The non-MLA-interviewing listings keep trickling in, one by one–as the Wiki continues to “move,” hearts continue to sink, stomachs continue to turn, and the walls continue to close in, we get stuff like this:
West Chester University (PA), Assistant Professor of German. They had a search for an assistant professor last year that one of my friends interviewed for, but it’s impossible to tell whether they hired anyone, because everyone on their website is referred to as a professor “of languages,” which sort of belongs in the “German and Russian” category of “Well, all those fern’ers basically talk the same: FERN.” I am guessing their search was cancelled, which is always a terrible sign, but if it wasn’t, then for some reason a regional university in the “WTF” part of Pennsylvania is hiring two years in a row, so, great?
The funniest/saddest thing about this listing is that the application is due 12/19–which happens to be the day when even the pokiest MLA-interviewing search committees make their long-lists before Christmas, and thus the Wiki its pronouncements. So I guess you have to hand it to them for being totally cool with acting as a contingency plan to a bunch of people who at this point will know they got few or no MLA interviews. Although, given how pathetic the market is, most job seekers this year will have few or no MLA interviews, so I imagine this very shitty job (“The successful candidate will create and teach traditional, alternative-format and distance education courses”) will have 200 applicants.
Since this department has Professors of Languages, I’m going to give this ad the Rebecca Schuman Seal of Disapproval (see post below for photo) but a generic Grade of “GRADE” to reflect the ludicrous generic titles of the faculty.
UPDATE! Here’s a bonus listing, with hat tip to my Twomie Douglas:
Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Professor of Liberal Arts (Open Rank)
“The college seeks a candidate who is closely attentive to the artistry in a work of literature-its imagery, nuance, tone, ambiguity, and language-rather than to the work as a text for political or ideological polemic.” Because no art students or artists should EVER think of literature as a form of artistic protest against hegemonic structures that oppress and hurt people! You can teach Invisible Man, but if you make so much as one comment about the paint scene having anything to do with something that isn’t paint, you are FIRED, COMMUNIST. Just in case you don’t know how to read (because, as a literature professor, you probably don’t, unless it’s Pravda), here’s more: “Requirements: Publications in peer-reviewed journals of literature and/or jargon-free publications treating literature not as raw material for “decorative” analysis but rather as the expression of the human spirit.” As long as that expression does not involve having an opinion about anything, of course. GRADE: decorative, polemical middle finger.
No further “movement” on the Wiki this week-i, so I guess your misery spirals are on “pause” for the time being.
It’s going to be very weird/therapeutic to relive the horrors of the worst part of Job Market Season (Dec./Jan) from outside instead of inside. One way that you can help me do this right is to join in the process–please continue to submit, in comments or via email, your horror stories and Bad Search Committee behavior, as well as your feelings about what it’s like to have yet another Wiki Season approach, and how it feels to see all those “requests” to come in while none (or few) come in for you. I believe that the more we are honest about this, the more we will realize our experiences are/were normal.