An Interactive Website Devoted to the Classics & Archaeology Job Market.
"Because there is no "hire" in "Higher Education"
I've heard about three TT jobs that have not been announced, for lang/lit/culture types, one approved at a state school that you'd have thought was short on money, another close to approval at a state school, another I think approved at a small private U.
So, can I just kick this year off by reminding everybody that Archaeologists are the maltreated underclass and that Philologists are spoiled children who unfairly get the good jobs? Awesome, now let's get this party started!p.s. - dibs on the UWO job
Well, if archaeologists could teach languages then maybe they could get jobs in departments that get half their revenues from language teaching. After all, when you can hire one person who can teach most of the courses your department offers or another who could teach in his own field and nothing else, isn't the decision obvious?Oh, wait, that's oversimplified? But come on, if we didn't go in for oversimplifications, would we even be having this conversation?
I was hoping this year we could have a dedicated archaeologists/philologists trolling thread, to keep all that crap in one spot.
Does it matter? 95% of us aren't getting tenure track jobs. Let's get that out of the way. Oh, and there's the little matter of the ever shrinking pie that will never grow again.
Hooray for optimism!
If there are 500+ applicants and 35-40 tenure track jobs (at least ten failing), I think the previous poster is a realist more than anything.
I wish I could find the actual statistics from the APA for the last couple years, but they do not seem to have been released (and maybe that's no accident). But in 2003-4, there were 362 candidates registered with the placement service; I find hard to believe there will be more for the 2011-12 job cycle. Surely the past few years of brutal job prospects has thinned the herd, so to speak, as the wiser among us pursue other careers. Assuming 40 tenure track openings for 350 candidates, that's an 11% success rate, although you'd also have to take into account those who are merely dabbling in the job market, those bastards who already have tenure-track positions and would be replaced, etc. Not to mention that some non-tenure track jobs out there are quite attractive (renewable for 2-3 years, a tenure-track position opening up down the road, etc).
I think going into the market expecting a tenure track job is setting yourself up for a disappointment, yes. But if you'd be happy with a VAP to keep you in Wonderbread for another year, your chances of getting what you want are considerably better.
Seriously, it's bad enough having less than fifty TT positions in a given year. You throw in the senior, failed, and sniped-by-TT-holder positions and it gets really grim for us newly minted classicists.
those bastards who already have tenure-track positionsWhy can't we just all agree that everybody gets one (1) and only one (1) tenure-track job in their career and that when another one comes up it's somebody else's turn? The fact of the matter is, if you didn't truly want that first job you should have turned it down and waited for one that you did want. Maybe the APA could make a policy about that.
The above is hilarious. Of course other people should act in your interest rather than their own; if they won't see the light, the APA should use its magical powers to make them.
I'm guessing the above is satirical, and I used the word "bastards" only in the spirit of fellow feeling with other temporary people out there. My point is not that those in tenure-track positions should be indentured to them for their professional life--far from it! I meant only that if they leave their position, it will be filled by some other candidate (theoretically); they are "job-neutral", to paraphrase a common political expression. Say there are 50 such candidates out of 350 for the same 40 new T-T positions; now the odds of landing a T-T or filling a line that was T-T (perhaps not a trivial distinction, admittedly) is 13%. Perhaps by whittling away the objectively unqualified candidates who register anyways (I'm sure there are some) and adding in the best of VAP position, you might arrive at something like a 250/80 ratio (32%), which doesn't look as apocalyptic.
This chick is hilarious. Too bad she shuffled off the classics coil!http://worstprofessorever.com/blog/
I believe there were some 450 people on the market last year according to the placement service gossip at the APA, so the numbers have gone up not down.
It's going to get even uglier than the housing market. I know a number of friends who could have graduated in the last couple years and held off for a better market. Then you throw in newer programs that have no business handing out PhDs and we have classicapocalypse. 600 applicants for less than 50 jobs.
I think 600 is hugely pessimistic, but let's leave that alone. The idea that a 2-3 year VAP at a good school does not rise to the level of a "job" is ludicrous. I'm baffled at those on this board who turn their noses up at such positions in this market. Is it really true, o tirones, that you will simply die of shame if you don't get that T-T job at Michigan straight out of grad school? In my view the number of good positions out there even in year like this has to be above 50 -- maybe 70-80?
According to the wiki there are 25 jobs for only 7 candidates, so things are looking up!
What 1:18 said.
Have you seen the VAPs lately? Yes, it's ridiculous if you think you'll land a TT job at a flagship state or elite SLAC right out of college. Still, anyone who says with a straight face that there's any decent sort of career path in classics is delusional. I don't think any significant number of us recent grads would turn down a solid VAP. What we have now are part-time and even semester gigs in far flung places with little pay and no help with moving expenses. You realistically think that it's a half-decent option to hop around in these gigs getting paid less than grad students at top schools (where we all basically came from)? It gets old after the second or third time. Then you have the "full-time" gigs that pay something like $24,000 but requires you to teach 4+ classes a term (most nowhere near your interests) and do all the services activities (classics club anyone?) that senior scholars are above doing. Try sending out apps and preparing for interviews on this schedule. Please, stop defending the system if you got a job more than five years ago.
It is true that many VAP jobs have what I would consider exploitative teaching loads and low pay, but it is still surprising to me how few applicants there seem to be for VAP jobs. If there really were 450 serious job seekers on last year's terrible market, I would have expected many applicants for the two late Spring searches I know about. Instead, both searches (for decent jobs, paying high 30s to low 40s) got about 10-12 applicants. This suggests to me that most of the job seekers are seeking a limited range of jobs.
Yeah, if one is single and a trust fund kid, sure, hope around making less than you did in grad school. For most of us, the days of fitting all our possessions into our car are long gone. Yeah, shame on us for being entitled spoiled brats who dared to get married.
No, you're not a spoiled brat if you decided to get married. But you most certainly do qualify as a spoiled brat if you can't handle the possibility of teaching either language at any level at the undergraduate level, basic classics courses in translation, and, yes, being expected to show up and actually maybe enjoy spending time with some eager students at classics club.
On wedlock: it's not as though it has all of a sudden become the case that most people could expect to have a couple of temporary jobs in different places before finding a tenure track job. That's been normal for a long time. So when you do things that decrease your mobility, like getting married or buying a house, you're consciously making a choice that is going to impair your employment prospects in return for the awesomeness of being married or a homeowner or whatever. And that's a totally legitimate choice to make! But I do think that it then means that we don't have to be too broken up when you complain about how so many of the jobs are incompatible with your life, because you're the one who chose to have this (potentially, at least) really awesome thing that you knew would be incompatible with a lot of the jobs. So, when a person in this position effectively complains that they haven't got the best of both worlds, that they're entitled to have their cake and eat it too, I'm not sure "spoiled brat" would necessarily be the first expression I'd resort to to describe them, but it definitely wouldn't be the last.
Ok, I went back through last year's job listing on the Placement Service page and counted the number of positions in different categories. Correct me if my arithmetic is wrong; I'm a classicist, after all.Tenure-track or indefinitely renewable: 61 ads2-3 year VAPS: 13 ads1 year VAPs or fellowships that are honorary, at highly ranked schools, in well-respected departments, with reasonable loads, or with the possibility of renewal (i.e. jobs that I would definitely take; this is my interpretation admittedly): 40 ads1 year VAPs/Lectureships I am leery of or this board has complained about: 16 adsPart-time or one semester jobs: 5 adsConclusion: there were at least 74 jobs advertised (not counting non-specific humanities post-docs and a few others) of longer duration than one year; if you add in some of the better one-year positions, that number might be as high as 114. Conversely, only 21 or so jobs seemed to me undesirable in terms of course load, compensation, etc.
I have noticed that a job has been advertised that involves teaching one thing I do well, and one thing I cannot do. This is outrageous! Departments should be required to find out which things candidates would like to do, and then advertise for that. It's only fair!
Guys, I have a great idea! Let's be overtly ironic, for it makes us seem ever so clever.
Guys, I have a great idea! Let's be overtly ironic, for it makes us seem ever so clever.I disagree. I don't think that's a great idea at all, and to be quite frank I don't think it makes a person seem particularly clever. If you want to do this kind of thing you should go to some kind of irony blog or someplace like that. This is not an irony blog. You can tell because, if it were, they would have put it in the title, where you couldn't miss it: "Famae Volent: An Irony Blog" or "Famae Volent: A Blog for Irony" or something like that.
