Academic Jobs Wiki


This is the wiki for open American Studies positions, 2009-2010. Please add jobs as they get announced and update search info under the corresponding job, particularly if you have inside information. Please contribute what you can as this wiki is one way for us to stay informed and empowered on the job market. As always, in the information you post, treat others as you would like to be treated. Thanks and good luck to everyone out on the market.

Last Update - 12-22-09

Academic Job Search Wiki -

== Jobs ==

Oberlin Comparative American Studies VAP

Deadline 5 April 2010

Any news, anyone? (4/18)

American University

Assistant or Associate Professor, American Studies

Specialty - Race and ethnicity studies with possible secondary fields in transnationalism, visual and/or material culture, and museum studies

Deadline - Sept. 15, 2009

- 9/10 Acknowledgment received by email states they plan to interview at ASA in November, make a hire in January 2010. (X9)

- 10/8 No word on the short list yet.  I expect that anyone invited to interview should hear something by next week, given that the conference is now less than a month away.  Anyone get an invite yet? 

- 10/12 I just rec'd an acknowledgment of receipt on Sat, with a note that they got far more applications than expected.  Think they might be moving slower than planned . . .  [THANKS!  This is good to know]

-10/14 Received nice rejection by email. They received 440 applications. Sigh. (X3)

-10/14 Just received the same rejection (so x4, I guess).  More about "fit, than credentials" line.  I will definitely be interested to see who is hired.  At least they bother to notify people.  I truly appreciate their professionalism in that respect (acknowledging receipt, indicating timelines, sending rejections).  Nothing worse that being ignored altogether after all the effort and time required (including the labor of your letter writers).   Still, rejection sucks.  Market is stuffed with applicants.  Damn. 

-10/14 Has anyone received news of a non-rejection?

-10/14 no news either way [x4]

- 10/14 pm - rejection now received [x4] Yes, I had my hopes up when I hadn't heard yet and others had. Booooo!

- well, we know at least 435 or so folks will be receiving rejection notices.  For those of you joining the swelling ranks of the rejected doctors (and ABDs), you might check out the following method for dealing with job rejections.  It is hilarious and oh so tempting...(enjoy):   

-10/14: another rejection. I totally agree with the poster above about the university's noteworthy professionalism. If anyone from AU search committee is reading this, kudos to you.

another rejection....645pm pst

-10/15 rejection email, this morning, pst... and thanks for the joke, it eased my first job search rejection! (x2)

-10/19 Has anyone else not yet received a rejection, but not received contact about setting up an interview either? I'm wondering if I should take heart or if the rejection emails are coming in waves.

-10/19 I am in the same boat.  But I just assume that they are coming in waves.  That is a whole mess of apps to get through.

--who knows, but I do know that my rejection came a day latter than the firsts, my last name starts with D, so maybe its alphabetical? :)  In any case best of luck!

- 10/20: there does seem to be some logic in the notion they are proceeding alphabetically.  My last name starts with B, and I was one of the first to be notified.  I also imagine that given the committee's conscienciousness thus far, that the interviewees have been notified already since the ASA conference takes place in two weeks, and they would presumably need to give folks a chance to make arrangements.  Then again, I could be hold out hope - you may be the one! 

-10/20-Rejection just came in now (9pm). Sigh.

-10/20-I can attest that it is not alphabetical because I just got rejected as well.

-11/23-Campus visits in progress

1/16--Anyone know if an offer made for this position? Was it accepted?

2/16--still no word? The process seems to be taking a long time, given that campus visits started in November...

3/5 short listed (interviewed) candidate received rejection letter. assume an offer was made and accepted.

Arizona State -- School of Social Transformation

Email ack received.  No info on how search will proceed.

2/11 - campus visit scheduled (notification via email then phone follow-up)

Congrats! Would you mind divulging your fields? And have others also received invites? (2/16)

Official rejection, 227 applications. (3.4)

George  Washington ---18-20c African American Culture

I am assuming this job will also have 400+ apps! yikes!

-Is this the same job from last year? Looks awesome

11/13: yes, same job as last year because signed candidate dropped out for another job. this year the search is not limited to 19th century.

-Wow, thanks for the info. 

-Snail mail ack. (12/8)

-Phone interview scheduled via phone (12/11) x2

-Got a nice email saying that all my letters arrived and my file was complete (12/17)

- Does this mean that they haven't already finalized their short list of phone interviews?  Anyone have an idea? Am I, possibly possibly, still in the running? (12/17)

- I'm not sure, but I know they are planning on contacting finalist before December 31. 

-any news?

-1/1: know of one person (friend of friend) invited for campus visit.

-Congrats to that person! When did they get the invite?

-1/8: on campus interviews scheduled

Kennesaw State - American Studies Masters Program director

on campus interviews were between Feb and early April.

