Category Archives: the Job Market

June 9, 2010, 1:21 pm

How To Afford Your First Job, Professor Bumstead: Radical Advice For The Newly Employed

We can all agree it was a terrible job market last year. And yet, some of you will be proceeding, newly hooded, into more highly paid employment than you had last year. When I was in graduate school, we used to distinguish between “a job” (something that pays better than graduate school, which could be anything from a one-year adjunct to an administrative, IT or public history position) and “a real job” (employment that offered a longer future, most likely tenure-track.) Nowadays there is also a third category that has expanded dramatically: the post-doctoral fellowship.

Regardless of what category you fall into, if you have finished your PhD and proceeded to paid employment of any kind, you may be making two to three times the money you made last year, which will make you feel giddy. For this reason, my dear, you are in need of Radical Financial Advice.
1. Find out when you will…

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April 22, 2010, 12:23 am

Job! Job! Job!

Via the East of California List Serve:

Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow, Asian American and/or Asian Diaspora Studies, 2010-2011

The Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University invites applications for an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow position (non-tenure track). We seek candidates with a social science or history background and expertise in Asian American and/or Asian Diaspora studies. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in urban studies. The appointment will begin on September 1, 2010. This is a one year appointment, with a possibility of renewal for up to three years. Candidates must have completed a Ph.D. no earlier than 2005. The candidate is expected to teach three courses per year. Please send a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, a 20 page writing sample, a sample syllabus, and three letters of recommendation by April 30, 2010 …

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April 18, 2010, 9:17 pm

Sunday Radical Roundup: From The Sublime To The Ridiculous

OK, it’s senior honors thesis week, so you cannot really expect much. Thanks to the East of California List Serve I have some real news, and the rest is just grab-bag city.

Fabulous In All Ways: CFP of the Week. “Consuming Asian America,” 2011 Association for Asian American Studies Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 18-21, 2011.

The theme for the 2011 AAAS conference “Consuming Asian America” is inspired, in part, by the site of the conference itself—New Orleans, the city that measures the success of its Mardi Gras celebration by weighing the garbage collected the morning after and whose shopping and nightclub district for locals is called “Fat City.” We invite proposals to engage with all aspects of consumption, such as excess (after all, New Orlean’s tradition of Mardi Gras suggests an excess of consumption), labor material culture, technology, marketing, identity,…

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February 27, 2010, 5:47 pm

Smokin’ Sunday Radical Roundup: Ciggies, Spys, Sports and Sex Scandals

I Would Do Anything For Love — But I Won’t Do That: Thanks to Ralph Luker at Cliopatria we at Tenured Radical have links to articles by Robert Proctor and Jon Weiner about historians who have testified on behalf of the tobacco industry between 1986-2005. They include Stephen Ambrose, Otis Graham, Paul Harvey, and Michael Schaller. Consultants for the industry who have not testified include Herbert Klein and Irwin Unger. Out of 57 scholars there are exactly two women — which means what? That the tobacco industry doesn’t employ women, or that women told them to take a hike, since smoking is also linked to breast cancer and women are a bit more militant on this issue?

“That’s Doctor Moneypenny, James”: This has got to be the coolest job I have ever seen posted — did you even know that there was something called The International Spy Museum? Well there is, it’s in Washington D.C., a…

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January 14, 2010, 2:50 pm

Playing The Blame Game: Or; How Should Graduate Schools Respond To The Bad Job Market?

Over at ConfessionsOf A Community College Dean your favorite administrator and mine, Dean Dad, asks: “Why do people still go to grad school in the liberal arts?”

Good question. Although I have no former undergraduates making the leap into a Ph.D. program this year, the bigger picture is quite different. As Dean Dad notes, “the adjunct trend is so well-established at this point, and the economic irrationality of grad school so screamingly obvious, that it’s fair to wonder why many departments are actually experiencing record applications.” While he explores various irrational explanations — love for learning, self-delusion, and hiding out until the recession is over — there is, he argues, some rationality to the choice:

academia still offers a surface legibility. Yes, the odds are daunting, but good students have spent years rising to the top of academic competitions. There’s still a…

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July 7, 2009, 1:21 pm

More Annals of the Great Depression: Whither The Conference Interview?