This place reminds me of real estate boards five years ago when there were still some people who said real estate only goes up. Keep it up, homers. Keep thinking that classics' best days are ahead. Keep churning out them PhDs.
This place reminds me of real estate boards five years ago when there were still some people who said real estate only goes up. Keep it up, homers. Keep thinking that classics' best days are ahead. Keep churning out them PhDs.You do know that when you're answering the voices in your own head you don't need to post it on the Internet for them to hear you, right? You can just think your answers and they'll hear you loud and clear, I promise.
No one is saying anything close to "Classics' best days are ahead." But some of us are saying that there's no call for everyone to commit seppuku just yet.
Anon 2:57 "But I do think that it then means that we don't have to be too broken up when you complain about how so many of the jobs are incompatible with your life, because you're the one who chose to have this (potentially, at least) really awesome thing that you knew would be incompatible with a lot of the jobs."I hear where you're coming from, and I certainly don't think it's a cause for whining (as you said, it's never been a secret that this field involves moving around for a few years). But on the other hand, "you're the one that chose to be partnered" seems like an unfair angle to take. Being in a permanent relationship isn't really analogous to buying a house. You can put off the house. But you wouldn't realize that you were becoming too committed to the person you loved and break it off because it would complicate your classics career. (I never cared about being in a permanent relationship until I was already in one...should I have quit grad school then? Actually, probably yes! But I was 5 years in and love my topic. It's not everybody else's problem, but I still think it's constitutes a legitimate frustration.)
Maybe a better way to put this is that having a spouse is like having a pet that you really adore but that smells terrible. Sure, you wish he didn't smell so bad, and some of your friends won't come over anymore, but you're not going to get rid of him just because some of your friends can't take a little bit of dog stench! You're not a monster, after all. So go give that reeking, slobbering hound a great big hug and take him out for a walk and a dump, because he's the best dog in the world.
maybe the best way to put it is that no one cares if your partnered status has reduced your mobility. ok, fine, it kind of sucks.but, think about this: maybe it sucks more to have no constraints on one's job search. maybe, just maybe, there are people out there who were actually dumb (and honest) enough to sacrifice personal relationships for this so-called life of the mind. maybe they knew that they in fact would move anywhere to get a job in this field, and maybe they actually had the decency to tell their potential partners this, thereby killing off numerous chances at happiness. maybe these people are bitter enough with their own choices, and really aren't all that interested in your complaints.
Amen. There *are* people who responded to the lousy classics job market by sacrificing personal lives and preferences. They traveled far, they made classics their life. And maybe some of them today make miserable, bitter colleagues. But don't be surprised they aren't the least bit sympathetic to the whining of the people who want everything.
Alternatively, and to borrow an analogy from natural science, these colleagues are selected for not because they choose to sacrifice family and relationships but because they are misfits to begin with, incapable of complex emotional attachments and desperate to fill that void by constructing a privileged relationship with the goddess Classics.
Alternatively, and to borrow an analogy from natural science, these colleagues are selected for not because they choose to sacrifice family and relationships but because they are misfits to begin with, incapable of complex emotional attachments and desperate to fill that void by constructing a privileged relationship with the goddess Classics.Hey hey hey! Wait just a minute. Let's be fair. Some of us aren't married because we're as ugly as sin, not because we're dead inside.
first, one never borrows an analogy, he steals it. second, i'm in no mood to tolerate teleologies such as the one you have put on offer. third, the void that classics has been filling lately has been only half as metaphoric as the one of which you wrote, in that it hasn't actually filled the space, but that space does in fact exist, unlike the nebulous "void" to which you refer. (yes, i am in my last point referring to my anus).
you wouldn't realize that you were becoming too committed to the person you loved and break it off because it would complicate your classics career.OK, but all you're saying is that being in that committed relationship is so great that, when you did realize what was up, you wouldn't consider breaking it off for career advantage. Which was my point: you've got the thing that you considered better—incomparably better!—than the other thing. Which is great! The cost of having that super awesome thing is that the range of positions you could accept may be more restricted than is the case for a single person. But that seems like a pretty damned reasonable cost for something that's so great that you wouldn't even entertain the thought of sacrificing it for career advantage! I don't really make a habit of feeling bad for people who have gotten a good deal.
Classics - white people who think way too highly of themselves both intellectually and teleologically. Go dig a ditch and contribute to society. Naw, that's too long. Classics - the other, other, other white meat.
Because aimlessly digging ditches is a real contribution to society. Regardless of the trolling tone of the previous post, there is a serious matter involved: Classics is very white. This is not to say that an influx of minority scholars would suddenly make everything fine. It is not so simple as that. An influx of minority scholars, while it would indeed make hiring committees, deans and administrators happy, as it would help their overall diversity numbers, will not by itself do anything to help the field shake off its elitist, privileged image.
Classics - white people who think way too highly of themselves both intellectually and teleologically. Go dig a ditch and contribute to society. Naw, that's too long. Classics - the other, other, other white meat.This is just how I like my trolls: folksy and drunk.Naw to you, too, my friend. Naw to you. I hope you'll come back some time and favor us with an "I is" or a "y'all" before you pass out on the sofa, or on the floor, or wherever it is that you do your drinking and typing.
To drunk trolls everywhere:Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo, μητροκοῖται.
"Because aimlessly digging ditches is a real contribution to society."Depending on where the ditches are dug, it could certainly be a real contribution to society, unlike the pontificating on here by folks about to break their arms from patting themselves on the back too hard.
μητροκοῖται, I like that. I wonder where it's attested.
"I wonder where that's attested."Damn! If only there were some way of looking up what words mean and who has used them. Till then, I guess we're just stuck re-reading all of Greek literature every time we want to know about an individual word.
To figure out what contributes to society, you must first figure out what the goal is. Good luck with that one.
To figure out what contributes to society, you must first figure out what the goal is. Good luck with that one.That way lies smug and useless wankery, my friend. "Gosh, well, I don't know whether eradicating malaria contributes to society because I don't know what the goal is, so instead I'm going to stand here with my thumb up my butt." I mean, I know the troll is just a troll, but responding to a troll with this kind of weak shit doesn't help.
It's not weak shit at all. It's real shit. If your position is that *saving and sustaining lives* is the only thing that contributes to society, then the vast majority of professions do not contribute. And in that case, the troll's specific frustration with Classics makes no sense. A more useful comparandum than combating malaria would be something like lawyer, advertising executive, professional athlete, salesperson, etc. Professions like this are the rule, and fighting disease in the third world is the exception. What exactly would a definition of contribution to society be that would exclude Classics (presumably Humanities education in general?) but include these others?
If your position is that *saving and sustaining lives* is the only thing that contributes to societyNot sure where you got that; it doesn't follow from anything I wrote.Look, your position was that it's not possible to know what "the goal is" ("good luck with that") and that therefore it's impossible to determine what constitutes a "contribution to society." You drafted this objection to dismiss the notion that we could say that certain kinds of manual labor contribute to society, but it works equally well with every kind of endeavor. For example,"You say that digging ditches contributes to society. But to figure out what contributes to society, you must first figure out what the goal is. Good luck with that one.""You say that practicing the law contributes to society. But to figure out what contributes to society, you must first figure out what the goal is. Good luck with that one.""You say that eradicating malaria contributes to society. But to figure out what contributes to society, you must first figure out what the goal is. Good luck with that one."That's the weak shit that I'm talking about.
My point is that while certain aspects of the goal (e.g. saving lives) may be relatively uncontroversial, there are many, many jobs for which their usefulness or "contribution to society" is very much debatable.I never said it was not possible to know what the goal is. I said that one has to determine the goal for any of this debate about contribution to mean anything, and by writing "good luck with that" I implied that producing a fully workable notion of this goal--one that doesn't simply apply to extreme and obvious examples like professions that save lives--is difficult.That some other person *might* use the same words in a different context to make a ridiculous argument I never intended doesn't seem relevant.
so, is the stanford archaeology job about replacing or adding? also, when exactly in the process does one forfeit his soul: upon application? upon interview? upon job offer? a related question: do you have to arrive there intellectually bankrupt, or is that handled during some sort of orientation?