Kennesaw State -open (joint post in Afro and history) (h-net)

-request for phone interview (12/8)

Miami University, Ohio

VAP American Studies(H-net ad)

Screening begins 5th April

Penn State-Harrisburg

Open rank, American Studies-Heritage Studies

Deadline: Sept. 28, 2009

Anyone heard anything? This position was advertised in 08-09 and not filled

10/24 - no word yet.  Received the HR's EOE form request and letter in September. 

11/8- 3 people invited to campus

12/11 - Campus interviews completed

1/04 - Dead silence.

1/24 - An offer was made to a senior scholar. The candidate declined the offer because the salary was too low.

2/25- The posting of 1/24 is incorrect. Dr. Anne Verplanck, formerly of Winterthur, and holding an American Studies Ph.D. from William and Mary was hired for the public heritage position.

3/1 received rejection letter also confirming hire has been made.

Anyone else notice that the negative comments about this place keep getting removed?  Someone at the school is obviously monitoring the page and deleting comments.  What are they afraid of?  The answer is in your post.  Could above poster please point out the dates of the negative comments so we can look them up using the page history?

I don't recall seeing any posts removed.

I believe the posts were removed awhile back and the discussion about the same issues occur below.

I am not the "above poster," but there was a comment on here weeks ago that talked about this department having never tenured a gay person or a woman.  Looking at the old faculty listings, they do seem to have a bad retention record. Anyone know the scoop, or what's going on with this search?

The above post is not correct, since tenure is in the School, not in a "department." Although information on "gayness" is not part of the record, there certainly have been tenured women scholars of note who have been part of the program, including Theodora Graham, NancyTischler, and Cheri Ross, who is still teaching in the program. Compared to other programs, the retention record is quite impressive. 2 American Studies professors have 30 or more years there and two others were recently tenured. There has not been a negative tenure decision in this century, so where does this idea of "bad retention" come from?

I think bad retention was a reference to faculty not staying to be granted tenure to explore other possibilities rather than being denied--gay, lady, or otherwise.

I know the department pretty well, and they operate above board.  The hardest thing until very recently has been keeping good faculty who jump ship to better-known schools or who want to leave central PA for a more exciting locale.  So, they have ended up running a lot of searches losing gay, straight, white and minority candidates alike.  Lately, they have found new faculty who want to stay and who they have enticed to stay by creating a phd program and generally expanding the department.  I have no info on the new search but the people running the department are all solid citizens.  The locale and the nature of the program have been the determining factors for who actually stays, not discrimination.

Baltimore, D.C., New York, Philadelphia and New Jersey are within 3 hours or less of driving distance.  Locale may be part of it, but American Studies positions are difficult to obtain even in better economic times. Citing locale as one of the primary reasons some have left may be one of many factors, but not the determining factor.

If you read carefully, I wasn't saying locale was the only factor but it has been a strong one along with junior faculty wanting to move on to what they considered more prestigious schools and departments. 

To the above poster, the American Studies program at Penn State Harrisburg is a program not a department. It is housed in a division (School of Humanities) and there is a history between the two that has made retaining junior faculty difficult.

Sure, it may be a program within the humanities division, but, unlike American Studies programs at other schools, it has its own professors and an actual space that is shares with Humanities. It is not simply a conglomeration of facult from other departments. Nonetheless, your point is well-taken given the administrative hurdles of having this particular setup.

Yes, it has an actual space, but the history between American Studies and Humanities is troublesome. This history has been highly problematic for junior faculty in American Studies who must cross those administrative hurdles ie tenure and promotion. Until and when that is resolved, the retention rate will be affected. It is one of the main reasons why junior faculty have left though a few have left because of your earlier point.

Penn State-Harrisburg

American Studies, Associate/Full

Deadline: Sept. 28, 2009

I heard this search failed for the second year in a row.

It's not a good idea to use the word "fail." The program is extending its search until the right fit can be found. This is not unusual, especially in a senior position hire. One of the preferences, for example, is that the position-holder have a degree in American Studies and work in some specialty fields desired by the program such as history of technology, heritage studies, and urban/environmental studies.

Ramapo College

Has anyone heard anything from the Am. Studies department at Ramapo regarding applications, such as  a confirmation of receipt of app.?

Haven't heard anything, but I don't expect to receive a confirmation of my application.  I've never received one with an on-line application, which Ramapo used.  If you filled it out and uploaded all your documents, you might have received an email immediately after.  That's about as close to a receipt of application as I think you'll get.  12/16 OK, thanks.

1/12/2010: Phone interviews scheduled for 1/13 and 1/14, not certain how many. We were called last week.

1/20: Has anyone heard back after the phone interviews?

1/21: Post-phone interview, no, I have not heard anything. They said 2 weeks, it is early still.

1/22: Anybody heard anything after phone interviews?

1/30: I haven't heard anything since the phone interview either. Any updates?

2/1: I noticed they just reposted the position on higheredjobs. I only just applied two weeks ago. I assume they're still looking? Or widening the pool of candidates?

Campus interviews scheduled (2/8)

3/2: Rejection letter, post-interview, over e-mail.

