An Interactive Website Devoted to the Classics & Archaeology Job Market.
"Because there is no "hire" in "Higher Education"
So, even our job-market blog is getting smaller! Is this a sign of things to come? This job-market year is going to be brutal, if this story about Florida State is anything to go by.......
This is really old story. I know universities that have been tearing off phones for some years now. The real crunch comes when there are talks of 5%, 10% salary cuts. Makes you wish you were in Texas.
Who else is totally psyched to see that University of Oklahoma position in the latest APA listings that asks for candidates who "specialize in the U.S. Founding or American colonial history, preferably with an emphasis on institutional or intellectual history"?I don't know about you all but, as a Latinist, I simply cannot wait to send in my dossier...
I was curious about the raw numbers of jobs on tap at this point as compared to last year at the same time. So I checked the wiki.Last Year: 42 positions on offerThis Year: 36 positions on offerAbout a 14% decline. Overall, not bad. Not nearly as bad as some fields. Hope abides.
It's probably much to early for this, but I have a question for both young and old. It has to do with my biggest disappointment with academia. Are tenured faculty dropping the ball when it comes to mentoring younger scholars in the field? In my limited experience with academia as a grad student, and now in my second VAP, I've found that the majority of tenured faculty are ambivalent about interacting with young academics. I'm not talking about making dozens of phone calls trying to help someone get a job; I'm talking about a cup of coffee, a chat here and there. I find full professors at large research institutions to be especially guilty. Their kids, if they had any, are off to college. Most are teaching the same classes they nailed down decades ago. They're settled into cushy corner offices and homes they are close to owning. Most aren't putting out new scholarship. They happily recycle lectures so they can travel and earn some spending cash. They usually get the best chance at course releases and have TAs who do everything for them but laundry. They don't answer email unless they absolutely have to. Their office hours are usually "TBA" or "by appointment only." I'm not saying they are all like this, but at every stop I've been at, there are maybe one or two with a conscience. How can you find them? Look at some CVs. I find it interesting when young academics from a program ALL put down a particular faculty member as a reference, regardless of speciality. Sure sign that this person is taking one for the team so a colleague can worry about their golf swing and an upcoming lecture on a cruise ship.Did I just get a bad sample set? Regardless, do these people feel any responsibility about the future of classics as the present gatekeepers? Perhaps it never crosses their mind? Perhaps they view it as payback for slaving away in a junior position at 5-5 teaching load U or Harvard? I'm willing to listen to any and all theories! Okay, rose-tinted glasses off. Back to our regular programming.
Your complaint may be legitimate, although it sounds a little exaggerated. Have you yourself sought to make contact with these faculty members? Did you try to be nice to them, did you do research on their research, did you ask for their advice and followed it and let them know that you did? In any case there are undeniably lazy sob's in many universities, especially research-oriented ones (although these professors may be very busy in professional areas that you just happen not to notice). In my view, they are that way because no one forces them to be otherwise. Although tenured faculty are the only ones who can fire other unproductive tenured faculty, they are generally extremely reluctant to do so.
I have to say in my (research-intensive) department, the senior scholars are almost all very ready to make time for graduate students. My fellow-students and I go for coffees, lunches, etc with faculty quite regularly. If anything it's the junior faculty who are more difficult to get a hold of, but doubtless that's because they're so stressed about tenure. And yes, it sometimes takes a little initiative on the student's part (as Anon 4:14 notes) but to be honest, sweetie, if you're too shy to ask a faculty member for coffee, you need to rethink entering a profession in which you'll have to deal with people All The Time.
You're obviously not hot enough. Go get a make-over and then ask again.
I'm less worried about senior scholars "mentoring" than I am about them performing actual service to the profession. One particular peeve of mine is the fact that editors of journals have to ask the same people over and over and over to act as reviewers. Why? Because classics is blessed with a bunch of tenured shirkers, that's why. 20% of the field does 90% of the service. Next time a journal takes nine months to get back to you, blame the tenured person who isn't reviewing at least 3 or four articles per year. If anything kills me, this is it./rant
We're selfish bastards. Get over it. We'll ride off into the sunset soon enough, at least before eager young minds can eat us. I'll have to start locking my "corner office" door.
Interesting article in Harper's about the humanities. Thought I'd share it with all my anonymous Classics peeps.http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/09/0082640Good luck to everybody, it's brutal out there!
We're Number Three! We're Number Three! Yeah, right... http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bestjobs/2009/snapshots/3.html
It looks like an up year for philosophy and history, down for literature and archaeology, though perhaps it's an illusion created by the timing of job posts.
October job announcements are the big enchilada, no? Do we find out how bad we're screwed this year or do we wait until November before joining the burgers and fries business?
Dunno about the rest of you, but I actually feel like this year's listings are pretty good overall. Much, much better than I expected. Granted, I'm a hellenist who dabbles in philosophy so my view may be a bit skewed. But these seem like average numbers of tenure track jobs for this point in the season. I think we won't know about the McJob situation until the spring, unfortunately. Let's hope those which are advertised now actually result in real positions.
Would you like to biggie size that?
Can anybody out there comment on what these teaching load differences really signify? I had been told at one point never to consider a job with a 4-4 teaching load. Now that jobs are scarce, however, I am re-thinking this advice. What makes a teaching load crushing? Is it the number of classes, the number of students, the number of preps, the variety of classes, what? Here at my graduate institution all faculty have 2-2 or sometimes 2-1 loads, and yet they still seemed harried and frantic. Are there people reading this who are currently teaching more than 2 classes a semester who can comment on what it is like, and what are the sorts of teaching duties one needs to be wary of?
@EuKanNewbie:It depends, I think, on number of courses/new preps/students per class and research/service expectations. E.g. in my case at a SLAC with equal weighting of teaching and research: a new prep this semester is a lower-division lecture with 32 students; average minimum prep + grading time is ca. 15 hours per week; another new prep is an upper-division class with 5 students: avg. min. 7 hours of prep + grading per week.The problem with 4-4, as a friend in another field is experiencing at a lower-tier public, even if not every course is new, is that the research/service expectations can still be high (“service” in hir case: department, university, and community outreach, and hir dean is pushing to increase loads to 5-5).Don’t be deceived by your own professors’ 2-2 loads, which don’t account for graduate advising, research + professional activity (peer-reviewing), and service.
Sorry, Eukan, no idea.I didn't get a job last year, so my course load is 0-0. Pretty posh. One of the places I interviewed with in Philly did at least send me a video of my interview so that I could learn from it. Very useful, and interesting. They had an inside hire going from the very beginning, as you can tell from the end of the video.http://tinyurl.com/2wkaqb
I have done both ranges of and teaching loads, and thus can attest that life goes in either case. With dedication and some clever thinking you can publish even while teaching 4 courses. But really, unless you are really in a position to pick from different offers, you should apply to all places. If you don't like where you end up, you can always apply again.
@EukanI also have experienced a wide range of teaching loads thanks to a few VAPs. For me, it isn't the number of courses, but the kinds of courses. Generally, the fewer preps the better, and the fewer new preps the much better. If you have to constantly teach new courses, you will never get anything else done (although this is less true with intermediate and advanced language classes). The larger lecture classes take the most work to prepare at first, but prep-time goes down over time (after you've taught the class 3 or 4 times). Grading and student-contact time, however, remains constant. I'm impressed with Anon 9:09's ability to spend only 15 hours/week on a 32-student lecture course. That kind of course takes at least 25 hours/week for me. Finally, teaching outside your field will demand more time (also less true for languages, generally speaking). I'm a Greek Archaeologist, so teaching Roman material always means many, many more hours of prep-time for me. Teaching Latin, however, isn't any harder than teaching Greek. I find that my language classes demand about a third to a quarter of the time that my civ and arch classes take. Talking with friends elsewhere this seems to be true for them as well.So, for me at least, a 4-4 load of mostly language classes, with a couple of overlapping preps is actually much less work than a 2-2 with a constantly shifting rotation of arch and civ courses. Whereas a 4-4 with a constantly shifting rotation of arch and civ courses would be a killer.Finally, I would call anybody who suggests that you avoid applying to a job because it is a 4-4 an out of touch idiot. Apply first, worry about turning it down later.
I would completely agree that language classes take a lot less time, esp. at the higher levels. The time-suck that new lecture courses put on you is amazing. Esp. now that you're expected to use all the electronic doo-dads, like Blackboard, etc. My recommendation on those things is to use them as much as they help you--otherwise, you can endlessly mess around in course prep.And, yes, don't be stupid--apply for 4-4 jobs.