The Stanford archaeology job is one that has taken years to get approval. There are some very good people at Stanford, and it has a wonderful intellectual climate, not just within Classics, but in interdisciplinary interaction across the campus. I hope you are joking 100% rather than promoting some negative stereotype of Stanford. Maybe you've met one or two Stanford grads or faculty you don't like, but I can assure you that most of the community is very nice and engaging. If you are an archaeologist, I encourage you to apply if you are interested in giving them a chance. I can pretty much guarantee that they will give all applications a fair read and thereby give you a chance. That goes for everyone in general.
Here's some grist for the mill (or red meat for the trolls?) from the Chronicle, a publication not known for its optimism:"Experts say that soon there will be a shift in the academic job market that should make faculty positions more plentiful, including for those on the hunt for a new academic workplace. Within the next five to 10 years, jobs should start opening up, says Robert Hendrickson, a professor of higher education at Pennsylvania State University. As the graying of the faculty continues, those retirements that have been delayed for economic or other reasons are expected to take place. And, Mr. Hendrickson says, institutions will be forced to realize that they can no longer serve growing numbers of students with a minimal number of professors—although future hires at many institutions are likely to include an increasing number of contingent faculty.In some fields, there have already been signs of improvement. The American Sociological Association last month said the number of assistant-professor and open-rank faculty positions advertised in its job bank rose by 32 percent in 2010. And in the 2010-11 academic year, the American Political Science Association reported that 1,212 jobs, up from 1,081 the previous year, were advertised in the discipline, spanning the range of professorial ranks as well as temporary and nonacademic positions."Colleges are looking very carefully at all their programs," says Mr. Finkelstein, of Seton Hall, "and they're redistributing their resources so they'll be hiring where they know they're going to grow.""
"and they're redistributing their resources so they'll be hiring where they know they're going to grow."Gee whiz, you sure made the case for classics. Now we just need to convince deans that hordes of students that are increasingly non-white will be interested in studying a discipline that has historically been of interest primarily to white folks. Good luck.
Yep, we're fighting just to KEEP lines and we're not succeeding. You combine this with the greybeards in our discipline clinging on until someone finds them face down at their desk and us young 'uns are up shite creek.
Now we just need to convince deans that hordes of students that are increasingly non-white will be interested in studying a discipline that has historically been of interest primarily to white folks. Good luck.I'm not sure where you've been, or what rock I may have just crawled from under, but every place I've ever been, in either a teaching or a studying capacity, the classics courses are a pretty solid cross-section of the student body. Historically, higher education has been accessible primarily to white folks, at least in the U.S., but times and demographics have changed considerably. The idea that interest in classics can be predicted based on relative melanin quantities strikes me as a bit old fashioned.
9.43pm:That matches my experience precisely; well put. What do people think about the attractiveness of studying Latin in a country where Spanish is ever more widely spoken?
Addendum to 11.14pm. Perhaps I should be more explicit - Spanish is even more rooted in Latin than English.
I teach in a political studies dept. at a fairly respectable non-western non-European non-North American university where I was hired because the Dean and Vice-Dean (neither of European descent but Phds from Oxford and Michigan)wanted students to have some familiarity with Greco-Roman antiquity (philosophy, literature, history). My experience has been overwhelmingly positive, though I am somewhat limited to playing the greatest hits. Frankly, if you don't care enough to find ways of relating classics to your students whatever their background might be (or you just can't), you probably shouldn't be teaching in the first place. Just my two sesterces.
" The idea that interest in classics can be predicted based on relative melanin quantities strikes me as a bit old fashioned."If you think that being non-white is just about skin color, you *have* crawled out from under a rock. Yeah, we have a fighting chance at remaining attractive to a changing university demographic by offering universally popular classes on warfare or sex, but are we truly going to allow this to be the foundation of a classics curriculum? I'm not advocating for more historians/archaeologists and other things we fight about on here (I'm a Latinist, FWIW). I'm just wondering if you truly believe that the teaching of Latin and Greek can hold up in an increasingly pre-professional student body that did not grow up on Clash of the Titans but George Lopez? Yeah, classics can be an excellent pre-law or pre-med major, but statistics show that very few choose this route.
The ship has sailed, people. Presidents and trustees make twenty and fifty year plans. Do you think classics has any major role in these plans? From what I've seen, the plan is to reallocate as many resources from classics to "more vital" departments ASAP without pissing off people. Even when classicists obtain administrative posts of power, I've never seen one successfully advocate for anything more than the status quo.
Am I developing some sort of reading disability, or did someone just say that being "non-white" is a matter of having crude, unintellectual interests in warfare, sex, and lowbrow comedy, thus suggesting that being "white" involves refined intellectual tastes? If, as the same anonymous claims, being "non-white" isn't really a matter of skin color, then why continue to use terms for skin color to talk about what has little directly to do with skin color? Perhaps you should take your racism somewhere else?
Noticing how often people in this thread keep insisting that it's impossible to get a T-T job straight out, I can't help but wonder why so many people do. Then again, if the people who keep saying this are so out of touch with the field that they actually don't know anybody who has gone straight into a T-T position in the last few years, then perhaps they have good reasons to expect failure in their own cases.It isn't going to happen for most of us, and it isn't a sign of terrible failure if it doesn't. But to pretend that it's impossible flies in the face of reality.
Am I developing some sort of reading disability, or did someone just say that being "non-white" is a matter of having crude, unintellectual interests in warfare, sex, and lowbrow comedy, thus suggesting that being "white" involves refined intellectual tastes?To be fair, I think the commenter was saying that all of his students have always been drooling morons, and that while these morons all used to be white morons who would watch dumb things that had mechanical owls in them now they are increasingly brown morons who watch dumb things that have George Lopez in them. It sounds to me like the real solution here would be to use George Lopez to entice them into a class on shitty comedy from Greco-Roman antiquity, like Terence and Menander.
Did I just stumble into a Tea Party brandy hour? The last two posts aren't helping our cause and I think the troll(s) on here are repugnant.
My conversations with decanal types are usually encouraging and full of platitudes about the importance of our field. It's only when I read this blog that I despair for the future of the discipline. If we can't drive out of the field those who can't or won't make the case that there is something inherently interesting or useful in studying Latin or Greek, then, yes, we are dead.
Did I just stumble into a Tea Party brandy hour?So it's Tea Party rhetoric to say that another commenter clearly thinks his students of every ethnicity are and always have been dumb and interested only in dumb things? I guess it's because I'm racist against people who think their students are dumb. Wait, what?
I didn't get that from any poster unless you interpret a student's choice not to take Greek and Latin as stupidity. FWIW, I know plenty of smart people who don't know Latin or Greek and have no desire to learn.
That's what my reading disability does (my myopia and smugness don't help either).
"My conversations with decanal types are usually encouraging and full of platitudes about the importance of our field. It's only when I read this blog that I despair for the future of the discipline."Usually encouraging. This is the best post ever. It's a dean's job to blow sunshine up your ass 24/7, unless you're actually of some consequence. Since you're obviously not, *usually* is not a good thing. If this is the only place that sobers you about the future of classics, you don't get out much, but that sounds about right. P.S. Do you need a bridge? I have one for sale in Brooklyn.
This is BETTER than a Tea Party debate. Pass the peanuts and let them eat cake!
Can't we all get along? How about we pick on our dirt-faced archys instead? We don't need to get along with them anyway since they're pseudo-classicists at best. Let them join history, anthropology, or whatever home they erroneously think will accept them!
I wish a shark would eat Famae.
Only a self-loathing shark would eat such a self-loathing bunch.
RE: P.T. Barnum (love it!)You're definitely right about one thing; I am utterly insignificant and no one knows that better than the deans I've met over the years. But I didn't mean that sometimes deans are sunny and optimistic, and other times dour and threatening (like you). I just meant sometimes they speak sunnily about the importance of classics, other times we (god forbid!) talk about something else entirely. But you make my point amply. It seems to be the job of deans everywhere to praise the classical education while slashing budgets and positions; conversely, it's your chosen occupation to suspect darkly relevance of classics to modern life while begging for your job. If we are the darkness and the dean is the light, we're done for. Simple as that.On an unrelated note, I would like to buy that bridge ...
