Friday, April 6, 2007

Medievalist for Hire

Well, I didn't get that one-year I interviewed for. The committee chair sent me a really nice note, though, offering some (very helpful) advice about strategies for marketing myself. In the end, however, the deciding factor may have been my ABD status: none of their finalists were ABD. So apparently even one-year replacement positions are hard(er) to get without the Ph.D. in hand. Yes, I am looking forward to going on the market next year. Simply removing the word "expected" from that first line on my CV will evidently have gigantic repercussions on my marketability. I hope.

I mean it: I can't wait to start the whole job search over again. One of my strategies for staving off the how-will-I-pay-the-rent-and-where-will-I-live-next-year panic is to think about how to trick out my CV for next year. Like, okay. If I can get another publication under my belt, and teach a useful class or two, I should be in much better shape, right?

(The other panic-avoiding strategy is less successful: it's to assure myself that I can move to my mom's house and find local adjuncting work. Not an ideal solution, and not even something that I'm sure I can pull off, given where my mom lives, but at least it's something that I could look into. Unfortunately living with my partner won't be an option, since the rent where he lives would be prohibitive, and anyway he's probably going to be abroad for four months next spring, so he wouldn't even be around for most of the time.)

God. Academia is brutal, isn't it? The frustrating thing for people in my position--and I'm aware that there are many, many, many of us--is that we can't go get some other kind of job. Not unless we're willing to give up the profession altogether. And I'm lucky, really, that I don't have kids (or even pets) to support (though I'm a little worried about my plants), and that I can potentially put everything into storage and go live on nothing in some remote village, if I have to.

But enough of all that. I have other work to do. For example:
  • finish up my abstract, acknowledgments, and other supplementary dissertation materials
  • revise my conference paper for what will hopefully be the last time
  • put together a handout for the conference
  • clean up a short story to send out for publication (I might as well pursue my other dream career, right?)
  • on a related note, revise my novel
  • revise my accepted article (due June 1)
  • start thinking about my very exciting next project!!!!


Tiruncula said...

JB, I'm sorry about the stress and disappointment of the market. It does seem that other bloggers who were ABD two years ago had much better luck this year after they had finished, and that's been my experience with RL friends, too.

I can totally understand that eagerness to gear up for the next cycle.

Meanwhile, there's a virtual university that would love to have you join the faculty :)

Tiruncula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jb said...

Why thanks--I'll be right over!

medieval woman said...

Hey JB, that sucks about the 1-year! They don't know what they're missing. And it does seem that there is no such thing as an ABD market anymore.

Congrats on your accepted article, btw! Can you email and tell me where it is? We can also set up something for next weekend!

Bardiac said...


I have to echo what others have said about the difficulty of getting a job of any sort while ABD. It sucks. :(

And congrats on your article!

jb said...

Thanks for the comforting, all around! I've still got a few possibilities remaining; wish me luck....

The article reference might have been unclear: it's not actually a *new* acceptance, but an article that was accepted over the summer; I just got the list of final (all optional! hooray!) revisions last week. But support in any form is deeply appreciated!