Well, Germanists, this week we have four new actual, real tenure-track jobs, bringing the 2013-2014 to a grand running total of…20. Ugh. BUT–the big difference I noticed in this week was that these are by and large normal-ass schools, in perfectly decent locations, with perfectly OK teaching loads and requirements and whatnot. These are the kind of job that your U-Wisconsin Madison and UC-Irvine grads can actually get. If I were on the market this year, my utter, chasmic despair would be turned into regular misery at the sight of these jobs. If I were on the market this year (and hadn’t publicly imploded my academic self, obviously!), these jobs would be the only places I’d get a chance of making the short list (with the exception of the first). These will be the jobs that every Normal on the market this year fights for. So…what are these beacons of hope?
Bowdoin College, 20th and 21st C. Psych, this is a highly-fancy liberal-arts college that will hire a native speaker. But, I have to tell you–Bowdoin RULES. It is the coolest place ever, so much so that I would consider (but not carry out with) the murder of everyone else on the job market so that they’d have no choice but to hire me–also, since I had already committed mass-murder, the fraud of claiming native speakership would be mild (most Germans believe I am a native German until I’ve talked for a good three minutes and made two weird errors and pronounced one word in a way they’ve never heard–and then they just assume I’m Austrian–BURN, GET IT? BECAUSE AUSTRIANS HAVE A FUNNY DIALECT AND DON’T USE GENETIVE! HAHAHA. Anyway). Midway through my freshman year at Vassar, I visited Bowdoin with my then-boyfriend Jay (shout-out to Jay and Phil, my Maine men from college!), who had a buddy there. And I was so entranced I briefly thought of trying to transfer (Bowdoin is a better school than Vassar, so, fat chance, since I had a solid 3.3 GPA at that point, largely because of my B- in History of Western Philosophy I, which ZOMG Anaximander, WHAT A SNOOZER). I spend an evening at a “frat” there, which was co-ed and non-nationally chartered, and actually a giant, half-condemned mansion (for serious, you weren’t allowed to go past the second floor), where every room was covered in murals, and their grand old living room looked like a combination between a Victorian study and a 1970s rec room–they also had an actual rec room they’d converted into a “disco,” complete with ball. It was the most wondrous place I have ever seen, and I still dream of it. Every student at Bowdoin was nice. Every building was beautiful. They have the highest student-of-color population of any SLAC in their class. This job will be incredible, and I am legitimately, wistfully jealous of whatever native German gets it.
Gettysburg College, Assistant Prof. and Visiting Assistant Prof. of German. The preferred specialty in Film in the tenure-track listing should tip you off–check their roster, and indeed you’ll find that they have a current Visiting faculty who is a (very cool-sounding) film guy. They are creating a tenure line for him, and hiring to replace him. They have to do a national search because otherwise the college wouldn’t release the line. So here’s an idea that is sure to be unpopular and ire-stoking–in this blog’s current spirit of anti-capitalism, maybe don’t apply for the TT job. Maybe understand that this guy has put in the time with the students and the department, and they like him enough to make him the clear inside hire, and that anyone who swooped in and survival-of-the-fittest’d him would actually be ruining a life. So maybe, out of solidarity or just kindness, you know, opt out of applying and save him and everyone else the trouble of going through what should be a sham search.
SUNY-Binghamton, open specialization. A very solid job, at the very best of the SUNYs. Be prepared to battle it out against established tenure-track academics for this one, because even though Binghamton, located in beautiful upstate New York, is a good 180 miles to New York City, it still “counts” as Northeast, which the Academiverse snootily and incomprehensibly believes to be superior to all other regions in terms of higher learning (this is especially funny, since besides Rutgers most of the flagships are poorly-ranked, and it’s just the hoity-toity private schools that give the area its elitist caché–look, I’m railing AGAINST geographical elitism! What are you motherfuckers who think I’m an elitist coastal bigot going to complain about now?). When this job goes to someone who is up for tenure somewhere “worse” (i.e. a better flagship in the Midwest or South) you can cackle at the thought of his or her spouse spending eight hours in the car every day. “YOU SAID THIS COMMUTE WAS DOABLE!” It’s not.
U of Cincinnati, Media, Visual, and/or Performance Studies. [This listing has been edited on 21. October, after input from the search committee chair. DOES THIS MEAN I AM FAMOUS?] This is the second UC search in the past four years, which means either that their faculty is growing like crazy, or their turnover is high (which would be a warning sign that they denied someone tenure). A check of the website (and input from the SC chair!) reveals that it’s the former, so that means they do tenure people on the reg, which is good. My friend Zan insists that Cincinnati is the greatest city in the Union, and her house is made entirely of glass and sits on a ravine and is cool (although also cold), so that bodes well; also Cincinnati has an IKEA, which is where I got all my furniture when I lived in Columbus. BUT, also, “Cincinnati Chili.” Gross. SO gross. Therefore, I object to this listing purely on the basis of chili, and you will rip my accurate assessment of said chili from my grease-covered, bloated, dead hands.
And now, my favorite of all the listings…
Murray State U (KY), Assistant Professor of German and Spanish. This cracks me the fuck up. It’s not enough to have demonstrated mastery in both the language and literature/culture of one foreign tongue (something the vast, vast majority of Americans cannot come close to doing, because it takes 5-10 years to get a PhD). Now in order to get a full-time professing job in some Harlan-county holler (Justified forever!) you have to know two. Like nobody is noticing that this godforsaken institution is trying to hire one professor to do what should be two professors’ jobs. I NOTICED, you assholes, I noticed.