English Literature Jobs for AY 2009-2010
GUIDELINES FOR USAGE:
Post school names and deadlines. Add materials requests, interview requests, and campus visit requests as they happen. Add any other pertinent information that you might know about the status of a given search.
Please refrain from removing information from this page. Even out-of-date or trivial information may be of historical interest to readers. Editing that improves clarity or renders information more concise is encouraged.
Last year's job search page: English Literature Jobs for AY 2008-2009
How about creative writing? And English Education? English Ed has been lumped in with Children's Literature. Feel free to update and check in (11-12)
This Year's Cancelled Jobs--The Economy Strikes
Albion College (early modern)
Bridgewater State (Massachusetts), British and Irish Modernism
Colby College, Rhetoric and Comp. (Writing Center Director)
College of St. Scholastica (18th + 19th C British)
Colorado State University, Anglophone and World Literature
Dartmouth College, Creative Nonfiction (by email, 11/20)
East Tennessee State University, Modern British
Emory University, Women's Studies
George Mason, Film Studies
Hillsdale College, General
Johns Hopkins, African American Lit.
Johns Hopkins, Comparative Lit
- Q: what is the source of info that this job has been cancelled? Email notice 11/11
Lehman College, CUNY, 19th century
Long Island University, Modern and Contemporary Poetry
Macalester College, 20th and 21st Century American and US Ethnic Literatures
Miami University, American modernism 1900-1950
Miami University, Romantic Poetry
Northern Arizona University, African American Lit.
Rider University, Literary Theory and Composition
Rutgers University, Writing and New Media
Scripps College, Gender Studies
SUNY Stony Brook, African American Lit.
SUNY Stony Brook, Medieval
SUNY Stony Brook, Comparative Lit.
U of Alabama-Huntsville, Medieval
U of Miami, Late Med. Early Mod.
U of Illinois, Chicago, Gender/Women's Studies
U of Kansas, Rhetoric
University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Restoration/18th Century
U. of Missouri, Columbia, African American
University of North Carolina, Greensboro Post-1945 British Lit
University of Pittsburgh, Medieval
University of Pittsburgh, Composition (per internal memo)
University of Pittsburgh, Creative Non-Fiction (per internal memo)
University of Puget Sound, Rhetoric
University of Richmond, African Literature
University of South Carolina, Rhetoric
University of Vermont, 19th century
University of Virginia, Postcolonial
Villanova University, 18th C. Novel
Western New England College, modernist literature and creative writing
Xavier, Early Modern (not to be confused with St. Francis Xavier University)
Comments and Questions
Anybody know why the JIL has been down since Thursday night, 11/6? (11/9/2008) Yes-- They were down for scheduled maintenance Thursday midnight to Sunday 5pm. Should be up now.
Just wondering if anyone knows anything about the search in British Romanticism at UC Boulder. (it's a mid-career to senior search) They said they were likely inviting candidates to campus in early November. Anyone heard anything further? (11/15/2008) A: Candidates invited and starting to give talks.
Q: I would like to add to this conversation: I interviewed with a major East Coast Div I school last week over the phone (standard, TT, AP search) - They indicated that their next step would be to fly in candidates for the final interview. Is anyone else noticing this year's financial pressures weighing against U's using MLA? I suppose I don't really care (as long as I get an interview :)), but I am wondering how the economy is altering the nature and timing of this year's interview process. Has anyone noticed anything unusual about initial contacts, first interviews etc. this year? (11/16/2008)
- A: I haven't noticed this myself, although it doesn't seem too surprising. I'm responding, though, for a different reason: Did the school indicate when the on-campus visits would be? This is important, b/c, ethically speaking, they shouldn't be speeding up the process too much. They should wait for MLA and allow you to make a fully informed decision. Last year, my partner went on an on-campus interview at a school that was using this accelerated process; he was offered the job and had to decide whether or not to take the job right before his convention (where he had several promising interviews set up). It was agonizing to make that choice. We later found out that there are regulations in place to prevent this sort of thing from happening; the school could have (and probably should have) been censured. Anyway, just one other thing to think about! (11/17)
- A Yes, I have noticed this. Three weeks after the application deadline on one job, I received a request for an on-campus interview. I went for the interview during the first week of November (crazy time with the election), and the decision is expected before Thanksgiving. I noticed a trend toward bypassing MLA last year too, but this year it seems more pronounced.
- A This might not always be the case, but with economic pressures being what they are, some departments want to get positions filled/contracts signed before the admin put a freeze or cancel that particular search.