Do language classes take less time simply because they tend to have fewer students, or is it something about teaching language in particular -- as opposed to History and Archaeology -- which makes them easier to teach?
I've taught from 5-5 to 2-2 now. 2-2 is obviously easier (especially if you're a VAP - you have time for a life, although you may sacrifice that to put in more work on job apps or research). 4-4 or 5-5 aren't so bad once you get used to them; you'll just be working very hard, especially if it is 3 or 4 preps. In my experience, the language classes are easier to prep for, but only at the upper levels, when the students have reading ability already. The baby classes require more attention because you're constantly trying to come up with new Latin teaching techniques to keep all the students learning - you can't just parrot the textbook in those classes.Do apply for such jobs, especially in markets like these. If you get the job, then you can worry. I don't know if I'd want a 4-4 t-t job, but I think a 4-4 VAP is only for a year and you can stay in the field if that's what you want.
"The ground shakes, drums... drums in the deep. We cannot get out. A shadow lurks in the dark."increasingly I know how those dwarves felt trapped in Moria...
"Fool of a graduate student! Throw yourself in next time and rid us of your stupidity!"Ever feel like that's what your advisor/rec writers/search committee members are thinking?
Yes, sometimes I am tempted to send a cover letter to an SC with one word on it:mellonBased on that alone I really should be allowed to enter their interview suite in Anaheim, right?
Speaking of Balrogs......Has anybody gotten the October [no]jobs email yet?
Yeap, early this afternoon. Like you said, M. Took, no jobs.
Real Cool! ... 'cause Brooklyn's cool! / she says she's pure from legs to her thighs / and we should talk over some Chinese and fries / tryin' to score an instructor's place / but not in Anaheim! ... I just got the Gas Face!Peace out, Brooklyn College!
Personally, I would have thought that the obvious analogy for the job search would have been the quest to throw the One Ring into Mt. Doom. The task is virtually impossible, it takes forever, and even in the scenario where you succeed one of your competitors bites your finger off.
The choice of Middle Earth analogies might perhaps be determined by whether one feels that the academic pursuit is some noble quest or, in fact, a horrible but inescapable mistake ...
It's actually both. I put forth Apollo 13 as the best analogy. You spend time as a kid gazing at the stars (or Homer) and then spend an inordinate amount of time sacrificing and prepping for one trick that is cool but really not all that practical for mankind. You blast off into space thinking how lucky you are to be one of the few chosen to reach for the stars only to realize how cramped and shitty it is up there (if you don't have a 4-4 load, you probably have a sabretooth ready to crap in your wastebasket). You adjust only to have the tanks blow up when you try to stir them (kind of like suggesting a new course only to have balding, crotchety, old people tell you to stop rocking their boat; they're happy to have 14 students this semester, thank you very much). You're then left fighting for your life thinking what a terrible mistake the entire thing was before getting tenure and taking it out on junior faculty, that is, if you still have a department to call your own.
I see NYU is advertising a TT positin again. Isn't this, like, the third year in a row? What's the word on that?
Wow! There's a sign of the times for you: Nowhere U. wants a fuckin' super-classicist: "teaches Latin and Greek at all levels, with strong background in material culture"..."interests in gender issues"..."able to tame panthers"..."mediate between arab nations." Do these schools really think the fresh crop will stick around more than two years?? Do they like job searches??
Along those lines:"Teaching load (4+4) will include courses in Greek and Roman History and Art History, Latin at all levels, as well as general education courses in World Civilizations and introductory Art History."I'm waiting for ads to start saying, "Successful candidate will replace the entire Classics, Archaeology, History, and Art History departments, as well as 17 faculty in at least 3 non-affiliated fields (esp. Biology, Cryptoanalysis, and Hotel Management). Teaching load will be 83/109. We expect faculty to be well-versed in Zoroastrianism and committed to promoting the values of 5th century CE Hindu Kush tribes. Please submit complete dossier in macrame form and have 23 recommendations engraved on travertine cylinder seals delivered via carrier pigeon under a gibbous moon."
Isn't that what being a classicist is about, though? You have one area of expertise, but you can prepare courses on ancient languages, history or art. As for those ads, the departments may not know yet exactly what they are looking for and they are keeping their options open. Colleges just don't publicly ask for "a Latinist with an OK knowledge of history who can also fake his way through art history."
"Isn't that what being a classicist is about, though? You have one area of expertise, but you can prepare courses on ancient languages, history or art."Actually, no. We do have specialties, after all. I'm a Latinist. Asking me to teach Greek is like asking an Italian professor to teach French. Sure, she can do it, but it's stupid to even suggest it. Asking me to teach Greek History is like asking me that same Italianist to teach 18th century French History. Sure, she can do it, but she'll suck at it, go insane, and never get tenure.Specialization matters, and it is about time the field does a better job of making it clear that forcing everybody to play "generalist" comes with extraordinarily high costs.
I have to agree with Cato on this one. The model of the classicist who does and knows all is based on the state of the field, say, fifty years ago, in a time when browsing excavation reports and visiting museums meant that one was "staying up" on the field in general. Those times are gone. The secondary literature is now too immense, the approaches and methods too diverse. Perhaps we can all teach clasical civ. with competence, but schools who ask too few individuals to represent the breadth and depth of all facets of classical studies will get exactly what they are paying for. And as to these schools not knowing what they want in their ads.: that's no excuse. Why don't they know? And why should anyone be expected to expend time and energy in applying to a department that does not know what it wants?
No, I'm going to have to agree with Anon5:46 on this one. Sure, for large departments that can afford to have many people who all stay in their respective specialties, there's not much excuse for requiring a generalist who can teach everything well. (I think the kind of open-field search where you simply want the best Latinist you can find, regardless of ultimate specialty, is a different thing.)But for small departments with, say, under five professors, they have two options: 1) everybody teaches only their specialty, and if nobody at College X can teach Greek History, then that's just the way it has to be; or 2) ask everybody to teach somewhat outside their area. We're talking about giving undergrads who are going on to law school some basic knowledge, and especially the kind of critical thinking and writing skills that aren't subject-specific. That doesn't require teaching at the graduate level; that just requires some basic ability, and I think it's in all of our best interests to be able to do something like that.Besides, call me an old fogie, but I think there's still some value to having a broad knowledge of Greek and Roman cultures (or other cultures, if that's your thing) beyond a narrow specialty. Nothing existed in a vacuum back then, and nothing does now.
"I'm a Latinist. Asking me to teach Greek is like asking an Italian professor to teach French. Sure, she can do it, but it's stupid to even suggest it."That's fucking bullshit, and a bullshit analogy. Anyone with a PhD in Classics should be able to teach Latin and Greek to undergraduates. The program requires you to know both languages to an extremely high level, whereas no French department is going to expect you to learn Italian to a high level, or vice versa. If you get out of grad school and can't teach both languages, that's either your fault or your program's fault. Same goes for teaching history (at least general survey courses): graduate programs are supposed to give you a solid base in literature, history, archaeology, etc. Overspecialization is fucking killing this discipline.
Hasn't this same debate happened here every year since this blog was launched? And every time it gives good evidence about how the field of 'Classics' really is not very cohesive, does not have a good sense of itself, and is full of double standards in training and expectations. People who are more inclined to be generalists are happy with the status quo, while many specialists look to advances in cognate fields and those in the social sciences and wish (or want) for 'Classics' to move forward, but alas this is unlikely to ever happen. It seems that one's position on this debate stems from one's own intellectual viewpoint, one's own training and influences, and one's professional goals. Speaking as a specialized person who also has a broad training and a broad teaching repertoire, I can offer my two cents that the traditional model of 'Classics' in North America chafes badly. But clearly it works for the (mostly silent) majority. And the wheel goes round again ...
Teaching both Latin and Greek to undergraduates wasn't the issue at the beginning of the thread. The thread began by being critical of ads that ask for candidates who teach both languages, as well as history and material culture. Moving across those disciplinary lines makes the difference with regard to methodolgy a critical issue. One or two classes in history or in archaeology is not really a "solid base", it's a line on a transcript.
I agree with the above, and this is why many of us who are in fact actual archaeologists feel put upon by the demands of such ads and positions - not because we are not amenable to the breadth of mediterranean antiquity but because the field has such a poorly conceived notion of how to deliver the best end product which is to use people's strengths and when those people need to move beyond their core comfort zone for all of the obvious reasons, that these demands should be reasonable. oh, and as soon as the majority of Latin and Greek language faculty can teach archaeology courses as well as I can teach the languages, then we can have a discussion about how 'Classics' functions well. Back to you regular programming...
