Rate My JIL Week 2 + BONUS Rate My JFP

Greetings and salutations, ladies, gentlemen, and friends beyond the binary. It’s time to rate some more jobs. THE GOOD NEWS: This week, the German JIL almost DOUBLED for TT jobs! The bad news: That meant three more, for a total, so far, of seven tenure-track positions. As Friend of the Blog Adjunct Nate said in his recent excellent comment, it’s the worst German list of all time. Again. Because, then, the German list is basically a non-entity, this week I’m going to branch out into an area in which I am either not qualified to comment or probably shouldn’t comment because it will stir up a shit-storm. But when has either of those very reasonable reasons not to do something ever stopped me? That’s right. So buckle the fuck up.


Cal State-Fresno. Assistant Professor of German and Ethnic Humanities. I know what they’re going for here and I support it, but the exact way to make sure every conservative fuckface in a 9000-mile radius never funds your university again is to call something Ethnic Humanities. Cal State Fresno might as well have just founded a Department of Very Easily Offended Microaggressed-Upon Who Require Content Warnings Before Their Content Warnings. None of these much-vilified things is what most people think it is–and yet. We’re on the precipice of electing a Bizarro Billy Madison to the highest office in the land. Let’s not give any of his underlings more of a reason to vote for his burnt-sienna ass. All that said, this sounds like a pretty decent job. Fresno is, like, the real California, some fucking inland shit. Good luck!

Columbia. Lecturer. This is a perfectly decent NTT job at a school that once offered ME a perfectly decent NTT job (which I turned down, because I AM DUMB), but the problem with it is this: Although the people I talked to in the department years ago seemed pretty decent, I can’t imagine a full-time lecturer at an Ivy-League institution will be treated like a “real” colleague. And yet, whoever gets this kind of job is going to have a pretty tip-top profile. You’ve got to be good enough to get hired at Columbia–but you’ll probably never really feel like you’re at Columbia. Whoever is good enough to get this job is simultaneously very lucky and destined for profound unhappiness.

Duke. Open rank “Professor of the Practice.” Coincidence: My dad, a retired judge who returned to the laws school where he used to be a professor and associate dean, is now a “Professor of the Practice.” It means he’s a Very Fancy Adjunct. From Duke: “The rank of ‘Professor of the Practice’ at Duke does not come with tenure but constitutes a regular-rank faculty position with a renewable four-year contract. Faculty holding this type of appointment will typically seek promotion according to the traditional classification of Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor. Both renewal and promotion are contingent on performance reviews, with the principal emphasis being placed on a strong record of teaching and administrative service, as well as evidence of ongoing professional development.” If we’re lucky–LUCKY–the future of the post-tenure university will look like this. I’d say something mean, but honestly, most people I know would kill for a four-year contract, so.

Hamilton. “The Department is particularly interested in candidates with a proven record of growing, and sustaining, a small language and literature program.” Translation: You and this Austrian will be the entirety of the German department. Alternate translation: This Austrian is retiring, and you will be the entirety of the German department. Honestly, both of those options sound amazing to me. Not playing. I love Austrians, and I love the idea of being the entirety of a program, because that’s as close to absolute autonomy as you can possibly get. (I mean, you have to fight with the Russians for everything department-wise, but PROGRAM-wise, you basically get to do what-the-fuck-ever. Awesome.)

Tufts. Once in a lifetime opportunity to live in Boston, aka the Adjunct Nuclear Apocalypse, whilst not being an adjunct (for now). Great?


Select Random Extra-Disciplinary Ratings!!!

Rate My JFP (Jobs for Philosophers): An Experiment.

University of North Florida.
AOS: Philosophy of Science.
“The department has broad teaching needs, including courses, such as, science and society, philosophy of technology, as well as others that would enrich our curricular offerings.” Broad teaching needs including courses, huh? I would agree that’s pretty broad. My philosopher husband, who expressed ire and disapproval when I told him I was doing this, warned me not to “trade in stereotype” when discussing his wack-ass discipline full of men’s rights activists and sexual predators (INTENTIONAL, JOKE, CALM THE FUCK DOWN). So all I’ll say is that the stereotype is that philosophers write poorly on purpose to demonstrate that their all-consuming dedication to important questions precludes such rabble bullshit as crafting a coherent sentence–to distinguish themselves, as it were, from pseudo-intellectual literary-studies bullshit artists like myself. Sure, sure. Also: NICE COMMA, BITCHES.

