A Joyful Purgatory

Being a postdoc in the humanities

A Joyful Purgatory 1

Sam Kalda for The Chronicle Review

In May 2013, after a fruitless search for my first academic job, I flailed about, in my apartment and my mind. Days that began with earnest dissertating dissipated into frantic Internet searches for late-season job announcements, get-rich-quick editing or tutoring schemes, and loopholes that would allow me to keep my grad-school affiliation without paying tuition. Slouching more theatrically by the hour, I scrolled through the web’s vast trove of