"If you get out of grad school and can't teach both languages, that's either your fault or your program's fault. Same goes for teaching history (at least general survey courses): graduate programs are supposed to give you a solid base in literature, history, archaeology, etc. Overspecialization is fucking killing this discipline."I'm going to agree slightly with the first part of this, and call bullshit (actually, make that "fucking bullshit") on the second part.Maybe we can all teach both languages to undergraduates, maybe not. I know many historians and archaeologists who cannot. And that is OK, because they can do stuff philologists can't. As for teaching both fields of history and archaeology, that is a different matter. I dare you to name one PhD program where the Roman Historian teaches Greek History, and the Greek Historian teaches Roman History. Plenty of Latinists teach Greek, and plenty of Hellenists teach Latin at such places. Philologists are more interchangeable. Historians and Archaeologists far less so.Now, the small school model makes this specialization impossible, granted. But then Cato's last point still stands. If you have to teach everything AND produce scholarship "in your field" on the same level as those who teach only only in that field, you will suck at teaching, go insane, and get kicked out of the profession.Having foxes and hedgehogs at different institutions is fine, so long as we modulate our research expectations accordingly. Sadly, now, though, even foxy schools are requiring hedgehog research for tenure.It isn't "overspecialization" that is killing the discipline, it is unsustainable expectations about production and teaching within an incredibly expansive field.
"The program requires you to know both languages to an extremely high level, whereas no French department is going to expect you to learn Italian to a high level, or vice versa."Actually, classics programs these days require you to learn both languages up to a fairly basic level, I find - that is why classicists generally can and do teach both Latin and Greek. Gone are the days when a Greek scholar could translate Shakespeare into Greek iambic trimeters with ease, but maybe that is for the good of all. And yes, it is BS to suggest that a Greek scholar today should not be required to teach Latin.
Great, we have spanned a troll on the forum boards. Sigh.
One or two classes in history or in archaeology is not really a "solid base", it's a line on a transcript.Amen, sister!!Even though I took a Greek Sanctuaries course in grad school, that doesn't mean I can teach Greek Archaeology or Greek History.Classics: The Holiday Inn Express of academic expertise!
(*spawned)Has anyone looked at who got those superjobs in the past? It may indicate that it's just verbal inflation and that the SC will settle for someone only teaching some of the areas advertized.- Anon 2:05
"Philologists are more interchangeable. Historians and Archaeologists far less so."This is laughable. I don't know one historian who can't teach the other side - same for archaeologists. In fact, historians are often asked to teach something totally out of the region like the history of Egypt while archaeologists are asked to teach the kitchen sink. Do any of you teach Middle Egyptian? Yes, philologists often cross over to teach the other language, but so what? I know many historians and archaeologists who do the same. How often do you find a Virgil scholar teaching the Greek NT, which is basically what you're asking a Roman Archaeologist to do when teaching Greek colonization.
How often do you find a Virgil scholar teaching the Greek NT, which is basically what you're asking a Roman Archaeologist to do when teaching Greek colonization.Anon 3:08, I think you miss the point, even though it is your own. The fact that Historians and Archaeologists are commonly required to teach more is part of the problem. They can teach the kitchen sink, Greek and Latin, a bag of chips, and fry it up in a pan.Asking a Latinist to teach Greek isn't that big of a deal to the Latinist (here I diverge from Cato), but asking a Roman Historian/Archaeologist to teach Greek History/Archaeology is a frakking pain in the tush. Yes indeed, they can do it, but it demands much more of them than crossing over into Greek does for a Latinist.The field needs to recognize this unfairness.
Welcome to the New American College/University. Teaching more with fewer faculty. There once was a time when a much larger number of colleges and universities had larger numbers of professors centered on the ancient world. Not only classicists in a Classics department, but two, count'em, two ancient historians in their History Department, one doing Roman, one doing Greek.Now, the number of students studying the languages has dropped markedly, so they don't need so many classicists. The History departments have also decided that they need 35 people working on three weeks in May of 1883, so why not drop Ancient History entirely? At most, let's have one ancient historian, and not only that, he/she can also teach all of Medieval History. It's all the same time period, isn't it?Our field, the study of the Ancient World, is retrenching. So, get used to being asked to teach more than you had bargained for, unless you happen to be one of the lucky few to get the attention of a major PhD granting department, where you will be able to teach your speciality and nothing more. But keep in mind, the economic disaster in academia is going to start to hit those places as well. Most of the Ivies got gut-punched by the market. Sure, it's recovering a bit now, but the universities are going to be afraid of it happening again. Even if their endowments recover, don't expect them to suddenly start expanding the sizes of their faculties too quickly. As for State Universities, name a state that is in good fiscal shape. Legislatures are cutting budgets, and higher education is a popular target to cut in even the more enlightened states, let alone the ones who show by their expenditures that they don't care.So, going back to the job postings that are raising some people's ire: doesn't really surprise me at all. Yes, some of that fuzziness is from indecision on the part of the search committee/department, but some of it might actually be real. You are not going into the same profession that your own professors entered into. You will be expected to research on your own speciality while at the same time teaching a broader array of courses. You do archaic Greek lyric? That's good. You're also going to teach not only Homer, but Plato and maybe Callimachus. And Greek 101. And maybe Latin 101. And Horace. You teach Roman History? Fine, fine. You'll also be teaching the Greek History survey every other year to alternate with the Roman History survey. And perhaps either an introductory course on archaeology (if you're in a small Classics Department) or a broad survey of Medieval History (if you're in a History Department). That is, of course, unless you don't want 95% of the jobs out there. Good luck while 80% of you fight over the 5% of jobs that are similar to what your graduate school professors enjoy.
My first snarky comment of the year:All I know is that if more archaeologists and art historians learned Greek and Latin as well as philology properly in grad school then not only would they be able to teach undergrads the two languages, but there would be fewer works of scholarship that are partly or wholly undermined by that person's inability to work with texts that are relevant to his/her material culture subject. As someone who bridges the divide, I've winced quite a few times at errors by people who clearly received insufficient training...
So what's the soluton? Not mention any of the texts? This tact certainly works for many philologists. For every historian/archaeologist with a "shaky" grasp of the texts, there are ten philological articles that could have benefited greatly from even the most basic mention/understanding of relevant socio-cultural background/material culture. Also, which side would benefit from reaching across the disciplinary aisle more? Very few clarchs conduct research these days with a trowel in one hand and Pausanius in the other. They're too busy trying to keep up with the latest advances in archaeological research while you're grappling with how to get Cicero on your Kindle.
Okay, let's play nice here. Whenever you say something negative about someone, chances are they can (mutatis mutandis) say the same thing about you.Perhaps we can agree that a certain basic knowledge of other subfields is desirable, so as not to make fools of ourselves in print, while also recognizing that we shouldn't expect someone to have a perfect grasp of areas they don't specialize in?
There is some merit to this, but not easy for many historians/clarchs to swallow when an archaic status quo, one that is destroying classics, rears its ugly head here. I venture to guess that the poster who apparently thinks a major problem with the field is that historians/clarchs don't know their languages well enough is fairly young. No amount of tradition is going to save us once the liberal arts schools start culling classics like the large state schools have been doing for years. We're just waiting for the meteor to hit.
Culling is right. Let's see, the few faculty members who teach hundreds of students per semester and gets the general student body excited about the ancient world, or the multitude who teach 20 students if they're lucky in a semester? Seems like a no brainer to me.
Is the smell of deja vu around here because...a) Classicists like consistency?orb) there has only ever been one schizophrenic poster on this blog?I'm really not sure...
Some days it's A, some days it's B. Rarely, C.
Is the smell of deja vu around here because...I assume it's in part because people like riding their hobby horses, and in part because every year new people come on the market, and they have no idea that this same exact argument has happened every year and gone nowhere and persuaded no one. So they do it all over again, because it is fresh and new and fascinating to them, even though to everyone else it's boring and stupid and pointless.
"while you're grappling with how to get Cicero on your Kindle."I resemble this remark, but I've been through the American School summer program. I happily teach archaeology courses that otherwise would go untaught (short of us hiring an archaeologis, which is not going to happen - my department would never request a clarch line and the dean would surely not know better to suggest it).
Yay! From the whining-about-job-ads meme to the specialization meme to the clarchs-are-picked-on meme, in the space of 36 hours or so.I'm with CLM. Unless you are looking for a job in a highly specialized PhD program, you will be teaching everything. Get used to it. And if there are any young grad students still doing coursework reading this, I'd suggest you take the broadest possible variety of courses/teaching assignments/special exams you can in your department (without, of course, sacrificing quality). You will look much better on the job market.
