Naming and Shaming: UC-Riverside English Gives Candidates 5 Days’ Notice

by Rebecca Schuman

Hat-tip to the reader who forwarded me THIS gem:

Thank you for your interest in our position in American Literature before 1900. I wanted to let you know that we will be contacting applicants for MLA interviews on Friday January 3rd.

Best,

Katherine Kinney
Search Committee Chair
Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities
University of California, Riverside

***

I have been kind enough to redact Dr. Kinney’s email address from this letter–though honestly, I shouldn’t have (and, also, you can look it up). If you are feeling trolly, or bold, or aren’t in English, or have nothing to lose, please feel free to contact Dr. Kinney and tell her how you feel about her committee being unable to read through their applications and decide on their semi-finalists more than THREE FIVE FUCKING DAYS in advance of a conference, to which people will be spending upwards of $1000 to travel having bought tickets in advance.

The way I see it, Dr. Katherine Kinney and the Overlords of the UC-Riverside English department have decided that anyone they deem worthy will, of course, already be attending MLA, either to give several important papers, or to be interviewed by several other institutions who have the common fucking human decency to notify their candidates more than three days in advance. This is a move that is both elitist and out of touch. Because of the hyper-competitive market and huge glut of applicants for every job, nowadays many, many PhDs and ABDs now attend MLA to go on a single, solitary, pathetic interview–because, they’re told, “all it takes is one,” after all.

The UC-Riverside English department’s decision to give their candidates five days’ notice is unconscionable. I have never felt the need to name a search committee chair in public before, but this one deserves it. Dr. Katherine Kinney, you and your committee should be ashamed of yourselves.