I didn't get that from any poster unless you interpret a student's choice not to take Greek and Latin as stupidity. FWIW, I know plenty of smart people who don't know Latin or Greek and have no desire to learn.Jesus, this isn't hard. The commenter's point was that his students used to take Greek and Latin because "Clash of the Titans" sparked their interest in it, but that because today's less pale student body supposedly has George Lopez not CotT they're not coming to Greek and Latin because George Lopez doesn't have anything to do with Classics. And I hope I'm not going to shatter anybody's world when I say that Clash of the Titans was terrible and dumb and that George Lopez sucks and has never been funny. So what do you think the commenter thinks about the intellectual caliber of a student population that has at different times liked the one or the other? What do you think the commenter wants you to think about their intellectual caliber? It's that his students used to be idiots who liked a dumb thing that led them to Classics but now they're idiots who like a dumb thing that doesn't lead them to Classics.Now, are his students really idiots? Have any of them ever really liked CotT or George Lopez? I have no idea. But the commenter is saying that they are and they have.
Can we buy a shark instead of a bridge?
Boo hoo hoo. I studied "archaeology" and "classics" only to realize that I'm neither an archaeologist nor a classicist. Now I want a shark to eat FV and myself.
Now we're praying to Jeebus. This place has really jumped the shark.
I'll jump your shark.
I had hoped that the APA would figure out this year how to send jobs listings on the fifteenth of each month.How dies hard.
Through soft dies hard!
I'll jump your sharkshake. I'll jump it up.
I think you gave my shark crabs.
That's what your mom said, last night.
So as I wait for the job list several days after it was supposedly due, I'm wondering where this magic new electronic system is that we were promised that would bring us into the 1990s? I realize that there probably are not any jobs, but I'd love to hear that directly.
seriously, the placement service is just a joke. given how poorly it is--and surely will be--run, we'd be better of without it entirely. we all know how to find h-net and the chronicle; search committees should be able, i imagine, to schedule interviews on their own. so, really: what's the point?
agreed. the placement service stinks worse than the Jersey shore at low tide. the APA officers will never correct its shortcomings. ever.
What's the problem here? Announcements are posted on the tubes, *and* we get them in our AOL inboxes (this is amazing!!). What do you want, an APA tweeter thingy?
AOL?! Are we all still partying like it's 1999? Tweeter is not necessary, but a Facebook page would actually be quite useful since it's not quite so static as the APA's homepage. Folks from the APA office could actually communicate less formally with its constituency and rid the air of much angst. We're not asking for cutting edge innovations and jumping on the latest fad. We're just asking that the APA tries to keep its outdated workings to within a decade.
aol sarcasm aside, the placement service is pathetic. the idea of monthly updates with "early editions" is absurd. freaking microsoft word can write your html code for you if you are that inept. jobs listings should be updated *daily*, and this should be *easier* to manage (for r.p.) than the current system. end of story. it's not at all difficult to cut and paste information from an email onto a webpage. really, it just isn't.
And another thing!WTF about this Michigan job where the material is due in 11 days? The ad has the gall to claim it was posted in May. What about those of us who were not looking for Fall 2011 jobs in May?
I don't see anything wrong with the Michigan ad. It's been up as part of jobs for this academic year for ages.
I don't see anything wrong with the Michigan ad. It's been up as part of jobs for this academic year for ages.Yes, but they advertised it too early. That's as bad as advertising it too late! Jobs should be advertised at exactly the time I start paying attention, and their deadlines should be on a date that I can make without feeling rushed, no matter how long I spend farting around. Why is this so difficult for everyone to understand?!?
you know...you can call people out on whining without the use of sarcasm. just waned t to make everyone was aware of the option, since some of the more recent attempts have missed so badly.for example, to the person complaining about the early/late advertisement of the michigan job: (amongst people looking for a TT greek lit job) only an idiot would not have known about this job before yesterday's plonski update. yes, an idiot. you are an idiot. stop applying for jobs now, because you will never get one. if somehow you do, it will be a tragedy for the rest of us, and a general affront to the idea of justice. these jobs are always posted in 3-5 different places. if you are serious about getting a job in this field, get your shit together and do the research like the rest of us. and, never, ever, come whining here again about something so utterly avoidable and inane.
Well, excuse me, I though I was "at the thread where everyone comes to bitch, moan, and let off some steam."
now, now. there's no need to awkwardly quote the description of this thread at me. of course this is a place for bitching and moaning...which is exactly why it is so ill-advised to come around whining about stuff that is entirely your fault. nothing satisfies us bitter souls better than sharply pointing out the mistakes of others. in the world of soon-to-be-failed academics, it takes very little to shift from the subject to the object of complaint. take it as a lesson and apply it to the more important parts of your life, which i imagine to include some combination of the following: watching madmen, creating pneumonic devices for the memorization of latin paradigms, going to brunch on weekdays, complaining about the poor quality of your students, obsessively checking the number of followers of your twitter feed (only 49?!? c'mon!), complaining about people who smoke in public places, editing your rss feeds, ordering books online, and making lame pedantic remarks to people on the internet who have been mean to you.
A "pneumonic device" isn't a memorization tool! No, not by a lung shot. It's an inhaler!
nothing satisfies us bitter souls better than sharply pointing out the mistakes of othersthere's no need to awkwardly quoteHey, you're right! I feel super satisfied now!
Hey, you're right! I feel super satisfied now!I don't know which is more depressing, that somebody thinks pointing out a grammatical error is a great response or that there are still people out there who think a split infinitive is a grammatical error.
Definitely the split infinitive. Pointing out grammatical errors is fun! (And I suspect pneumonic was planted to steer the comments in this direction.)
"Not by a lung shot."I will have your babies now, please.
half the time it's always alright to split the infinitive. actually, it's always always alright, but sometimes you shouldn't do it b/c you are being watched by the under/over-informed.also, some of you are *too* clever...not, of course, those doing the punning (-1) or the o.w. (of course, of course!)...but still, better than i'd have guessed...i'll certainly go to sleep feeling less smug tonight!!!
anyone know where the brown job is posted? I could only find the ad for 2009.
Please, please, tell me you're joking.
RE the Brown job: I've been unable to find the posting as well, however a friend stumbled upon it and sent it to me. No idea where he found it. Here you go:The Department of Classics at Brown University has been authorized to announce a search for a specialist in ancient Greek literature at the rank of Assistant Professor (tenure-track) or tenured AssociateProfessor. The successful candidate will teach primarily Greek language and literature, as well as courses in translation.Prerequisites for consideration include distinction in scholarship and teaching in any aspect of ancient Greek language and literature.Candidates should submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, abrief writing sample (no more than thirty pages), and, if applying fora position at the rank of Assistant Professor, three letters of recommendation; Ph.D. by the time of employment is required.Applicants for a tenured Associate Professor position should send thenames of five referees, who will be contacted directly by the SearchCommittee.Applications should be sent to: Chair of the Greek Search Committee, Department of Classics, Box 1856, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA. Review of applications will begin on November 1 and will continue until the position is filled. The department intends to conduct interviews of short-list candidates at the annual meetings of the American Philological Association in Philadelphia in January 2012.Inquiries may be directed to the Search Committee Chair, StratisPapaioannou (email@example.com). Brown University is an EEO/AA employer.Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.
our efforts are looking futile ... discuss ...http://apaclassics.org/index.php/apa_blog/apa_blog_entry/2692/
The chart in the Daily Texan article is interesting. So a renowned department at the largest university in the country produced 0 Greek Majors in the last 5 years. I guess even I would cut such a major if it were my call, although I can't imagine much money would be saved.
If a Department had majors in Singing, Singing and Dancing, and Dancing, and no one majored in Dancing but plenty of people were majoring in Singing and Dancing, and you had to keep offering Dancing as part of the Singing and Dancing major, why would a dean bother to make you eliminate the Dancing major? There can't be any savings. Isn't it good that people study both Singing and Dancing? Is it just a ploy to allow him eliminate the Ukelele Dept?
"If a Department had majors in Singing, Singing and Dancing, and Dancing, and no one majored in Dancing...why would a dean bother to make you eliminate the Dancing major?"Um, why would the Department bother to offer a Dancing major if no one majored in it? That is the real question. Dancing is still offered as part of the Singing and Dancing major, after all.I don't get the hand-wringing. Also, http://apaclassics.org/index.php/apa_blog/apa_blog_entry/2694/
The UTA situation is clear sign of changing times and trends, even in Classics. To preserve the core of the Classics for the future, fundamental changes and adaptations need to be made to ensure the health and continuity of 'ancient studies', broadly construed. The real question is whether classicists can a) recognize this and b) act accordingly to help to guarantee themselves and their discipline some longevity. Or will they pretend that all is fine and that things will readjust themselves to be just like the good ole days?