You will not be teaching "everything" unless it's the narrow definition still held to by classicists stuck in the 19th century. If "everything" truly were taught, there would be 10 clarchs hired for every philologist, instead of the other way around, as almost every historian/clarch I know can teach Greek/Latin but I can't think of one philologist that can teach history/archaeology competently.For you young grad students out there, look at the job descriptions. The vast majority are for strict Hellenists or Latinists. Those asking for generalists are still asking for Hellenists/Latinists, but perhaps with a twist. Don't veer from one, gain competency in the other, and hope that classics is still around when you graduate. No one gets hired to BE everything, even though you might have to teach outside your interests. The former is what will get you your first job. Worry about teaching outside your speciality once you've signed the contract.
I've been through the American School summer program. I happily teach archaeology courses that otherwise would go untaught (short of us hiring an archaeologis, which is not going to happen - my department would never request a clarch line and the dean would surely not know better to suggest it).OK, now, after this comment, what happens is that we see a lot of angry remarks from archaeologists about the commenter, the department, the dean, philologists, classics, old people, and higher education.If you would like a full account of how this is going to go before it has even happened, just go look at the threads from last year. Or the year before that.
If "everything" truly were taught, there would be 10 clarchs hired for every philologist, instead of the other way around, as almost every historian/clarch I know can teach Greek/Latin but I can't think of one philologist that can teach history/archaeology competently.... and here we go.Now quick, somebody else say that archaeologists can't really teach the languages, and that some philologists can teach history/archaeology competently!And then somebody else say that philologists are pointless, because they only teach classes of two people about Pindar, and archaeologists are the only people who teach big lecture classes!Then somebody else disagree with that!C'mon, it'll be awesome!
"I've been through the American School summer program. I happily teach archaeology courses that otherwise would go untaught (short of us hiring an archaeologis, which is not going to happen - my department would never request a clarch line and the dean would surely not know better to suggest it).OK, now, after this comment, what happens is that we see a lot of angry remarks from archaeologists about the commenter, the department, the dean, philologists, classics, old people, and higher education."No angry remarks at anyone, but this person described the very problem - classics driven by people who have very little motivation to foster the long-term welfare of the discipline. Did anyone else wince at the nonchalant statement that the department would never request a clarch line and the dean is basically in the dark?
"If "everything" truly were taught, there would be 10 clarchs hired for every philologist, instead of the other way around, as almost every historian/clarch I know can teach Greek/Latin but I can't think of one philologist that can teach history/archaeology competently."This is why I will never recommend graduates from my department matriculate into a postgraduate program, especially MA programs, where approximately half the classicists aren't historians/archaeologists (preferably in one department). If they make it through and get a job, they will be woefully unprepared to teach the full gamut of courses that is sure to be required of them in the future as the discipline changes. Besides, these balanced departments are invariably healthier than the more traditional ones.
"Don't veer from one, gain competency in the other, and hope that classics is still around when you graduate."No, I think the more responsible and prudent action would be to train our students more holistically, especially if you're not at one of the top 5 programs, and assume that they will be getting jobs in language/lit, history, art history, etc. departments.
"classics driven by people who have very little motivation to foster the long-term welfare of the discipline."I believe most genuinely care about the long-term welfare, but just don't know that they're driving it off a cliff (or are resigned to it).
This is why I will never recommend graduates from my department matriculate into a postgraduate program, especially MA programs, where approximately half the classicists aren't historians/archaeologists (preferably in one department).Are there programs where historians/archaeologists approach half the faculty?
"Are there programs where historians/archaeologists approach half the faculty?"Yes, my number one choice for grad school (where I didn't get in) approximates this ratio. Looking at their website, tenure-line faculty are 7:4 lang/lit to hist/arch, BUT there are three additional faculty members in Art History who work with classical material making it 7:7. You add it adjuncts/post-docs, and it's even in favor of the latter.
I resemble this remark, but I've been through the American School summer program. I happily teach archaeology courses that otherwise would go untaught (short of us hiring an archaeologis, which is not going to happen - my department would never request a clarch line and the dean would surely not know better to suggest it).I wonder, if what the Clarchs/Historians say is true, why a dean wouldn't happily hire a Clarch to teach such classes?Deans are about numbers, after all. By replacing a retiring Hellenist with a fresh-faced Clarchorian (hey, that's a cool word!) who can do it all, they get more numbers per FTE. Why not go that route?Is this where we are heading? If so, then grad programs should responsibly direct their students into more generalist dissertations. But, really, going through the American School Summer Program and therefore teaching archaeology courses is like what Cato said about the Holiday Inn Express. I've done a year-long Goethe-Institut. That doesn't mean I can teach German. Schools should either hire an archaeologist, or not. Going halfway just kills the field. It is too much work for non-MC people, and strips jobs from the *real* MCers out there.Just my $.02
I wonder, if what the Clarchs/Historians say is true, why a dean wouldn't happily hire a Clarch to teach such classes?Yes, the deans are about numbers, but unless s/he is a historian/clarch (and even then), they will not buck the discipline's status quo, which is currently 5 philologists before thinking about a hist/clarch. Yes, there are departments out there with a pretty even ratio, but I don't think it's even close to the norm.
In response to Anon 10/29/09 1:40 PM:"For you young grad students out there, look at the job descriptions. The vast majority are for strict Hellenists or Latinists. Those asking for generalists are still asking for Hellenists/Latinists, but perhaps with a twist. Don't veer from one, gain competency in the other, and hope that classics is still around when you graduate. No one gets hired to BE everything, even though you might have to teach outside your interests. The former is what will get you your first job. Worry about teaching outside your speciality once you've signed the contract."Don't confuse your research profile with your teaching responsibilities. Of course you are going to specialize in your research, that is what the PhD is all about. But when it comes to teaching, flexibilty will stand you in far better stead than being extremely good at one tiny little nook, but not much else. The more flexibility you can show, the better you will look to the vast majority of departments that are doing most of the hiring. That can mean you're a specialist on Homer, but you would feel comfortable teaching an intermediate level Latin course, or a Great Books in translation course, or even a Greek Civilization course. Or you work on Seneca, but you can also teach Greek 101, and a course in translation on Greek drama. Yes, there are a few places, the top-tier PhD programs, where you can just teach your speciality, but do a count. How many jobs are there in those places? And how many candidates who are applying for those jobs?Certainly, you can worry about what you will be teaching outside of your speciality after you've signed the contract, and then you can spend your first year of employment, whether VAP or TT, being tired and miserable because you are spending all of your time prepping courses that you were ill-prepared to teach. Guess how much research you'll be able to get done during that period?Sure, we would all like to teach at some fancy R1 in a top-tier department, but be prepared NOT to be doing that. Because that can happen as well, no matter how good you think you are.
I wonder, if what the Clarchs/Historians say is true, why a dean wouldn't happily hire a Clarch to teach such classes?Deans are about numbers, after all. By replacing a retiring Hellenist with a fresh-faced Clarchorian (hey, that's a cool word!) who can do it all, they get more numbers per FTE. Why not go that route?It's about disciplinary expectations of breadth and depth. Randomly looking at one medium-sized, independent, somewhat traditional classics program at a non-elite flagship state school, these are the specialiies: Greek drama, Roman comedy, classical tradition and mythology, medieval Latin, Greek tragedy, ancient philosophy, Greek papyrology, Roman archaeology/history and Greek epigraphy. I would venture to guess that this department believes itself to be interdisciplinary and holistic, but c'mon. Do you really need three scholars who do Greek drama, Roman comedy, and Greek tragedy? Is it sufficient to have one scholar basically doing all classical archaeology/history? I think the answer would be a resounding yes. For better or worse, this disciplinary makeup is pretty much the norm. Why would a department think to ask for a second historian or clarch? If you don't ask, you don't get, so these lines never make it to the dean's office.
"I assume it's in part because people like riding their hobby horses, and in part because every year new people come on the market, and they have no idea that this same exact argument has happened every year and gone nowhere and persuaded no one. So they do it all over again, because it is fresh and new and fascinating to them, even though to everyone else it's boring and stupid and pointless.""OK, now, after this comment, what happens is that we see a lot of angry remarks from archaeologists about the commenter, the department, the dean, philologists, classics, old people, and higher education.If you would like a full account of how this is going to go before it has even happened, just go look at the threads from last year. Or the year before that.""... and here we go.Now quick, somebody else say that archaeologists can't really teach the languages, and that some philologists can teach history/archaeology competently!And then somebody else say that philologists are pointless, because they only teach classes of two people about Pindar, and archaeologists are the only people who teach big lecture classes!Then somebody else disagree with that!C'mon, it'll be awesome!"So just become an issue has been discussed before and there's no easy solution we should discourage dialogue? I think some people need to get out of their ivory tower once in a while and taste a can of Mandela-MLK whoopass.