- A I had an early flyback too, in October. Honestly, it made the other application materials I was preparing at the time feel rushed. Expecting candidates to prepare a job talk and travel months ahead of time in the middle of all of their other application/teaching/etc responsibilities is asking a bit much. Not to mention the financial problems associated with having to buy a suit at the last minute, airfare, etc in the middle of paying to send out dossiers, applications, etc. I had to eat a lot of rush mailing fees on top of everything. There should be a way to protect applicants from this, although I tried to make the best of it by saying "it's good experience." Of course, it is their market, and we end up jumping when they say so...(11/17)
- A Wow, this is really troubling to hear. I have always appreciated how the MLA format, however painful it might be, protects applicants. There are a lot of other fields where applicants are much more vulnerable to the whims of the university. There must be a mechanism to report such abuses anonymously to the MLA. I would encourage anyone with relevant experiences to do so. (11/18)
- A Another way in which the MLA format protects applicants is by allowing the lucky few with offers some negotiating leverage, finally. I had an early phone interview with a university that told me they were bypassing the MLA in order to get the best candidates first. So, that's another reason for the early schedule, to prevent applicants from negotiating.
- A I'm in another MLA field, not English, but I'm about to leave for a campus visit in a couple of days and I have a phone interview with a pretty good public research university tomorrow (about which I had about a day of advanced notice). I had heard of smaller schools doing things like this, but these are both good, if second-tier, research institutions. This does seem to me to be incredibly rushed and it seems to me related to both punctual economic pressures (that is, the kind that might send us all back home to our parents), as well as--as someone wrote above--a desire to evade potential bargaining power (11/18)
- A I think I liked this wiki more when we all complained about the job interviews we did NOT get... that way I actually had something to contribute.
- A I agree. These complaints sound more like bragging than complaints. Congratulations to you all, but some perspect and sensitivity are in order here. With so many searches aborting, the job pool is shrinking but the applicant pool is not. Any interview granted, MLA or otherwise, is a major coup. And, frankly, I'll take an early offer to free me up from the stress of waiting.. and to stop checking CHE, JIL, and higeredjobs.com for more posts to apply for! ;)
- Wise words. I'm like an internet junkie at the moment, hoping there are jobs I can apply for to ward off the waiting. And normally this level of neuroticism didn't set in for another month or so previous search years but has been ratcheted up in the current economic climate.
- A I agree that the economic climate enables universities to take advantage of applicants and rush the hiring season in a way that hurts all of us and sets a dangerous precedent. For those who mentioned that a University doing this should receive some censure, can you pass on any more info. about this? I don't think it's bragging to express concern about searches forcing candidates to make decisions weeks before the MLA. I've felt uneasy about being forced into this accelerated timeline, but I didn't know there are formal rules preventing universities from stripping our bargaining power and forcing us to accept or decline offers before knowing if we have any other first-round interviews (11/19).
- A We'll have more than fodder for that in the months ahead. Stay tuned!
- Just because the economy is bad and we are all desperate for jobs doesn't mean that schools can circumvent MLA guidelines. If anything, this conversation is even more necessary for us to be having right now. It's not "bragging"--I myself have had zero responses from schools; it's realistic and mature. If it bothers you, then don't read this part of the wiki. (Or gratefully read it later when a school is unethically manipulating you b/c they know you'll take any job available.)
- Everyone breathe deeply...I posted the original comment about complaining about jobs we did NOT get. It was half-joke, half-venting. I agree the conversation about ethics is relevant and frightening...
Q: This question is for those of you who have been on the job market before or are more experienced in applying for jobs: If I see on this wiki that a school (to which I have applied) has arranged either a phone interview/conference interview with someone yet I have heard nothing/received no rejection letter, should I just assume I am totally out of the running? Has anyone had a similar experience yet ended up getting an interview? Can anyone offer me some encouragement when it comes to wiki posts?
A: Based on my experience, you can't consider any job entirely gone until you get the letter that says it has been filled. I think the wiki information gives a good sense of what is going on, but sometimes the people invited for campus visits don't take the job, sometimes schools change their mind after interviews and try new candidates... There are a host of things that can change. And I know of someone last year that saw a school was interviewing based on information on this wiki, assumed she was out of the running, and then a few weeks later still got a call for an interview.
A: As above: I got my job after I had interviewed by phone but had been contacted and told that I was not in the running. I accepted a term position, and two days later, I got an offer for a campus interview at the institution where I now teach. Strange things happen, and so don't assume anything is over until you hear a final word.
A: I keep having to tell myself: no news is no news. Not good, not bad, just air. People on SCs at my university have told stories of the top-ranked candidates being incredible disappointments at MLA and being cut immediately and lower-ranked candidates moving up to get the job. Many different things can happen. Just do the best you can and hang in there.
