So, you struck out on the robust 20-job tenure-track market this year. There’s a big surprise.
And yet, for some reason, many of you are probably readying the ol’ checking account to hemorrhage directly into Interfolio, to have a go on the “secondary market,” that august crop of non-tenure-track crap-show exploitationfests masquerading as jobs.
Why on earth are you not sticking a fork in your academic “career” and just moving the fuck on already? Reasons are many. Perhaps because your advisers are telling you to keep trying, it will get better next year! (It won’t).
Moving to an interesting new city for a year, such as Greensboro, NC, might be “neat” (unless you’re in a nice ol’ fashioned patriarchal marriage, it will only be “neat” if by “neat’ you mean “soul-screechingly, achingly isolated”)!
You’ll have time to get out a few publications, so that you can be more competitive next year (you won’t; that no longer matters anyway)!
You never know, that one-year position might turn permanent (it “might” be renewed, year after year, and with each passing year you will become less and less of a “viable” candidate for any tenure-track position, anywhere, especially at said institution currently employing you as a VAP, which has all of the second-class citizenship of adjuncting, but with a full-time salary and benefits–but not, usually, any significant amount of money to help you move your entire person and belongings across the godforsaken country).
I’ll be writing about this on Vitae soon, so I don’t want to go into too much detail, but the “secondary market” is exploitative, depressing and pretty much evil. And this year, it looks like it’s dwindling, too (“This food is terrible! And such small portions!”). There are currently five NTT “visiting” positions for you to waste $12 and untold hours of your life applying for. Here are some of them, and you’ll notice the grading system is different for this round. This time, I simply tell you whether it is worth your time and money even to apply.
Bowdoin, one-year sabbatical replacement, a.k.a. absolutely no chance whatsoever of turning permanent. “Candidates who allow us to expand our curriculum in new directions are preferred.” Because as the new kid, you can most certainly waltz into a department bearing some highly-experimental syllabus for a Senior Seminar, when they are expecting you to take all the miserable second- and third-year “bridge” courses (you know, when shit suddenly gets real, and students resent the fuck out of you for it? Those). Unless you already live in Maine, or you are from Maine, or you were already planning to relocate to Maine, NOT WORTH IT.
Princeton, part-time lecturer, aka adjunct. “The Department of German at Princeton University has an occasional need for lecturers (part-time) to teach German language courses.” That is: Princeton is advertising its fucking adjunct pool on the MLA list like it is something. I retract my previous grading system to add an option for SERIOUSLY? FUCK YOU.
University of Colorado, one-year Visiting Lecturer. Let’s see, would you enjoy working at an institution whose very possession of a sexual harassment and discrimination office precludes it from ever being responsible for any instances thereof? And instead works very hard to ignore them, until an outside review body comes in and releases a report so damning that it has no choice? I have been told by many, many readers in the past week that CU-Boulder is a fucking snakepit, and it’s not just philosophy. HOWEVER–being able to live for a year where the scenery is killer and the weed is legal, provided that you simply give up on being “productive” in any way (which you should, see introductory paragraph), might just make working in the sexual-harassment capitol of higher education WORTH IT.
UNC, Greensboro. Visiting Assistant Professor, no timeline specified, so you can assume it’s one year. “We are seeking a colleague with a promising research agenda in literary and cultural studies with preference for field of specialization between the 18th and 21st century, an outstanding commitment to excellence in teaching German language, literature, and culture at all levels, and a strong interest in working collaboratively with faculty and students across disciplines.” For a fucking one-year job, in a town where your spouse will certainly not be able to follow you. This job also has a 3/3 load, so you can kiss that “concentrate on cranking out publications” thing goodbye. Also they want you to teach online German. Also, they want you to act like it’s a goddamned tenure-track position, which it is not. Unless you already live in Greensboro, North Carolina, or your mom does, or you were going to move there anyway, NOT WORTH IT.
Vanderbilt. “Two year, non-tenure-track Assistant Professor of German.” See, we are calling it Assistant Professor, so that’s pretty much as good as being on the tenure track, right? Right? Oh, like you have a choice, pleb. Unless you already have plans to move to Rayna James/Juliette Barnes Central, NOT WORTH IT. Also, Juliette will obviously be joining the Highway 65 roster now, amirite? And I very much wish Will Lexington would come out. And is Lamar DEAD? I hope so, not because I enjoy it when people die, but because his character is annoying.