So just become an issue has been discussed before and there's no easy solution we should discourage dialogue?No, this is the "kvetching" thread, so I guess I can't fault people for pissing and moaning. But I wouldn't confuse that with dialogue.a can of Mandela-MLK whoopass.You're right, apartheid and Jim Crow are a perfect analogy for the plight of Classics Ph.D.s.Talk about somebody who needs to get out of the ivory tower...
What will actually kill classics is a desire to cater to a consumer mentality. Why not hire ten Roman archaeologists? They can each take a ten-minute segment of the movie Gladiator and offer it each semester. Let's see how long classics lasts then. What should and should not be taught should be determined internally. It's what has made classics the educational pillar that it is and we would diverge from this at our own peril.
If a department doesn't have a Roman Historian or Greek Historian on the books that doesn't mean that somebody else is picking up those courses. The historians might very well be in the History Department.So, for all you Ancient Historians, or Archaeologists out there. Where would you rather teach:History Departments or Classics Departments?Or, Anthropology Departments or Classics Departments?What are the advantages or disadvantages to the various options?
"You're right, apartheid and Jim Crow are a perfect analogy for the plight of Classics Ph.D.s."No, but as a first time poster, I agree that it's an apt qualitative analogy to the plight of historians and archaeologists stuck in an inherently unfair position.
I suggest we move the ever-lasting "Clarchorian" vs. "Philologos" cage match out of the kitchen and into the driveway.I started a thread on message boards devoted to this in particular. I remember the "gossip" thread on FV getting unwieldy. Plus, it'd be interesting to hear from everybody as to their preferences, and why.
"You're right, apartheid and Jim Crow are a perfect analogy for the plight of Classics Ph.D.s."No, but as a first time poster, I agree that it's an apt qualitative analogy to the plight of historians and archaeologists stuck in an inherently unfair position.Just to clarify, you're saying that "the plight of historians and archaeologists" is "qualitatively" similar to racial segregation, firebombing, lynching, political incarceration, and systematic denial of civil rights?
Sounds about right.
Just to clarify, you're saying that "the plight of historians and archaeologists" is "qualitatively" similar to racial segregation, firebombing, lynching, political incarceration, and systematic denial of civil rights?October 29, 2009 7:45 PM I am Boudicca said... Sounds about right.Huh.OK, so, I'm going to go to a different part of the Internet now. You stay here.
Let's see, a history of racial and gender impermeability? Check. A history of unequality when it comes to class ratios and advising duties? Check. A history of lobsidedness when it comes to disciplinary hiring practices? Check.Now why is classics getting downsized left and right? I have no idea.
Let's see, a history of racial and gender impermeability? Check. A history of unequality when it comes to class ratios and advising duties? Check. A history of lobsidedness when it comes to disciplinary hiring practices? Check.Lynching? Check.Jail and torture? Check.Oh. Oh, hang on, wait. I just realized something. It turns out that inequities in white-collar professions don't resemble in any way notorious regimes of racial oppression.Also I realized that, when I suggest that they do, I sound like a fool and people ignore everything else I have to say, because they think I'm a fool.Glad I stopped by here for that little reality check!
I hate to butt in, but I thought you were leaving. You're feeding this person.
So just become an issue has been discussed before and there's no easy solution we should discourage dialogue?When the dialogue is this dull, yeah, pretty much. I can't wait for the hatin' on UT and Princeton portion of the show. I come back every year just for that. Maybe that dude Sisyphus will post some stats. Actually, he's probably got a job and, um, better things to do.
What will actually kill classics is a desire to cater to a consumer mentality. Why not hire ten Roman archaeologists? They can each take a ten-minute segment of the movie Gladiator and offer it each semester. Let's see how long classics lasts then. What should and should not be taught should be determined internally. It's what has made classics the educational pillar that it is and we would diverge from this at our own peril.O.....M.....G. There are people who actually serve this kool aid? We're in bigger trouble than I thought. Now where did I put my Walmart application.
Does anybody who knows anything have any news about the rumor (reported in the Chronicle) that Michigan State is going to disband the Classics major?
"Does anybody who knows anything have any news about the rumor (reported in the Chronicle) that Michigan State is going to disband the Classics major?"Did not even know that they still had a program - probably helps to explain the major's demise.
I came, bought all my books,lived in the dorms, followed directions.I worked, I studied hard,met lots of folks who had connections.I crammed. They gave me grades,and may I say, not in a fair way.But more, much more than this, I did it their way.I learned all sorts of things,although I know I’ll never use them.The courses that I tookwere all required. I didn’t choose them.You’ll find that to survive,it’s best to act the doctrinaire way,And so I buckled down and did it their way.Yes, there were times I wondered whyI had to crawl when I could fly.I had my doubts, but after all,I clipped my wings, and learned to crawl.I learned to bend, and in the end, I did it their way.And so, my fine young friends,now that I am a full professor,Where once I was oppressed,I’ve now become the cruel oppressor.With me, you’ll learn to cope.You’ll learn to climb life’s golden stairway.Like me, you’ll see the light, and do it their way.For what can I do? What can I do?Take out your books. Read Chapter two.And if to you it seems routine,don’t speak to me: Go see the dean.As long as they give me my pay,I’ll do it their way.
I had my doubts, but after all,I clipped my wings, and learned to crawl.I learned to bend, and in the end, I did it their way.Well, sure. Unfortunately, this is what they call "adulthood."It's actually way worse when instead of being an academic you have a real job, with a uniform or a cubicle or a proper boss. That's where you can really learn to bend and do it their way (if you know what I mean).If you want to be absolutely autonomous and never to have to compromise, I recommend being vastly wealthy.
any one know if junior candidates have a real shot at "open rank" positions?
any one know if junior candidates have a real shot at "open rank" positions?Definitely. Sometimes no great senior candidate applies. Often an SC will think a junior person with potential has more "upside" than a middling-to-good senior person. I've seen it happen.
I think an even more important factor today is the economic status and hiring strategy of the university. My university is VERY gunshy about hiring senior people right now. The general policy is that only junior lines will get approved. Where we have been aggressive is in retaining senior people, which brings me to my next point. Other universities apparently have the opposite stance concerning junior vs. senior hires right now. A certain Ivy has been aggressively poaching senior faculy, including two from our ranks. They are apparently making "quality hires" which means foregoing junior searches for what they think is a surer bet. In sum, look at the individual university and try to figure out what their hiring practices have been of late.
"It looks like an up year for philosophy and history, down for literature and archaeology, though perhaps it's an illusion created by the timing of job posts."I'm not sure about history, but philosophy seems to be having a banner year despite the economy.
This year definitely seems to favor the Hellenists all around. Romans are such pragmatists. They don't like crappy economies.
Thanks 9:49 and 10:08. Reassuring to know there's some hope for the little people.
"A certain Ivy has been aggressively poaching senior faculy, including two from our ranks. They are apparently making "quality hires" which means foregoing junior searches for what they think is a surer bet."Is this ivy advertising the positions, or just soliciting its chosen candidates?
Nov. 2 Anon. 2:20 -- An announcement just went out through the WCC about the provost's plans to shut down MSU's Classics major. There's a letter attached explaining why the provost's reasons are misguided and asking for other classicists to write to the admin on their behalf.
MSU as in Michigan State?!That is crazy!
"This year definitely seems to favor the Hellenists all around. Romans are such pragmatists. They don't like crappy economies."On the history/archaeology side, it seems to be favoring the Roman side, FWIW.
MSU as in Michigan State?!That is crazy!Why is it crazy? For whatever reason, the two major stances on here are generally extreme: classics is fish bait or classics is doing well considering the fate of humanities these days. I think reality is somewhere between the nuclear and teflon. Unfortunately, I think these are the two stances are least likely to result in significant change.
The MSU letter states:In a recent e-mail to our current majors, the Dean claims that in the last five years we have had only a total of 11 majors. Our current major did not exist five years ago. It was first offered in January of 2006 and students did not begin enrolling in significant numbers until fall of that year. In fact, we have had an average of 24 majors enrolled each of the past three years, and we have graduated six majors in each of the past two years. These numbers are above average for other programs of comparable size in our College.The Dean has also claimed that our courses are too specialized and that we do not reach a broad student audience. This reflects a profound misunderstanding of the nature of our program and the typical enrollments in our courses. For example, CLA 160, which is offered this semester, has 160 students with 47 different majors represented from across the University. This would seem, by any definition, to be a “broad” audience. We offer three or more civilization courses each semester and enrollments typically range from 30 to 200, with only a small minority in Classical Studies. All of the courses that support our major attract a diverse student audience and have strong enrollments, as shown by the fact that we have an average of 34 students per class (including the upper-level language) in the current academic year.So, do people still think the 90% of the faculty teaching 10% of the students paradigmn if working for classics? This letter is doomed. Beancounters want to hear about projections and plans, not "We're doing well for classics!"