UTA is UT Arlington. UT Austin is just UT.
"Greek" and "Latin" majors aren't popular anywhere I know of. Most majors are "Greco-Roman civ" (or whatever the major that requires little or no language is called), and then there are some "Classics" majors who do both Greek and Latin. Virtually no one does just one of the languages for a major. This makes sense. Either you want a major that's like History or English or Psych but with more about Greeks and Romans and maybe a year of Latin, or you get really into it and end up taking a bunch of language classes and maybe think about going to grad school.Overall, yeah, Classics positions are going to shrink as humanities positions shrink, because of rising costs, declining government support, a related increasingly vocational/credentialing orientation, and 'productivity' gains enabled by technology (no reason somebody lecturing to 500 shouldn't lecture to 5 million, right?). See manufacturing, print media, booksellers, etc. But the loss of the Greek major anywhere signals nothing apart from the desire of an administrator to be "doing something" without actually doing anything—which is a good instinct! Better that than gutting distribution requirements that support Classics courses in translation. Which will of course happen too, but this isn't an instance of it.
'"Greek" and "Latin" majors aren't popular anywhere I know of.'The SLC from which I graduated recently created separate Greek and Latin majors, because they got tired of signing forms for the registrar to explain why students were taking too many classes in their major (Classical Studies). Now the students who would have been overloading in Classical Studies major in either Greek or Latin and minor in the other language.I want to emphasize this: It is possible for Classics to be popular on campus in 2011 and beyond. But not if we (a) ignore the very real changes in modern academia or (b) pretend that no one likes us and every dean is itching to ax the Classics Department.
ok, i'll bite: what are the "very really changes in modern academia," and what ought we be doing to not "ignore" them? i'm not asking b/c i necessarily disagree with what you are saying...i would really just like to have a better idea of what your statement is.
I left those statements vague, because there are so many different ways to construe the two phenomena.First, (b), there is a widespread assumption among posters on this blog (an assumption with which I share some sympathy) that too many classicists have buried their heads in the sand and falsely believe that if no one notices what they're doing then the dean won't take away their department's funding. This is a caricature that does not do justice to the majority of those working in our fine profession. But there are unfortunately some people who fit this category.Under (a), I had in mind the combination of changes that have led to some Classics departments becoming marginalized, whether that's a new emphasis on World literature, a move away from the Canon, a focus on technological majors, departmental evaluations based upon measurable criteria, or just a lack of funding for programs that have not, in recent years, brought in much cash, or any other set of developments that has weakened the standing of Classics departments.
This shit is NOT weak:http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/a-little-calcitrance/I wish I had written it! I wish I had read it BEFORE failing on the job market a couple of times!!
I wish I had written it! I wish I had read it BEFORE failing on the job market a couple of times!!What your friend seems to have discovered is that when labor markets get tight it is stressful for people seeking work and causes them to behave in ways they otherwise wouldn't in order to appeal to employers, and that that sucks. Also, looking for a job takes a lot of time and is super tiring and takes up all of your attention and energy! Fortunately, academics are the only people who have to deal with this cruel scenario.
I don't know, I think that we academics are entitled to feel more screwed than other unemployed. More education has prepared us for less mobility. Our skills aren't readily transferable, unlike say an office worker or a mechanic. And they are even less transferable to another academic discipline. Insofar as it's harder to retool it's suckier to be an unemployed academic.
Also, academics who get nothing in the first year after their PhD are ineligible for unemployment benefits.
http://www.playspent.org/living on $9/hr jobs ...
well, that is kind of to be expected, seeing as unemployment isn't so much a generic benefit as a user-funded (in theory) insurance scheme...
How do you feel, O famosi, about teaching high school Latin? I actually do have a view on this, but I want to give the trolls the first shot.
I've decided to apply for high-school Latin jobs as well as go on the "regular" market. I'm a bit conflicted about this. I think giving up on getting a professorship sucks, as it means I basically failed in my goals/dreams. But, I also think teaching HS could be quite rewarding, and ultimately less stressful. I'm sick of the instability, and the crapiness of our general situation, so landing a secure HS job would be a definite improvement in my (and my family's) quality of life. I sent stuff to Carney Sandoe for private school gigs, since I have no certification. If you are thinking of this option, I strongly suggest you contact them as well. It's pretty straightforward, and there will be job fairs, etc. in the spring.I worry, though, that private schools will see that I have a PhD and figure I'm not really interested, just temporarily desperate. Not sure how I can signal my true interest properly. Anybody tackle this problem?Sorry, I'm not a troll (I don't think), so I guess I jumped the queue here.
There are plenty of HS jobs that prefer/require their teachers to have an MA/PhD so I don't think you will look uninterested. Just be prepared to discuss it in an interview.I would not consider HS to be less stressful, though - just a different sort of stress with different responsibilities.
Is the difference that in high school teaching your stress comes from wayward youth and recalcitrant parents rather than from the self-imposed pressure of producing, ex nihilo, world-class scholarship?
I'd hardly call the pressure to produce world-class scholarship self-imposed. It's publish or perish out there.
Yah, if I could get away with publishing a tenth of what is expected of me I'd happily do so. And I bet what I did publish then would be ten times better than the crap I'm forced to shovel out now. Bring on the tweens!
What are the publication requirements at most places these days? I mean leaving aside the Ivies. A couple of articles a year? A book every four or five years? I realise this depends on whether a place is a SLAC/R1, etc, but in general, I'd be curious to find out what people are *actually* expected to do in a T-T
As far as I know, there is no standard, and requirements vary *wildly* depending on which other hats your institution requires you to wear. At my place, technically you need nothing at all in the way of publication, but you'd better have jolly stellar student evals and a good service record. At other places a book is *minimum* before tenure, and you really ought to be showing your face at conferences and all that jazz, too. Frankly, it really does depend on the flavor of the institutional kool-aid (and sometimes the relative rabidity of your chair/department/dean/president/state governor).
What are the publication requirements at most places these days? I mean leaving aside the Ivies. A couple of articles a year? A book every four or five years? I realise this depends on whether a place is a SLAC/R1, etc, but in general, I'd be curious to find out what people are *actually* expected to do in a T-TA book plus some articles is pretty common for tenure. After that, there's not such a thing as a "publication requirement," since you now have tenure. Another good book and some kind of reputation are common minimums for promotion from associate to full professor, though. There are however real variations in expectations, and in transparency and fairness of the tenure review process, from institution to institution.
Here's another question for y'all: what do you think of job-seekers who have websites? Good thing/bad thing? Sign of too much time on their hands, or excessive self-promotion? Thoughts? I'm not talking of academia.edu profiles here - actual homepages, that are strictly professional and have no pictures of people's cats.
I'm much more likely to hire you if I see pictures of your cats. So long as they are *cute* cats. Dogs? Not so much.
I was on a SC last year and always visited the websites that people listed in their cover letters. Often the extra passion about teaching that I saw on there meant that I gave more weight to the candidate, especially if their recommendation letters did not say much about teaching because the recommenders were so focused on research. I'm not sure if that would be different for a research SC. For us it was great.
*I did not mean that it made "with website candidate" stronger than "without website candidate." I meant that if we were on the fence about pursing "with website candidate" the extra information was often really useful.
Re tenure requirements -- I'm tenured at a good (in USNews's top 50) SLAC. You don't absolutely have to have a book for tenure here, but if you don't have a book under contract with a good academic publisher by tenure time, then you MUST have at least five or six articles either out or definitely forthcoming in top, peer-reviewed journals. Other details -- 3/2 teaching load though with uncompensated independent studies for upper-level languages it's really more like 4/3; lots of face-time with students outside of class absolutely expected; LOTS of service requirements--many, many committees and every tenured or t-t professor is on several of them. Getting tenure here is certainly doable, but you have to be really focused, expect 60 hour work-weeks as the norm during the semester, and then use your summers for intense research and writing.As for expectations after tenure, back in the pre-crash days when we got raises the amount of our raises depended mostly on the amount we'd published. Now that we haven't had raises since 2008, I guess the institutional pressure could be said to have decreased a bit for post-tenure publication, since there's no penalty for not being productive and no reward for it . . .
