those who remain sometimes feel a kind of survivor’s guilt.
Erin Bartram, a visiting assistant professor of history at the University of Hartford, is talking about it all anyway, though, in a new "quit lit"-style essay that’s gained considerable attention (and put her website over capacity Monday).
Awkwardness is kind of her point: Bartram asks readers to resist papering over her departure and instead to "grieve" with her.
Saying she isn’t looking for pity, Bartram wrote, “I just wonder what would happen if we, as a community, stopped saying ‘he’s gone to a better place,’ bringing a casserole, and moving on. What would happen if we acknowledged the losses our discipline suffers every year? What would happen if we actually grieved for those losses?”
Despite the abundance of academic quit lit, Bartram adds, “we’re still not, as a community of scholars, doing a great job dealing with this thing that happens to us all the time.”
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