I'm guessing that the grim reality is finally hitting them that hiring the one token Late Antique archaeologist doesn't offset the ludicrous arguments made in the past to the administration such as, "What shall we do without someone who does Greek drama! We surely can't run a classics program without one." Dean then makes a note to self, "Delete Classics asap."
Re: November 10, 2009 4:34 PMI really don't understand this statement and suspect that it should be stricken per FV's guidelines re: names and TMI.
So, do people still think the 90% of the faculty teaching 10% of the students paradigmn if working for classics? This letter is doomed. Beancounters want to hear about projections and plans, not "We're doing well for classics!"I'm not sure how you get from the figures stated in the letter to this. Can you explain further? It seems like the dept. is showing the beancounters that, per FTE, they are doing well. What's the problem, and how does this represent the whole 90/10 divide you come up with?
It seems that at least two likely outcomes of the downturn are 1) fewer grad students (most schools don't have a great placement record and too little funding to go round anyway) and 2) fewer adjuncts (if a dept has to cut FTE they'll preserve tenured, tenure-track, and grad students before adjuncts). 1) may actually be no bad thing - better for smart people to make a successful career for themselves rather than landing in the mire of unemployability. 2) probably just represents the beginning of a slow scaling back of Classics which will inevitably end in unrenewed tenure lines. Opinions?(I'm not worried - my courses on "Sexy actors in sandals" and "Classicists on paedophilia" will keep me on salary. Besides, I never really wanted to be at a prestigious university anyway...)
I don't worry too much about the truly elite programs, whether SLAC BA or research Ph.D. (if you have to think about it, it's not elite). I don't even worry about the MSUs - they were already in a combined language department. Is their demise a shame? Yes, but their story had been written years ago. I'm worried about the not-quite-elite MA/Ph.D. programs that think they are safe. There are a bunch of these and they should be proud for running a program that has remained independent. We need them to do well because I don't think the elite programs will be around, at least not in their present iterations, if they fail.
The elite programs will likely always be around. Classics is a "marquee" subject, even if its value is on the decline. But you are right to worry about the lower tiers. They will have to be able to show a track record of graduate students being placed in positions (not necessarily all TT, but at least out there in full-time jobs, not adjuncting). If they can't do that, then it's quite likely more deans and provosts will decide that there is no need for a separate classics program, if it's still independent, or any need for a program at all, if it's already combined with another subject (modern languages, philosophy, etc.). At that point, they'll just say "We need one person to teach Latin, and one to each ancient Greek, and that's it."Or they may decided that "no one is taking those languages anyway" and cut it altogeter. And the administrators will call it a day and add 30 budget lines to increase the number of associate deans and deputy provosts.
So when they're on the ropes they trot out the civ courses?! What happened to the argument so prevalent on here about classics being a sacred cow. How the nature of the beast requires small numbers taught by the sacred priests, er, I mean philologists. RIP
"The elite programs will likely always be around."I can truly see there being less than ten independent departments in the coming decades. If all the lesser departments disappear, where will the grads from even these few departments get jobs? If it's just to replace faculty at these elite schools, they would need to produce one graduate every several years combined, seeing that even the tenured people will be holding on to their jobs for dear life. Once a discipline stops producing a steady stream of Ph.D.s, it's lights out.
More fodder for the discussion: the possible demise of the UIC Classics department.http://media.www.chicagoflame.com/media/storage/paper519/news/2009/11/02/News/Will-The.Classics.Department.Survive-3819802.shtml
It seems that at least two likely outcomes of the downturn are 1) fewer grad students (most schools don't have a great placement record and too little funding to go round anyway) Maybe this will happen eventually, but remember that the job market sucks all around--especially if you're just graduating from college. This year we saw twice as many first years in our department than usual, nearly half of whom came without funding. I don't think they thought about placement records--I think they thought "either I go to grad school or I go and live in my parents' basement and maybe get a job at Starbucks."
I don't think they thought about placement records--I think they thought "either I go to grad school or I go and live in my parents' basement and maybe get a job at Starbucks."Dude, take it from me. Seriously. It is soooooo much better to live in your parents' basement and work at Starbucks when you are a fresh-faced 22 than when you are 32 with a fresh-finished dissertation on the manuscript tradition of Statius. Grad school in Classics is no place to ride out a bad job market. It is just delaying your entry into an even worse one.
Seriously, someone needs to make a documentary film called Classics Dreams, tracing the life of a couple fresh faced classics undergrads all the way through the 10 years of training. At the end, the harsh reality will hit that hundreds of other applicants are just as talented and all thought they would be the small percentage that snagged a cush tenure-track job. I say cush because all my friends who landed TT jobs are not very happy to be teaching heavy loads and doing everything from carpooling and tutoring students who are apathetic by and large. Did I also mention they live in bumblefrack USA?Face it, this gig sucks for 90% of us.
You know what, I hope a dozen programs get shut down so the younger fat cats, i.e. senior scholars, get serious about change. The junior scholars have little power and those over 60 are counting down the days to retirement, who cares whether the ship goes down. And maybe if the senior scholars at elite programs realize that there will be no programs to place their graduates into, they will also do more than theorize and write books about what's wrong with classics and the humanities.
So when they're on the ropes they trot out the civ courses?! What happened to the argument so prevalent on here about classics being a sacred cow. How the nature of the beast requires small numbers taught by the sacred priests, er, I mean philologists. RIPI wouldn't generalize from my lack of integrity to the principles of other philologists. Didn't you read the name at the top?
Not to get off topic, but anyone know if Penn State's likely to pull its TT again like they did last fall? Or do they actually have the funding for it this time?
Check on other disciplines at Penn State that have hiring schedules in advance of Classics. If there is evidence of those getting cut, then Classics will likely get the shaft as well. If not, then Classics may not.Bon Voyage!
Oh my, having read this whole thread in one sitting it really has dawned upon me what a world of shit we have entered!!Every year the pie gets smaller, but the consumers keep growing. You know where that leaves us...
Hah! This thread is nothing. Check out all of the threads from the past couple years. Frightening. This is my fourth year on the market. Every year I think it might get better. Every year it gets worse. Much worse.
Maybe that dude Sisyphus will post some stats. Actually, he's probably got a job and, um, better things to do.Nope, no job. I'm still in grad school, thank God.
You know where that leaves us...Yeah, in a world of pain determined by an ultimate game of Russian Roulette. Hail to the Ph.D., or the luck of the draw!
"How the nature of the beast requires small numbers taught by the sacred priests"Well, it appears that neither classics nor its priests are all that sacred to administrators right now. Thank Buddha that I went into museum work.
Stats for 2008-2009 hiring, based on what was actually reported, and broken down into TT and Non-TT (i.e. fellowship, VAP, lecturer) categories. So, reading will go: Total (TT: Non-TT). Too difficult to try and figure out years when people graduated, so take everything with a grain of salt. Also included are number of cancelled positions and number of positions that don't specify whether hire was successful or who was hired. Feel free to change if you have more info.Cancelled/Failed searches: 21Unknown: 46Harvard: 7 (7: 0)Michigan: 7 (3: 4)Yale: 7 (3: 4)Stanford: 6 (5: 1)UNC-CH: 6 (0: 6)Penn: 5 (3: 2)Cincinnati: 5 (2: 3) UT-Austin: 5 (2: 3)Chicago: 4 (2: 2)Columbia: 4 (2: 2)Bryn Mawr: 4 (1: 3)Princeton: 3 (2: 1)Rutgers: 3 (2: 1)Ohio State: 3 (1: 2)UC-Berkeley: 3 (1: 2)Indiana: 3 (0: 3)Penn State: 2 (1: 1)Toronto: 2 (1: 1)UCLA: 2 (1: 1)Basel: 1 (1: 0)British Columbia: 1 (1: 0)Cambridge: 1 (1: 0)Exeter: 1 (1: 0)Heidelberg: 1 (1: 0)Illinois: 1 (1: 0)Missouri: 1 (1: 0)Oxford: 1 (1: 0)SUNY-Buffalo: 1 (1: 0)BU: 1 (0: 1)Brown: 1 (0: 1)Florida: 1 (0: 1)Newcastle: 1 (0: 1)Open University: 1 (0:1)Paris: 1 (0: 1)UCSB: 1 (0: 1)USC: 1 (0: 1)U. Washington: 1 (0: 1)Wisconsin: 1 (0: 1)
Does that mean there were 153 applicants total last year (officially registered, that is)? That seems like a very low number, if the average applications per job is typically 100 or so.