One good place I know wants you to be "excellent" in one of the three categories teaching, research, and service, and at least "very good" in the other two, and either teaching or research has to "excellent." To get tenure without a book you have to be at a place that says you can get tenure without a book, or write enough substantial articles that really knock people's socks off. I know a person of the generation about to retire who got tenure without a book because the 50pp articles invented a subfield. But that's a very risky choice these days unless your chair tells you that's OK, preferably in writing, or in a meeting that you follow up with an email summarizing the meeting. Writing a book that's too simple or insubstantial is also a risk. And of course archaeologists often have c.v.'s that look more like those of scientists, with lots of articles and reports, which a chair needs to be able to explain to deans.
Quick addendum to my previous comment (2:06 a.m.) about tenure requirements at my SLAC -- we do weed people out pretty aggressively at the 3rd-year, pre-tenure contract renewal stage. At that point, you have to demonstrate a serious and ongoing research program. It's not enough just to have big ideas and plans; you need to have at least a couple of articles submitted to major journals, forthcoming is much better, and a close-to-finished book proposal with clear plans for where you'll submit it is also a good idea. We have denied contract renewal to several people here recently (across the school, I mean, not just in classics!!) who couldn't demonstrate in the 3rd year that they'd have enough done by tenure time in the 6th year.
I'm curious, how many hours a week do those in TT jobs estimate that they work? Is 60+ hrs/wk typical even at less prestigious schools?
47 T-T or equivalent jobs listed thus far, according to the wiki vs. 61 all of last year. Despite Comrade Obama's recession, I think we may be looking at a slightly better job market, although the listings of the next two months will be crucial.
"Is 60+ hrs/wk typical even at less prestigious schools?"I'm not on the TT, but 60 hrs/wk seems light even for the grad school years. It's only a little more than 8 hrs a day (including weekends).
"I'm not on the TT, but 60 hrs/wk seems light even for the grad school years. It's only a little more than 8 hrs a day (including weekends)."Or put another way, only a little less then 9hrs a day, 7 days a week. Pshaw! So light! I work 3,672 hours a week.
"Is 60+ hrs/wk typical even at less prestigious schools?"Not on the TT either, but I've been a VAP at the same place for two years. 60 hours does seem light to me as well. Between a 3-3-2 load, student meetings, being on the market, and working on my own research, I'm usually working more than 70 hours/week at least.
"Or put another way, only a little less then 9hrs a day, 7 days a week. Pshaw! So light! I work 3,672 hours a week."Clearly you think 60hrs/wk is not light (relatively speaking). Care to clarify what experience leads you to this conclusion?
"Clearly you think 60hrs/wk is not light (relatively speaking). Care to clarify what experience leads you to this conclusion"I wasn't speaking relatively--I have no doubt it's common to work 70 or more. I think it's not light absolutely speaking.
I'm the person who put the 60-hours per week figure out there. I was trying to guess at an average over the academic year. Certainly there are weeks when I work much, much longer hours than that -- in my office by 8:00 a.m. and still there after 9:00, bringing lunch and an evening snack with me and eating at my desk, and doing the same on Saturday and Sunday as well. There are clusters of those weeks at certain times every semester. But there are also weeks when I don't happen to have papers to grade from any of my classes or publication deadlines, and in those weeks I often go home at 6:00 and put in no more than 4 or 5 hours on Saturday and Sunday. And once in a VERY great while I've even been known to take an entire Saturday off and do no work at all (gasp!). So my 60-hours/week estimate probably was on the light side, but I was intentionally trying not to take the worst weeks as the norm for every week. Still, 65 or even 70 hours as the norm during the term might have been more accurate.
If there's anyone out there with a family who adheres to such a schedule, I would like to hear about it. I certainly can't. I get to my office around 8:30 and leave around 5 weekdays and I always take a day off on weekends. But then again, I often have as much as 3 hours of work to do when I get home, which happens between the end of family time and when I pass out. That adds up to 55-60 hours a week, depending on how much work I do on Sundays. This is a VAP at a good school with an average load.
Thank you, sane person-with-a-family, for asking the question that needed to be asked. 13+ hours (and an "evening snack") in the office, seven days a week, for "clusters" of weeks? Count me out, please!
Most recent post said: "Thank you, sane person-with-a-family, for asking the question that needed to be asked. 13+ hours (and an "evening snack") in the office, seven days a week, for "clusters" of weeks? Count me out, please!"Well, my original post with its estimate of 60-hour-weeks average was made in response to the question "what does it take to get tenure at your institution?", as was my later message about the weeks when it's much more than 60 hours. An average of at least 60 working hours per week is in fact necessary to get tenure here, whether you stay in your office until late or go home and then work for 3 or 4 hours after your kids are in bed. The question wasn't "how long *should* our work weeks be?" but rather "What does it take to get tenure," and I was trying to answer honestly. I agree that it's very rough on those with families and (in a different way) rough on those of us who live alone, too, since we have to do all the shopping, housework, laundry, cooking, etc. etc. on our own with no-one else to pitch in when we have particularly difficult weeks. But again, I was trying to answer the question that had been asked.
I think people's criteria for what counts as 'work' differs. Really, how much 'work' gets done in a day at the office? Surfing the web, taking care of day to day non-work related things, etc., there's a lot of dead time in there. I'd say 40 hrs during the week is fair, frankly, esp. after you've been teaching a while. Weekdays: teach 2 hrs a day on average (3 courses), prepare for another 2, write and research another 2, administrative stuff another 2. We can say 4 hrs each Sat and Sun for more research and writing; OK, that's 48 hrs. Of course, this is if you teach some ancient languages, which barely require preparation at all (our dirty little secret). And naturally there are some times when you have to go crazy to grade exams, or finish a conference paper or something. I'm probably in the minority here, but it works for me.
8:03 p.m., you're lucky. This semester I've got 12 classroom-contact hours. Figuring at a minimum two hours grading/prep per hour in the classroom, and that's low (in writing-across-the-curriculum classes the grading never lets up), we're already up to 36 work hours. Plus dept. chair work at a place where we don't get a course release for being chair, plus committee work, plus advising . . . and I haven't even gotten to research/writing yet. Obviously there is absolutely no way I can do all that in 40 hours a week, and how do you manage to reserve weekends for research only???? My weekends are always devoured by class preparation and grading; and no, I'm not a neophyte. I've been at this 20-plus years. Yes, I take the time to read and occasionally post on this blog; but I'll also be up grading and preparing until 11:00 tonight. And I really don't think I'm unusual -- everyone here works about as long hours.
RE: Number of hours worked.Everyone is different; and how many hours you work will depend upon how efficient you are combined with how good you are at individual tasks.RE: the Job at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.Is this going to be an inside hire? I haven't seen (in my limited experience on the job market) such a vague posting for an associate professor position. And the requirements sound odd. Or is it just me?
Regarding mommy's little secret.The difference in preparation time between language classes and non-language classes is HUGE. I generally spend between 10 and 15 hours in preparation **for every hour of new lecture** I have to deliver. For a new class that is 30-45 hours/week just prepping lecture for one fucking class. Getting Keynote slides ready, notes drawn up, figuring out how this lecture fits in with the previous, and with the next. This stuff is enormously time-sucking. Yeah, I could walk in there and ramble, but then I'd be a bozo, and my students wouldn't learn for shit.Prepping for beginning Latin, intermediate Latin, advanced Latin? That shit's a fucking snappity snap. I can walk in to any of those classes and be ready to run with just a few minutes of refresher.Now, after teaching the same course a few times, the prep-time goes down. Dramatically. Prep-time for languages remains about the same (beginning Greek is actually a bit more intense, but everybody knows that).So, all you bright things out there. You want to cut down on prep time and get your writing done? Teach languages. Teach 'em early, and teach 'em often.Not only are there more jobs for philologists, the jobs they do get are a fucking walk on the beach compared to those of us dealing with history and material culture./ranty rant
OK, that's 48 hrs. ... I'm probably in the minority here, but it works for me.No, that sounds like me. I should point out, though, that in the real world a "40 hour work week" doesn't include only actual time spent doing work, but merely the hours from 9-5 M through F, including lunch and however much time you spend dicking around on the Internet and yakking with your coworkers and stealing office supplies, which is a lot of time. So it's not entirely illegitimate for academics to be counting "time spent at the office sleeping under the desk" as well as "hours worked at the office."and how do you manage to reserve weekends for research only????The commenter a). isn't chair, as you apparently are and b). seems to have a less burdensome job than you do otherwise.