AOS: Applied Ethics.
AOC: “The Department is especially interested in applicants with expertise in social justice, global justice, or environmental ethics, but applicants with expertise in any area of practical ethics are welcome to apply.”
Translation: You will be the only woman or person of color in this department.* Have fun getting bullied into silence at every meeting!

(*Okay, not THE only woman. I checked. You’d be one of two. But DEFINITELY the only person of color.)

AOS: Asian, African, or other traditions heterogeneous to European
AOC: Introduction to Logic (informal to first-order symbolic)
“Heterogeneous” is, I guess, an improvement from “Non-Western.”

University of Groningen
AOS: History of Medieval and Early-Modern Philosophy
Not only is this job a Medievalist job–it’s actually in the Middle Ages! Bubonic Plague vaccine non-optional. (Just kidding; it’s in the Netherlands. You should still get fully vaccinated, though.)

AOS: Open, but with “strong preference for History and Philosophy of Biology.”
You know how in comp lit or English, when a listing comes out and it’s like “Princeton. Open specialization”? That’s what this one is. Have fun, 3000 applicants!



7 thoughts on “Rate My JIL Week 2 + BONUS Rate My JFP

  1. Interesting terminology shift there at Duke. I can see the need for a new word for what an adjunct used to be (e.g. your Dad — a professional who is teaching, full-time or part-time, primarily to share expertise gained in a well-established non-academic career), and “professor of the practice” sounds fine for that.

    However, if they’re envisioning a whole promotion/career-ish ladder, then it sounds like it’s still a category (like adjunct or contingent or any number of words that basically mean you’ll have a limited-term but renewable contract) that mixes professionals from other professions who are now teaching about those professions and career/professional academics in non-tenure track teaching/service positions.

    Full-time positions of that sort (one of which I hold) are definitely an improvement on part-time contingent/adjunct work, but I still have some questions, including how the salary compares to those of research-intensive, tenure-track professors.

    Also, why not a teaching tenure track? (I know, I know, but just because renewable full-time NTT positions are better than part-time adjunct or limited-term “visiting” work, that doesn’t mean they’re career positions. In fact, they’re positions that might just lull one into a false sense of security, and then spit you out into a hostile job market after you’ve spent years tailoring your teaching/service skills to the needs of a particular school, while having little time to do the thing — research — that would make you more widely marketable. Or so I fear. If we’re going to make a distinction, it seems to me that the research-intensive positions should probably be the non-tenure-track ones, and the teaching/service-intensive ones the tenure-track ones, but I know that’s not going to happen. )


  2. Some years ago, Dear Spouse interviewed for an “Assistant Professor of the Practice” job at Duke. The Dean spent much time rhapsodizing about what a great track this was, how it was comparable to being TT, etc., only more suitable for spouse’s artistic/performance-type field. Sounds good, eh?

    But it was only after much questioning and arm-twisting that the Dean finally admitted that there was one, unimportant, distinction between PP and traditional TT faculty: “naturally” the salaries were different at all levels, assistant, associate and full. And you can guess which track makes less money…

    I doubt things have changed since then.



  3. Being a 1-person German department sounds like it would be awesome. All in favor of adopting a 101 textbook that doesn’t suck? Say aye. Should we steer our students towards quality study abroad programs instead of towards whatever junket Dr. Emeritus put together three decades ago? The vote is unanimous. We will now redesign the curriculum so that all the classes articulate perfectly with each other and faculty become acquainted with every major and minor, and then retire for lunch.

    In less encouraging news, two weeks of an open MLA job list leaves the discipline of German Studies with fewer tenure-track jobs at this point (8, with Lehigh added recently) than any previous year, and not by a little bit. The previous low (11) came in 2009 and again in 2015. At this point in 2013, we were already up to 17. You know something’s gone wrong when 2013 is looking like a good year.


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