Originally published 07/31/2013
David Austin Walsh
Credit: Flickr/Derek Bridges.Adjunct history faculty face heavy workloads, low pay, and poor working conditions, according a new report prepared for the Organization of American Historians.“Adjunct and contingent faculty have a very, very desperate sense of their future,” Edward Reiner, the report's primary author, said in a phone interview. “The consensus, particularly within the humanities, is that adjuncts are treated very poorly, and most never see full-time employment.”
Originally published 06/14/2013
David Austin Walsh
Image via Shutterstock.If being a professor will indeed no longer a viable career due to downward pressure from administrations and the disruptive potential of massive online open courses, as Cary Nelson darkly suggested at the American Association of Universty Professors conference in Washington, what are enterprising young graduate students and recent PhDs to do?It's not as if the state of the academic history job market right now is particularly encouraging. Despite an uptick of 18 percent in the number of jobs advertised with the American Historical Association in 2012, the number of PhD receipts for that year alone exceeded the number of job opening by nearly one-third.
Originally published 04/23/2013
Arts and humanities PhD graduates from the US are more employable than their UK counterparts, a conference on doctoral education has heard.The extra length of the US doctoral education – on average seven years compared with four in the UK – creates graduates with significantly more experience in teaching and administration, said Dina Iordanova, professor of film studies at the University of St Andrews.“Those coming out of UK programmes often have little experience in teaching and next to no experience in administration,” Professor Iordanova told the UK Council for Graduate Education’s International Conference on Development in Doctoral Education and Training on 12 April, where she was speaking in a personal capacity.Both factors contribute to university employers not being certain of applicants’ command of the field at large, she said....
Originally published 02/05/2013
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....
Originally published 01/28/2013
Search committees conducted interviews for over 154 positions at the 2013 AHA annual meeting, almost matching last year’s total of 160. The number of searches slipped a bit, which is typical in smaller meeting cities.For the first time in recent memory, jobs with a European specialization outnumbered those for the United States, 25 to 24 percent. The next highest was Asia, followed by Latin America, and then thematic. These searches, which did not require a specific geographical area, were mostly for public and digital historians. Five percent or less of the searches asked for either African, Middle East, or world history specializations....
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