So, all you bright things out there. You want to cut down on prep time and get your writing done? Teach languages. Teach 'em early, and teach 'em often.Not only are there more jobs for philologists, the jobs they do get are a fucking walk on the beach compared to those of us dealing with history and material culture.Actually, from what I can tell, teaching languages isn't a snap for everybody, because this place is a perennial bitchfest of archaeologists complaining that they're being asked to teach language courses, one of the appeals of which is supposed to be that they're a goddamned breeze and allow you time to produce the lectures for your other classes, which are, as you say, very time-consuming.
I **am** a fucking Archaeologist, and I'd much rather fucking be teaching Latin all day, every day, and spend my freed up time dealing with the shit I can't write during the summer 'cause I'm sweating in the fucking sun doing actual work!Unfortunately, I was hired to teach a bunch of service courses to dozens of shiny faces eager to meet a real, live archaeologist, and look at naked sculpture and learn about centurions and spartans and shit. So, I can't teach Latin all day. If I could my life would be a fucking breeze. I'd publish like a champ, go to the gym every morning and evening, see my wife and kid more than a few hours each week, and go up for tenure early.I swear to God, the next time I hear some Latinist complain about workload I'm going to pull out my trowel and club them like a baby seal. Fuck. Me.
I'm not an archaeologist, but as a premed dropout I can say teaching Geology 1 ("Rocks for Jocks"), Physics 1 ("Physics for Poets" or maybe "Physics for Philologists" around here) is easy. It doesn't mean I want to do it. Just saying.
I **am** a fucking Archaeologist, and I'd much rather fucking be teaching Latin all day, every day, and spend my freed up time dealing with the shit I can't write during the summer 'cause I'm sweating in the fucking sun doing actual work!That's what I gathered. But that ain't what many of your colleagues have traditionally come here to say. Instead there's pissing and moaning about how they'd become archaeologists so that they could teach archaeology classes, and how they're being oppressed by the expectation that they teach languages. I take that to mean that they do not experience a certain amount of language teaching as the gentle relief that you do, and I infer that that's because they aren't that comfortable in the languages. Hell, I didn't go to grad school to become an expert in having my feet massaged, but if you told me that you'd replace one of my lecture classes with a daily foot massage, I'd damn well go with the foot massage because who the fuck takes prepping a lecture course over getting a foot massage?
Okay, I'm coming to this late, but I think someone said that after 20+ years of this they're averaging 2 hours of prep for every 1 hour in the classroom.Huh?? Huh again??I'm sorry, but that makes no sense.
As a philologist teaching only Latin this term, I have to agree with the angry archeologist. I spend maybe an hour on prepping for each class, because I want to do the best job I can, but in a pinch I could reduce it 15 minutes and the students might not notice. I have walked into a beginning Latin class and started teaching without preparing at all; I'm not proud of it, but it's a skill worth acquiring in case of emergencies. The students do most of the work and they love it! Maybe philology is just superior? (JK)On the other hand, 15 hours preparing for a one hour lecture? Presumably you know something about the topic? I think I could lecture of string theory for hour if you gave me 15 hours to prepare.
Dude. You can go get another job. And I say this as someone who has got about a 75% chance of failing my mid-tenure review, even though I worked my ass off (place wants to rise in research rankings, counting pubs, and demanding we are accessible to students). And I have kids (I'm a woman). And my husband works crazy hours too. And I sacrificed a lot to get a PhD. I'm being proactive and looking for other non-academic jobs while waiting the outcome of my review. I whined for years, but I just don't feel like playing the victim anymore. For the archaeologist who is complaining about not getting to teach language classes - why didn't you become a philologist then? I'm an archaeologist, and if I can't make it all work, then I'll walk away and do something else. People actually are interested in hiring me outside of academia. And I'm no superstar - just somebody who is glad I improved my mind in graduate school but knows I need to pay off student loans and support a family, while retaining sanity. I'm no saint either, so this isn't intended to be preachy. I'm just saying - a couple of years ago, I was at the point of despair at which many of you seem to be, and you know, you just have to decide if it is worth it. Life isn't fair, and either you can accept that and move on or you can play the victim. Best wishes to all - this is meant kindly.
"I whined for years..."...guess some habits die hard
Doesn't sound whiny to me.
Yes, some habits die hard, and only after encouragement, therapy, medication, and perspective. I am tired of the general Classics despair. I like most of you. I wish I could have you as colleagues in the future and talk with you at conferences. But one can only beat one's head against a wall for so long.
Despair, the twinborn of devotion.
Nothing wrong with devotion. But for some people it just isn't worth the sacrifices and stress. For others it is, and others don't even experience or notice the sacrifices and stress. We're all different. I, for one, think it is perfectly refreshing to see a positive attitude about realizing what your limits are in terms of a Classics career. I'm also equally impressed by people who are so devoted they hardly notice the sacrifices or at the very least, find them worth it. Choosing to stick it out or throw in the towel and do something else - this isn't a moral quandary. We'd have better mental health in the field if people didn't treat it as such.
Nothing wrong with devotion.Look, I say if the drunk English guy says despair's the twinborn of devotion, then despair is the goddamned twinborn of devotion.I do like the idea of starting a blog devoted to arguing with famous English poets, though. "'A joy forever'? Seriously, grow up the fuck up, Keats."
In honor of our pissing contest about hours worked, I present to you The Four Yorkshiremen.
I haven't had a literal pissing contest since I was a child. It sounds like fun.
anon 1:30, that made my day
So, the MIT job: do people have thoughts, generally, about working in a "Literature" department where one would be the only classicist? I guess some people who read this are in that position - any advice/input/info about life in such a department?
RE: the Florida State archy job, what's the scoop? do they have an inside candidate or is it a perfectly legit search? thanks for sharing.
RE: the Florida State archy job, what's the scoop? do they have an inside candidate or is it a perfectly legit search? thanks for sharing.the well known roman archaeologist who held that job for years is no longer there, methinks.
I guess some people who read this are in that position - any advice/input/info about life in such a department?Well, if it would bother you to be regarded as irrelevant by all of your colleagues, then it wouldn't be as appealing as a job in a Classics department. If it wouldn't, though, I know MIT pays very well.The person who does take a job like that needs to be highly self-motivating about research, since your colleagues are not going to take a lively interest in what you're doing.
RE: the Florida State archy job, what's the scoop? do they have an inside candidate or is it a perfectly legit search? thanks for sharing.Well, you didn't hear it from me, but ... I have reliable inside information that they're specifically looking for the kind of person who turns to the internet for inside information about particular jobs. Also I hear they're really into people who think getting a job as an "inside" candidate is illegitimate, and people who say "thanks in advance" instead of "please." Is it your lucky year or what?
what's with the asshole?
It is an orifice used for dispensing poop.
MIT pays well but this is negated by the COL in Boston. In addition to what people have already said about the overall environment, one's advancement and tenure will be a crapshoot due to the university basically being a tech school. There is definitely an unspoken hierarchy from the "harder" to "softer" disciplines. So you would basically be the least respected colleague in the least respected department. Finally, MIT has a history of aggressively recruiting women, and basically hanging them out to dry when the rubber meets the road (due to divergent forces at play that recruit vs. review). So basically, there's an undercurrent of elitism that's not based on ethnicity and culture like ours, but empirical and theoretically intellectualism.
Re: FSU JobHeard a heart-wrenching story on NPR about a single mother of two struggling to make ends meet, having worked from paycheck to paycheck for 16 years, commuting by bus two hours each way from her working-class neighborhood to her job as an administrative assistant at UCLA for a measly annual salary of ... $36,000. In other words, 10% more than FSU pays some of its "professors". Pathetic.
Cost of living in LA is about 35% higher than in Tallahassee. But yes, more money for us all would definitely be a good thing.
Someone commented: "Okay, I'm coming to this late, but I think someone said that after 20+ years of this they're averaging 2 hours of prep for every 1 hour in the classroom.Huh?? Huh again??I'm sorry, but that makes no sense."No, I said that after 20+ years in the classroom, I still average 2 hours of prep AND GRADING for every hour in the classroom. If you're at a place that has a "writing across the curriculum" requirement, you spend a LOT of time grading writing assignments in your non-language classes. This semester, for instance, in my classical myth class, each student writes a 250-word (about one page) essay every week. With 30 students, that's a lot of grading. It pays off -- discussions often start from what they wrote in their essays, for instance. But when you add up grading of essays, papers, and essay exams in non-language courses and grading of translation and composition exercises, quizzes, and hour-exams in language classes, I'd say 2 hours out of class for every hour in is an accurate estimate, even for those of us who in fact don't have to spend a great deal of time on prep. When you're teaching a brand new class, of course (which I still do as often as I can make room in the schedule for one), then prep time goes up enormously.