A: The above answers are certainly exceptions. Don't hold onto false hope. Maybe you'll be the beneficiary of some freak situation, but don't even hope for it. The vast majority of the time, if you're not in on the dossier requests / phone interviews / whatever, you're finished. Just drink heavily while forming vague plans about your next career. Why, yes, this is my fourth time on the market. How'd you guess?
A: While I don't necessarily agree with previous poster's advice to "drink heavily" :), it is true that the aforementioned cases are exceptions. Realistically speaking, if places have set up interviews and you haven't been contacted, you might want to let go. However, if it's just an issue of being contacted for materials, that's a different story. Last year, this seemed to happen in waves. I remember giving up on a job b/c I saw requests posted--then, a week or so later, I got the same request. Hang in there, but brace yourself for disappointment.
A: I had a similar experience last year. I had gone out a little early and didn't get any interviews, but then at the end of January, I got a phone interview from a small state college that had decided to wait until after MLA. I had assumed that no news meant rejection when some schools simply hadn't used MLA for interviews.
A: I agree that the examples noted above are exceptions, but they are worth bearing in mind. In my own case, I now have a job at a school where I was turned down twice. First, I received a letter saying I was not in the running for MLA interviews and then got a call on Dec. 23. Afterward, I was told I was no longer in the running but in March I got another call. And I ended up with the job. Last year, I served on a committee for the same school that went through all its upper-tier candidates and we ended up with someone who had been fairly low on our original list. Truth is, I think she's worked out better than any of us had imagined and we're glad it worked out as it did. Don't expect anything, but do keep the faith.
A: This is my third year on the market. My first year I had telephone interviews, MLA interviews, and on-campus interviews scheduled before Thanksgiving. My second year I heard absolutely nothing until December 23rd, when two MLA interviews materialized at the last minute. Each year is different. My advice: 1) Try not to let it wreck your holidays. 2) Try to refocus on publishing projects (your dissertation, your next article, your book proposal, your edited collection) that will help instead of destructive anxiety.
Q: Are people only applying to jobs that are listed here - under such headings as Romanticism and Victorian - or is everyone combing through anything they can get their hands on to apply to? I feel a sense of urgency because so many jobs are being pulled this year to apply to anything remotely in my field (19th century British). (11/24)
A: I am not. I applied for about ten jobs this year, only in my area. But I think we have to face the real possibility that next year's market might be worse as hiring freezes reach into anticipated retirements. (11/24)
A: I have applied to 90% jobs in my area, 10% jobs that are a bit of a reach in terms of my research but good fits in other ways. I've had the best results with jobs in my area. It's pretty clear from your CV and project what your interests really are, even if you try to position yourself a certain way in your cover letter. Plus, your advisers are likely to have written about you as a future scholar of X, not Y.
A: I apply to everything I plausibly can. While it's the exception rather than the rule, I've seen a number of people get hired for jobs which they did not match particularly well, at least on paper. Every now and then, because the goals of a search committee shift and evolve, you'll end up being a good fit where you wouldn't have expected to be. Also, I'm desperate.
A: I am applying to positions that seem a bit out of my area, or the area that looks the most "relevant" according to my dissertation and cv. The truth is, for me and I would imagine for others, is that I have far more interests in terms of research than one would expect just looking at what I've done in grad school. One of the issues I have with the whole dividing up the timeline the way it is that while it is true that we all have an area of speciality, the divisions presuppose that we will stay in an area. I know my advisor, for example, was originally hired as a 19th Century American scholar, and is now a specialist in 20th Century African american lit. Go figure. But it is true that search committee's like to pigeon hole applicants, and that can really work against those of us with broad interests or interdisciplinary methodologies. I was told I had to take out my second book project idea from my applications because it is in another "field" and so would confuse search committees. That has not stopped me from referencing my idea for jobs where it would be deemed more appropriate.
- (I asked the original question): (11/26) It does not surprise me that someone might get hired for one type of position and/or field and then move into another area of study. One can do that after one is hired. No one expects a person to only have one area of study or field anyway. I'm surprised the former poster was told to take a book project out of the application letter. It seems to me (after 4 times on the market) that many search committees - especially at small schools - look for breadth. Can we do something that we haven't necessarily been "trained" to do? I must concur with one of the posters above - I, too, am desperate. Or at least feeling the very strong need to not be trapped in a composition position all my life or trapped in the adjunct route, which is where I am now. Having been a victim of department cutbacks - I was laid off from my Visiting position - I feel the desperation even more these days. I remember the "good old days" of being a PhD candidate on the market - my how fresh and new everything felt. But now, I slog on in the jaded track (instead of the tenure track) and pray to some unknown higher academic power that someone out there will say - hey, what about this applicant?