Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fool's Flashback. 4 Years Ago Today.

The Humanities Job Market Continues to Boom
April 1, 2011

Throughout this semester, graduate students and others on the academic job market have been eyeing the news with deep excitement. It was long expected that this year's academic job market would be bountiful, given the number of colleges desperate to add fresh new faculty to booming humanities departments like English and History. As in the past several years, the expanding humanities job market has made the locution "job season" something akin to "Christmas morning," "dating a supermodel," or "I've got VCU and Butler in my departmental pool!"

Data are starting to come in that suggest that there will be significantly more new hires this year. The largest disciplinary year-end meetings in the humanities were flooded with university administrators offering perks to happy job seekers. And the boom has been across board for the most part, save for the unfortunate cohort who specialize in 18th Century English literature, which has been a sinkhole for decades.

But by any measure, the job market is up and climbing.

Take history, for example. The popular blog Histrionic Excitement, which tracks the job market in the discipline (and which is produced by Ferdinand Wolper, a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri), recently noted that last year, the American Historical Association advertised 685 positions in the discipline. This year's numbers were nearer 1000. Wolper wrote on his site, "History ABDs are getting recruited; that's how hot the market is. If you've got your primary coursework done, there are tenure-track jobs waiting for you."

Those astonishing numbers, however, are only slightly better than the ones in philosophy. The main recruiting venue for the American Philosophical Association is its Eastern Division meeting, which takes place the last week of December and attracts departments nationwide that seek to recruit. Rachel Hockney said that new hires were signing contracts at the conference, leveraging tenure clock time and negotiating 2/2 loads at associate level salaries. "I really wasn't expecting it, but, like, when they asked if I wanted a boat-load of travel expenses and a grad student to help me with grading, I was, like, why not?"

As has been the case for the past few years, though, English grad students made out the best. With undergraduates increasingly desirous of increasing the amount of reading and writing they do in college, English grad programs can barely meet the demand of the market place. "I sort of expected to have to teach more classes than this," said Trey Charleston, headed to Auburn this year after finishing an online MFA in creative writing, "But they told me they really needed someone who could teach 1990s American cinema and a grad seminar in Japanese anime and manga. Those are, like, my favorite things, so I said yeah."


  1. Fool me once----shame on you.
    Fool me twice----shame on me!

  2. Don't forget the Yaro April Fool's post:

    Hey, it's me, Yaro.

    Jesus Murphy, these fucking kids are going to break my stooped back. Why can't they get one fucking thing right?

    I mean I've been phoning it in at Dullard University since I got tenure in the 80s...1880s! Can you feel me? But still, I expect the little bastards to work.

    But, no, it's Dr. Yaro this and Dr. Yaro that, and none of it finishes with them giving me their fucking projects on time. I'm about ready to pull the ripcord.

    The only thing that stops me is the endless line of sorority candy I get to eyeball. Hey, I'm married, not buried! What Mrs. Yaro doesn't know won't hurt her, can I get a "Wha?" "Wha?"

    Anyway, I hadn't written in a while, and so there it is.

    Another fucking Yaro masterpiece.

    Me, Yaro, Peace!

    1. Next time, someone should toss in a few student names like Spanakopita and Moussaka to enhance the effect.

  3. This made me sit up for a moment before I remembered what day it was. Almost a fool. Almost.


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