Spring in bloom.
Yesterday an interesting op-ed (entitled “Thesis Hatement”–tell me how you really feel?) on the realities of the changing job market in academia was published on Slate. Knowing highly successful job candidates and then some not-so-successful ones over the past couple years who have described their end-of-dissertation and job-application experiences, I think that the writer accurately discusses the highly competitive (and occasionally cut-throat) process of higher-education interviews and appointments.
For me, this article points to wider issues about university hiring—though I wonder how accurate her forecast of the next 10-15 years really is, particularly with respect to the idea of “tenure lines” dying. Within my own (comparatively limited) circle of academic friends, I know three who have recently secured tenure track positions either vacated by retiring professors or added to growing humanities departments. Perhaps this is a random fluke? Maybe I just have a blessed circle of friends? I know an equal number of persons taking visiting professorships or adjunct positions; one number does not seem disproportionate to the other. I suspect that many departments will see an overhaul over that time as the ‘baby boomer’ generation begins to retire, but schools and departments will always look to secure consistency and an intellectual life that is desirable to students.
I’m glad that there is a candid conversation around academia happening, but Schuman’s essay does smack a bit with resentment. Her experience on the job market is why I am taking so much time and consideration as to where I should study next.
This is so wonderful.
Here’s our picture desk’s picture of the day: a colourful portrait of Walter ‘Snowy’ Farr, a genuine English eccentric, taken by influential British photographer Tony Ray-Jones (1941-1972)
Photograph: Tony Ray-Jones/ SSPL via Getty Images
Some art stays with you. It manages to that find small piece of your heart in perfect accord with your head and takes hold.
While the work—whether it be music, a painting, a poem, a play—is a revelation in your first confrontation, it somehow, strangely feels like something you have read and returned to hundreds of times already. It challenges you, speaking to your aesthetic as a thinker, as an artist, as a student, as a human. It comes to your mind as you fall asleep and escapes your lips when you wake, tirelessly re-emerging as innovation with each new encounter.
It’s not necessarily what you love, find to be avant-garde, or even ‘important.’ This is the work you find necessary. Educational. The work that tells you just as much about yourself as it does anything about the writer, the subject, or the form.
Stare sola, se vuole, al mattino, e sedersi al caffè. Non cercare nessuno.
Good thing the world actually didn’t end, because otherwise I spent my last evening on earth eating a yoplait light with fruit and falling asleep early while reading a play.
I get a redo. I’ll try not to squander the next one with my lameness.
This is everything.
Just picked up my copy of “Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights,” by Robin Bernstein. #soexcited