I'm going to go ahead and say that that's a pretty good answer. And honestly, even if you're just teaching a class you've taught before, updating your lectures and re-reading what you've assigned your students to read takes a fair bit of time. It's nice to know in a pinch that you don't absolutely have to re-read that bit of the Iliad because you know it well enough, but it actually does help a lot to read again what they're reading.
I'm the so-called Angry Archaeologist from before.I think the 2 hours prep/1 hour class estimate is very, very low if one factors in grading. I don't consider grading to be "class prep" per se. Prep means constructing lectures, organizing keynote files, creating maps and diagrams, writing notes, re-reading texts, creating quizzes and tests, etc. Grading comes after, and time spent marking only takes away from all of this. If you can do all of this *and* grade your shit in 18 hours/week then you are a fucking goddess. And, to be clear, if you are teaching a non-language class for the first time then your "prep" time is going to be huge. Even prep time for language classes can be somewhat big when you teach a text or author for the first time. But it gets smaller relatively quickly, whereas non-language classes *do not* get easier as the semester passes.On a different note, can somebody explain to me why the APA can't just post the jobs as they come in rather than waiting every two weeks or month.
A good experiment is to postpone preparation as long as possible and thus force yourself to do everything in let's say, an hour, right before class. It's amazing what that adrenalin rush can produce, and it also helps you practice improvisation when you inevitably run out of material. Also I think the students like the occasionally chaotic, relatively unstructured, class. While exhausting, the upside is that it prevents spending too much time preparing, which I've found is a pretty common problem, esp. for grad students and junior profs. Not for everyone, obviously.
You might be able to get away with the last-minute prep at a place that doesn't value teaching, but you'd be slitting your own throat if you tried that method where I teach. The students expect a great deal of us, most other faculty are giving it to them, and if you slack then your end-of-term evaluations will reflect that. Adios to you at mid-tenure review or contract renewal. The problem is that this same place now expects one book out and another in the works, plus a few articles published in top tier journals, for tenure. There are only 36 hours in a day, use them wisely.
I'm curious. Let us say you do not land a job or have a few vaps or even teach secondary school and during that time you publish articles, possibly even get your diss revised and published. Then eventually get a TT --- how much of the work you did before landing that contract will count toward tenure? Does this vary place to place or is there a general rule of thumb?
Also I think the students like the occasionally chaotic, relatively unstructured, class.This might be OK for a class that's small enough to permit a discussion format, if you know the subject well already. In a lecture, though, all of your students will hate chaos and lack of structure, and rightly so.
Just saw that UNC Asheville is doing a search (on the Chronicle website). That's awesome! I love Asheville! But wait:"Applicants should be prepared to teach all undergraduate levels of Latin and Greek and a range of Classical civilization courses, especially history, as well as contribute ancient art and archaeology courses to the Art History department. A sub-specialization in the study of socioeconomics, ethnicity, or marginal groups in the ancient world would be welcomed. Teaching in our Integrative Liberal Studies program- UNC Asheville's interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum required of all undergraduates-is also expected, including introductory (freshmen) colloquia, writing and diversity intensives, Arts and Ideas seminars, and/or our Humanities Program. The position may include other duties as assigned by the Chair of the Department.The teaching load is four courses per semester. "So they're looking for your typically enthusiastic generalist, doctus/a sermones utriusque linguae, willing to teach all sorts of classics courses at a 4-4 load and also do service BUT also someone with competence to teach History, Art History, Archeology, Anthropology AND English classes? Does such a person exist? Should I, a mere classicist, apply anyways, assuming the committee if just f***ing with us by putting such an absurd wish list in their ad?
I'm curious. Let us say you do not land a job or have a few vaps or even teach secondary school and during that time you publish articles, possibly even get your diss revised and published. Then eventually get a TT --- how much of the work you did before landing that contract will count toward tenure? Does this vary place to place or is there a general rule of thumb?Varies from place to place. What does not vary from place to place is the necessity, once one has an offer in hand from the institution in question, of asking the policy (or practice, since it is often a matter of tradition rather than written policy) and of making this part of the negotiations if the practice/policy is not in your favor. It is particularly important to couple this with the discussion of the tenure time clock.I've known--and I mean known, not heard about--people who have gotten temporal cut-offs ("everything going back 3 years from date of hire counts" or, in another case, "everything after you finished the PhD but nothing from when you were in grad school"), numerical cut-offs ("we'll count 2 of your 4 refereed pieces"), cut-offs of other sorts ("only the single-authored refereed pieces will count"). I also know people who got nothing counted. I know of a case from my own institution not too long ago where this was never explicitly put in writing even though an agreement had been made orally between hiring chair and candidate. When it came time to start putting the dossier together (ahead of schedule because of prior publications), the faculty member was told to cool his jets by the dean and wait another year to come up because he had no intention of counting the pre-hire publications. There was nothing in writing or in email about the agreement, since it had been done over the phone, and so the candidate had very little choice in the matter.
"So they're looking for your typically enthusiastic generalist, doctus/a sermones utriusque linguae, willing to teach all sorts of classics courses at a 4-4 load and also do service BUT also someone with competence to teach History, Art History, Archeology, Anthropology AND English classes? Does such a person exist? Should I, a mere classicist, apply anyways, assuming the committee if just f***ing with us by putting such an absurd wish list in their ad?"No, you shouldn't apply, since you don't know Latin.
Fine, if you're going to be a d*** about it, doctum / doctam. Or just doctum. Or are you criticizing Horace? Hard to tell sometimes on this board.
"I have reliable inside information that they're specifically looking for the kind of person who turns to the internet for inside information about particular jobs."Isn't that what Famae is for? The contempt in that comment is puzzling.
"Finally, MIT has a history of aggressively recruiting women, and basically hanging them out to dry when the rubber meets the road (due to divergent forces at play that recruit vs. review)."How do you mean, exactly?
Fine, if you're going to be a d*** about it, doctum / doctam. Or just doctum.No, I think your critic just didn't realize that you were quoting Horatian lyric and was criticizing Horace's accusative sermones as bad prose Latin. So, to review: the person accusing you of not knowing Latin 1). doesn't know what's Latin and what isn't and 2). hasn't read Horace. Which is pretty fucking funny.Be grateful for that "anonymous" button today, champ.
MIT has a history of ... basically hanging them out to dry when the rubber meets the roadThose bastards subject people to more than one metaphor at a time?!?!?
Probably not, but I'd bet they could spot a smug classicist from a parsec away.
"So they're looking for your typically enthusiastic generalist, doctus/a sermones utriusque linguae, willing to teach all sorts of classics courses at a 4-4 load and also do service BUT also someone with competence to teach History, Art History, Archeology, Anthropology AND English classes? Does such a person exist? Should I, a mere classicist, apply anyways, assuming the committee if just f***ing with us by putting such an absurd wish list in their ad?"Yes, they probably ideally want someone who can do all of those things. Yes, people who can teach both ancient languages, AND, history, art history, archaeology and anthropology (though certainly not all aspects of that Frankstein field) courses do in fact exist (I know, as I'm one of them). Yes, you should apply anyway. Since it is a Classics department doing the hiring, they will likely just select whatever Latinist they think they can get past the dean who gave them the list of qualifications / responsibilities in the ad. Just be prepared to lie about your willingness/ability to teach all of those courses, and you'll be a primo candidate. The only downside is that, if you do get the job, you will actually have to teach all of those courses, there's gonna be no getting out of that! And, in that case I strongly advise following the advice of Anon Oct. 13 8:31. If you can't prepare a lecture on any course you have been slated to teach in under 2 hours (including making a new powerpoint from scratch), then this particular 4-4 may not be for you. As for those that say this cannot be done without sacrificing student reviews...I humbly suggest that perhaps your limits are not those of others, and that for many of us, this kind of preparation does not prevent the coming together of an organized, informative, and enjoyable lecture (from the students' perspective). Here's a piece of advice: dance monkey, dance. Oh, and don't forget: jazz hands!
Smug classicist? First we have multiple metaphors and now redundancies. What's our world coming to?
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