That's a tally of last year's recorded hires, not applicants.
So where did you get the data for all of these numbers?Harvard and Stanford appear to have been drinking the Princeton and Berkeley milkshakes last year!
So where did you get the data for all of these numbers?Uh... on the wiki?
oh, here's an edit: Wisconsin hired 2 VAPs for this year...
oh, here's an edit: Wisconsin hired 2 VAPs for this year......and your point is?
Man. I really want a cookie.
I would like some rum cookies, but hold the cookie.
Man. I really want a cookie.I'd like to express my pleasure that we're finally getting some comments from Muppets. I hope to see that trend continue.
Harvard: 7 (7: 0)How does a dept that doesn't obviously have the best faculty in the business, in fact probably doesn't have the fifth best faculty in the business, do so well on the market? I guess the combination of absurd stipends and brand prestige (even if not in Classics) is more than sufficient to attract some of the best prospects. I'm left to conclude that faculty don't really matter very much at all.
Um, much as I'd like to commiserate, I think Nagy, Coleman, Henrichs, Thomas, and Tarrant are beyond "the fifth best faculty in the business." Are we in the same business?
You shouldn't read too much into those stats. If I'm reading the wiki right, only one Harvard grad went straight into a job in 2008-09; the others were already employed somewhere, some of them for a while. Without knowing how many Harvard grads were on the market last year, it's hard to say something else than "oh look, lots of people employed last year got a Harvard PhD at some point".
Are we in the same business?If I worked on Greek lit./hist. or Roman lit./hist. and I had my choice of schools I'd go somewhere other than Harvard. I'm not an archaeologist but I suspect that'd be true for archaeology too. Harvard have a great roster overall - but if you're not the premier choice for any of the major fields (exc. the subfield of Homer) I reckon money and brand must go a long way to attract the best students. And congratulations to those students - from the table it looks like they've done very well. Maybe the program is well designed too? I mention this only because quality of grad programs has been a point of discussion on this forum before.
Old World archaeology is pretty much non-existent at this point.I agree, based on its brand name, Harvard is overrated along with Yale.
Does anyone actually know what stipends are at the various schools? I'm guessing around 25k at the richer places but have no specific info. And how much variation is there within depts ("sweeteners" etc.)?
Yale according to the blog last year: underrated.Yale according to the blog this year: overrated.If it's on the internet, it must be true!
I guess some people can only processw data in broad strokes. Does context mean antyhing to you, or are you just bleeding Crimson and/or Blue? Out of the last several posts, you actually had the least to really say.
Somebody has posted to the wiki claiming to have 3, count 'em, 3 interviews already. No offense, but is this even possible at this point? Dear Ms./Mr. Trifecta -- Do you really have three interviews, or are people confused about how to use the counter system on the wiki?Cheers!
>>Somebody has posted to the wiki claiming to have 3, count 'em, 3 interviews already. If you look at the wiki, what it actually indicates is that _3_ people have each had _1_ interview. I would guess, though I don't know, that since Brooklyn College has done phone interviews (and is now onto finalists), 3 of the people who had those interviews added themselves to the counter.
Aha. I see now. I just didn't understand how the counter thingy worked. Thanks for clearing that up!
Please consider signing the "Save Classics at MSU Petition":http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Save-Classical-Studies-at-MSU
Are those of us who weren't contacted for writing materials from Brown out of the running?
Are those of us who weren't contacted for writing materials from Brown out of the running?Yes.I'm neither a Brown faculty member, nor an applicant, so take my guess for what it is. More materials requests are usually signals that the SC is moving to a shortish list, and if you don't get the request, you aren't on that list.Sorry.
I agree with the above. In my experience top-tier schools, which you would expect to ask for a writing sample straight off, don't - they weed apps via recs and cv and THEN ask for writing samples. It saves some time and effort, and they then have the luxury of judging serious candidates' work against one another without distraction.
I would normally agree with what's been said about Brown, but I just know that even though they didn't ask me for a writing sample, they are going to interview me at the APA. They can, after all, just go to the library and check out my work.I'm sure that's what they're doing. They didn't want to bother me by asking.
Does anyone have any idea how many people Brown would have asked for writing samples?
Depends. The search is open rank. Presumably they didn't ask senior scholars, like Anon. 9:59 pm above, for writing samples.
Does anyone have any idea how many people Brown would have asked for writing samples?Probably between 25 and 30. This assuming that they are aiming to interview around 12 at the APA.
Any word from South Carolina? I figured they'd have asked for writing samples by now.
So how bad are we doing compared to similar disciplines? I know we're all suffering, but philosophy, history, and art history (to name a few) don't seem to be suffering nearly as much as we are.
So how bad are we doing compared to similar disciplines? I know we're all suffering, but philosophy, history, and art history (to name a few) don't seem to be suffering nearly as much as we are.I don't know that I agree or disagree with this, but I am curious how you go about measuring "suffering" as far as the job market goes. The numbers of jobs advertised so far this year seems about the same as last year, no?
Nope, it's around half. I'm not sure if the other disciplines are suffering less, but there are a healthy number of philosophy and history positions. One clarch friend told me that she's applying to around ten art/archaeology positions, which has apparently been a steady number the past several years. I'm not sure how many of these are in art history though.
Nope, it's around half.I'm curious how you got these statistics. (No, really!)
I'm not the OP, but I'm assuming s/he gets the statistics...here. It's not all that difficult, really. I know the GREs were a very long time ago, but all one has to do is count. Whether you count only TT positions or not, the numbers are significantly less this year.
Not Anon 9:37, but about half is right in my personal experience. The past two years, I've sent out about 45 apps (Latin, Roman history, and generalist) for pre-Dec. 15-listed jobs (both TT and VAP). This year, I'm sending out not quite 25... and that's including a few for which I'm a stretch.On the other hand, my impression is that it's a relatively good year for Hellenists, which still isn't saying much when you look back at the last two years.
Nope, it's around half.But it's important to keep in mind that we have the data for the full 12-month period designated 2008-09, whereas we only have this fall for this year. This is my first year on the market, so I don't know how such things work, but I was expecting (as someone suggested above) that there would be some leave replacements, VAPs that don't need as much advance warning, etc., advertised in the spring. We're not comparing apples to apples here.As far as I can tell, there is no way to tell from the data in the wiki at what point in the year a given job was posted, so we have no way of actually knowing where we stand in relation to *this point* last year. Short of the recollections of people who've done this before, that is.FWIW, last year there were about half as many jobs posted in total as the year before.
Yes, there is a way to tell both ways. For TT jobs, you just need to refer to the wiki. If you want to include all jobs before Dec. 15, one can check the APA placement service archives for non-TT jobs that were advertised before that point. Any way you slice it, it's approximately half as many jobs this year. Last year, it was down from 2007-2008, but I don't think it was more than 10-20% (off the top of my head).FWIW, my friends in other disciplines are saying their jobs are down 10-20% max. Yes, it's anecdotal, but I have a feeling that administrations are using this down economy as an excuse to favorably support certain programs above others. Take it with a grain of salt, but the humanities are screwed and we're leading the pack.
Maybe more humanities PhDs should become university administrators? Depressing thought, but perhaps it's the only way to redress the balance...
As far as I can tell, there is no way to tell from the data in the wiki at what point in the year a given job was posted, so we have no way of actually knowing where we stand in relation to *this point* last year.Ahem. Actually, that's not true. The wiki allows you to get a snapshot of the state of things, at any given moment, ever since it first began. It would be best to compare exact dates, but since the wiki-world is created on December 11, 2007, I can’t do that. I doubt if there is much difference between jobs advertised on November 23rd and December 11th, so I split the difference with the 2008 crops and picked December 1st as the test-date. Here are the numbers: as of Dec. 11, 2007TT = 98VAP = 40Senior/Open = 22 as of Dec. 1, 2008TT = 59VAP = 29Senior/Open = 14 as of Nov. 22, 2009TT = 68VAP = 42Senior = 7So, it looks like last year was actually worse than this year. This may be a matter of the wiki not being updated, though that seems unlikely. But, if anybody has saved all of the APA Placement emails going back the past three years or more, that would be a better source of info, and one that would allow us to see patterns over seasons.
