This One’s for the Poor Schmucks at MLA

Hey guys! No baby yet. But here for your reading pleasure is my very last article for the Internetz before I become a parent and my only concerns are poop, puke and drool (and whatever the baby produces). It’s on my “data set” (I use the term LIGHTLY) from my MLA Cost Project, and the figures that result will not surprise you in the least. Let’s hope that by next year, I will hear of exactly NO stories of first-round interviews getting rescinded because a candidate doesn’t want to (or can’t) attend a big annual $1000 nametag promenade shitshow. Here’s a taste:

By forcing universities to undergo a transparent and uniform process—which sometimes involved dropping one’s CV to participating departments on-site and being called for an interview cold!—the conference interview valiantly fought the country-club style of academic hiring. But times, friends, they have a-changed. Sure, it’s 2015 and we’ve still got no hover-skateboards, but the idea that abolishing the conference interview would directly result in the return of the Old Boys’ Network is exactly the kind of bananas false dichotomy that mucks up many an undergrad paper. This would, indeed, be a valid stance to take if and only if there were no viable (easy, free) way to recreate the conference interview, only without the hotel bed and the $1,000.

Read more here! (It’s not a request, IT’S A COMMAND.)

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2 thoughts on “This One’s for the Poor Schmucks at MLA

  1. Interesting comments to your Chronicle piece. Here are two I especially loved:

    “No wonder departments hang up on candidates who ask for a “virtual interview”: if they are not serious enough to attend their discipline’s main professional conference (even when they have an interview), I would hang up on them too.” — Allison Wallace
    Translation: “Don’t hate me cause I’m a trust-fund baby. You poors can f**** off.”

    “If we ask our Dean to foot the bill for a campus visit and the candidate turns out to be obnoxious or disdainful of teaching it’s no excuse to say “well they sounded so good on the telephone.” — Paul Johnson
    Translation: I live in 1992 where we still use telephones and fax machines. Skype? Internet? What? Where am I?

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