In my opinion? It’s on its way out. For what Zenith spent on searches this year, we could have hired a bunch of visitors, or two tenure-track faculty. Or we could have given the faculty we have a weenie little raise. Just a weenie one, but a raise all the same. Or not cut the library budget. Or….or…..

Budget cutting is no reason to end a tradition permanently if it is valuable, but I predict that budget cutting will jolt universities to some useful reforms. Replacing the conference interview with the phone interview is one of them. We had this conversation in my department recently, and I have had it with a Zenith administrator on two separate occasions. Perhaps I have fallen out of love with the conference interview because I am finishing a book on the early years of the historical profession. I know, for example, that the origins of the conference interview are exactly the …

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June 21, 2009, 2:37 pm

Another Year, Another Job Market: When Not Perfecting Your Tan This Summer, How Can You Prepare?

“And by the way,” I wrote in a message to a young scholar whose book manuscript I would love to sign for the new monograph series Renee Romano and I are doing at the University of Georgia Press, Since 1970: Histories of Contemporary America, “There’s nothing that accessorizes an interview outfit like a book contract!”

Which got me to thinking: it’s been a long time since there was any Radical Advice for the job-lorn. One by one, jobs are starting to appear on the web and in those odd paper newsletters our professional organizations still send out. So what can you do now to get ready for a new job season? Well, it depends on what kind of job seeker you are. None of the advice that follows is comprehensive, and if we are really lucky, this post will draw a lot of comments from readers willing to share experiences that will correct, amplify and enrich it.

For The Market Novice

If you have…

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May 24, 2009, 8:35 pm

Radical Commencement Address

Dear Graduates of Zenith:

You are done, God bless you. The clouds cleared, the sun shined, and we all sat out there and baked. Except it was more like being poached, really. Between last night’s rain and today’s sunshine, we the faculty, deans and administration cooked slowly, draped in various fabrics, wearing black velvet hats, listening to all the same speeches you heard. And they were very good speeches: (Not So) New President made a big statement about the proliferation of handgun violence and violence against women; Anna Quindlen suggested that you take a crack at fixing the world since everyone older than you hasn’t really made much of a go of it. A community organizer from Middletown read a sweet passage from E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web that made me tear up. And then you threw your hats in the air, and we all marched away. The woman I was sitting next to pointed to a line …

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February 7, 2009, 6:32 pm

Advanced Interviewing; or, My Favorite Martian

“Dear Professor Radical,” wrote a longtime lurker who had finally decided, in desperation, to reveal hirself. “You told us about the job letter. About the phone call. About the conference interview. About wardrobe — even though you obviously know nothing about clothes: everyone knows you wear nothing but black and grey trousers from Banana Republic, complemented by matching T-shirts. And yet, right on the brink of crossing the finish line, you have abandoned us. WHAT ABOUT THE CAMPUS INTERVIEW, DAMMIT?!?”

Well, I’m sorry. This has been quite a dilemma for me, in part because we have been too busy interviewing at Zenith for me to attend to any of my professional responsibilities, much less write blog posts. But I had an ethical problem as well: should I actually be giving advice about campus visits when we, in the history department at Zenith, were interviewing eleven candidates …

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January 15, 2009, 6:28 pm

On Jobs and the Jobless: Listening To The Underemployed

Sterling Fluharty, who blogs at PhDinHistory, writes (in response to this post where I urged job-seekers to stop attending panels that seemed to be only increasing their anxiety about ever being employed): “Do you really feel it is pointless for the AHA to have panels on the job market? What if ideas for reforming the market and fixing its problems emerged from these sessions?”

Well, OK, if you put it that way. And anyway, saying that those panels are pointless would be doing a disservice to those who put them together, as well as to those who benefit from them. This advice — like my advice to stay off the wikis — was only for those of you who use sessions organized by the Professional Division as concrete venues for self-destructive obsessing about your powerlessness. I hope it didn’t cause the intended audiences to run to the over-priced hotel bar instead, or prompt any of you …

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