I stand corrected! But we should still be sure we're comparing apples to apples and using good data, so thanks to Sisyphus for breaking it down for us.-Anon 5:02
Yes, it's anecdotal, but I have a feeling that administrations are using this down economy as an excuse to favorably support certain programs above others. Take it with a grain of salt, but the humanities are screwed and we're leading the pack.Yes. Unfortunately higher-ed muckety-mucks are all too familiar with the old saw:"Never let a crisis go to waste."The events at Michigan State and U. Illinois Chicago are the tip of the coming iceberg, my friends.
Are there any classicists in top decanal positions? Our two top people are political science and a hard science. I was pissed a couple weeks ago to hear from a poli sci colleague that they got a TT search without asking for one when we were denied once again.
Richard Saller is Dean of Humanities at Stanford.
S. Georgia Nugent is pres. of Kenyon.Helena Dettmer is assoc. dean of humanities at U. of Iowa.
I really, really hate to admit it, but I am coming around to the "butts in seats" folks: the obnoxious archaeologists and such. Saller, Nugent et al. can't make our case for us. If we don't show that we are filling our classes, then asking for another FTE is doomed to fail.Here's the problem. The languages really *are* the foundation for the discipline. Sine qua non. But the marketization of Higher Ed. means we Classicists are especially hard pressed. We have to teach the languages in the way they need to be taught while also offering the sorts of classes that make provosts sleep at night. How can we really do this? Constantly talking about how important and fundamental we are isn't an argument, it's proof by vigorous assertion.Somehow, someway we have to perform multiple tricks at once. How we are going to do this without killing ourselves and each other I have no idea.
No one is more obnoxious than people like the prig who made the last post. If you are the current state - or worse - the future of Classics, then just sign the death warrant now and get on with it. Back to your ivory tower with your OCTs - please close the door behind you.
Well, I for one think we've let the sillyologists steer this ship for far too long. I'm applying for three times as many positions in history departments this year. I'm not sure if it's by chance, but history departments seem to be demanding ancient historians more than ever, economy and all. My significant other, who is an archaeologist, but not obnoxious, is doing the same thing with art departments. And, yes, for the record, we would both prefer to be in a classics department, but it's becoming more evident that the current paradigm of marginalizing historians/archaeologists is not working and has come to bite classics in the ass. Good luck in your foreign language departments, boys and girls.
What happened to UIC Classics?
Re: 12:43 AM, actually, more obnoxious than "prigs" are posters who insult without explaining their rationale... because it doesn't offer any insightful guidance as to why the insulted is wrong, thereby potentially moving the discussion along in a helpful and productive direction.
No one is more obnoxious than people like the prig who made the last post. If you are the current state - or worse - the future of Classics, then just sign the death warrant now and get on with it. Back to your ivory tower with your OCTs - please close the door behind you.Hey, I resemble that remark!I am certainly obnoxious, and I'll cop to being a prig - I went to grad school in Classics, after all. But I just don't see how the rest of your little rant matches up with what I said. As much as it pains me to admit it, our future is me NOT going into the ivory tower with my Teubner - OCTs are sooooo grammar-school, btw. Instead, it is me figuring out ways to reach a wider audience with my teaching. There, put that in your corn cob and smoke it! I do apologize if I was misunderstood. Oftentimes my RP diction flies right on over certain heads.
"Here's the problem. The languages really *are* the foundation for the discipline."This is why we will be shunted off to language departments. Why should classics be given special treatment in the 21st century? Because we're the first "truly interdisciplinary" program that includes art, history, economics, science, political science, etc? NO, this is bullshit. We're about languages or we're about nothing. You can't have it both ways by posting bullshit on the departments webpage about being interdisciplinary when it's only lip service. Deans aren't that dumb.
Dear Anon 11:24,So do you actually prefer to be "shunted off to language departments" simply because "we're about languages or we're about nothing?"What about those who say that Classics is growing to be less and less about languages and more and more about "art, history, economics, science, political science" (i.e. "Bullshit")?I know this is an old topic, but I really can't figure out how someone who uses the word "shunted" in reference to language departments would really want to insist that Classics is only about ........ languages.
I think s/he was taking exception to Varro's statement that classics is really only about the languages.
This is why classics will not work. We're sitting in 14th century Constantinople asking the patriarchate to reconcile with Rome. Yes, the languages have to remain, but it can't be the secret handshake anymore by which we dictate terms of interdisciplinarity. The obnoxious archaeologists and even historians get this. They happily work with people in anthropology, English, political science, etc. without a language expectation of their collaborators. This ship has sailed; we're not living in 6th century Constantinople as much as some would want to believe. Lost in the MSU and UIC uproar has been the fact that one of the strongest classics departments in the Southwest is no more. For the longest time, they appeared to get it right with an equal balance between the factions. Finally, when the traditionalists held fast to their ridiculous paradigm of power mongering, they did what many here do. They asked the archaeologists, "So what are you going to do about it? Go to anthropology?" And guess what, they did. No, they didn't want to go, but can you blame them? Now they are a part of one of the top anthro programs in the country and can take Ph.D. students. The rest of the department is in a....yes, language department. Who has more to lose?As someone said, MSU and UIC are only the tip of the iceberg.
"I think s/he was taking exception to Varro's statement that classics is really only about the languages."Oh. I thought was responding also to this: "We're about languages or we're about nothing." To me that doesn't sound like someone who would take exception to Classics being only about the languages.No big deal. I'm sure if we were talking to each other at the bar in Anaheim all would be much clearer.
Lost in the MSU and UIC uproar has been the fact that one of the strongest classics departments in the Southwest is no more.Huh?I presume this is U. of Arizona. When did this happen?
I see on the classics wiki that Miami held phone interviews in late October/early November. Should those of us who have not been interviewed by phone assume we're out of the running already?
No.Miami always seems to upend the usual ways that the hiring process is done.Not saying if that is bad or good, just is.Until you get the PFO, assume you are in the race.
For those historians/clarchs who have been fortunate enough to field more than one offer, did the dynamics of the departments play a significant role in your final choice? In what way?
Word is, Miami is trying to make a pre-APA offer and get an acceptance pre-APA. Heard this from two separate sources now.
Conjectures about Arizona? Just got this:-------- Original Message --------Subject: M.A. In Classics at the University of ArizonaDate: Tue, 24 Nov 2009 10:52:37 -0700From: xxx xxxx at emailarizonaeduTo: R&R 2007 xxxx at emailarizonaeduDear Colleague,The Department of Classics at the University of Arizona has an establishedand thriving M.A. program in Classics, with emphases in ancient history,classical archaeology, classical philology, and Latin pedagogy. Please relaythese links to more information about our graduate program to any interestedstudents:((website urls))Best wishes,xxxxAssociate Professor of ClassicsThe University of Arizona
Well, if you go here, one can plainly see that all the Arizona clarchs are now in Anthropology.Regardless, this is all speculation since we do not even know whether this is the program in question.
The UA program *is* in major transition and the archaeologists *have* moved to anthropology. An inside UA source paints a picture of drastic change there.
It's not very difficult to see what's below the tip of the iceberg. There's been talk of relegating entire UC campuses into teaching universities. I'm not sure if this means putting them under the Cal State umbrella, but I can imagine that any classics program at the lower tier UC schools are in trouble. Besdies, MI and CA, NY state is in big trouble. I imagine any SUNY program not in Binghampton, Stonybrook, and Buffalo are in trouble. I would also worry about any state-funded classics program in FL not in Gainsville and Tallahasee. These are only the big states. Who knows what's happening in places like Iowa and West Virginia.
I can't say for obvious reasons, but I'm at a flagship in a mid-size state and the archaeologists are about to jump ship. Our historians were never in classics.
This blog is just getting more and more depressing.
archaeologists about to jump ship...? Where are they going?
Does anyone when flybacks typically take place? January or February?
Usually February, though I had one last year in late January. My guess is that with the conference being a little later this year, most fly-outs will fall in February/early March. Not sure what others' experiences have been, though.
Be prepared to be asked to visit as early as the end of January. And have a good excuse as to why that's not a good time. Most visits in February though, as noted earlier.
It's clearly overconfident on my part to even ask this, but what's the protocol if you've already agreed to a campus interview and another university wants you to visit them on the same dates? Do you just come out and tell them you've another interview scheduled?
I wouldn't dodge it nor would I go into too many details. Just give the basics and focus on the school at hand.
What's the best strategy for job talks? Do you stick to your dissertation, even though the committee is likely to have read everything you've written, or is it better to branch out? It's hard to find the time to work on a new project, but I expect it would be bad form to rehash old material. Any thoughts?
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