3/9 Can you clarify if you received the rejection letter after a phone interview or a campus interview? I phone-interviewed and received an email saying that the search has not concluded but I'm not being brought for a campus interview at this time.

3/10: apologies. Clarification: my situation was identical to yours. I had a phone interview. My guess is that they have now scheduled 3 campus visits or an offer was made and accepted. Too bad it was not one of us!

Roger Williams University

Assistant Professor of American Studies/United States History

Possible areas of specialization include transnational and/or global perspectives on American life and culture; American religious history and culture; and/or maritime history and culture.

Does the request for "1) a letter of intent along with statements of teaching philosophy and research interests" mean a single cover letter, or three separate pieces of text?

A: I'm planning to send three separate pieces.

Deadline - November 15, 2009

Any pre-Thanksgiving news on this one?

--Received rejection by email (12/8)x2

Anybody on the pre-pared down short list for interviews been contacted to arrange interviews yet?  (12/17)

--The US History page has more info on this job including the tidbit that there is a slow trickle of phone/AHA interview invites. (12/22)

University of Alabama

1/27 - nice rejection email - they've pared down the list and are doing phone interviews

References being called. (2/8)

Search canceled. (2/11)

Assistant Professor, American Studies, appt. begins January 2010

Specilatly - Cultural meaning and significance of American culture, period 1860 to World War I

Deadline - Review began August 1, 2009

University of East Anglia (UK)

Lecturer in American Studies

Deadline: April 13, 2010. Link.

University of Massachusetts Boston

Associate Professor of American Studies

Deadline -- December 21

University of New Mexico -- Best consideration: 1/4/10

Assistant or Associate Professor of American Studies, with expertise in Native American Studies

Does anyone know anything about this job? Did they interview? Sent app mid Dec, haven't heard a word.

Does anyone know anything about the University of Michigan American Cultures Digital Environments Job?

I've applied and gotten their EOE survey, but no word on the actual review. Has anyone heard yea or nay?

11/3 - They are scheduling interviews for ASA conference and phone interviews

11/25 - On-campus interviews are being scheduled.

Hire made, but 100% in U of M's Communications Studies Dept.

Actually, this was one of a cluster of 4 hires. The comm studies hire is separate. On-campus interviews have concluded for the American Culture hire, faculty will meet to make a recommendation in early March.

[A&M - Commerce], assistant professor in liberal studies

deadline 3/1

want someone w/ experience in online teaching

search cancelled for budgetary reasons (3/2) (They couldn't have made this decision before I sent a huge package of materials to them?!)


Related Fields and Searches===

Communication and Media Studies Ethnic Studies

Film and Media Studies

Early and 19th-Century American

20th and 21st-Century American

African American

Other Ethnic American

American Open

US History

Queer/Women's/Gender Studies

Women's Studies

Complaints, Gossip, Community Building, Etc.[]

Use this space for commiseration and the exchange of general job search info and advice.

--Anyone hear the final resolution of Yale's American Studies cultural geographer search last year? I heard someone say that they didn't hire anyone.

--Is it just me, or are the job offerings pathetically (terrifyingly) few in number? 9/8

-- yes, there are sooo few jobs to apply to this year...just gotta hope something comes through. (9/8).

--Agreed.  There are so few American Studies jobs.  Just have to hope for History, English, etc. to come thru.

--[Original Poster on job situation]: I don't think this situation is going to ease up for some time to come. Though, I have heard that the Cal State system (I live in CA) is currently facing such dire economic conditions that many of the senior faculty across the board are going to start taking early retirement. That may open up a few positions. It's really sad. I can't remember a September over the last five years or so with so few T/T job listings. (9/8)

--I don't think public universities in California will be replacing senior faculty any time soon.  Departments are losing faculty lines through attrition.  (I work for the University of California, and it's bad bad bad.)

  • And the ripple effect of what's going on in CA can be felt all the way to D.C. The American Studies position at American Univ. (which advertised for an Assistant Prof) was inundated w/ Assoc. profs looking to get out of CA!! Helps explain the huge numbers of applications/rejections there. I heard the finalists are associate level.

It looks like American Studies won the battle, but is losing the war.  The original goals of AS --interdisciplinarity, etc - are now being carried out by programs in history, English, geography, art history departments.  I'm really questioning if an AS Ph.D. is worthwhile any more.

I received my PhD in AS a little over two years ago from one of the top AS programs. Not only are there few job offerings in the field, my experience has been that I don't get considered for T/T positions in the humanities disciplines. I always apply for U.S. social and cultural history jobs. I picture members of a search committee looking at my CV, noting my AS degree, and promptly throwing my file in the rejection pile.

  • Yeah, there is certainly a prejudice that one has to overcome when applying for jobs in "traditional" departments, but I've made it to interviews and gotten competitive visiting gigs in BOTH history and literature.  That said, I haven't gotten that T/T position, so perhaps your point stands re: the AS PhD...

In some ways, I find it more annoying when AMST depts. interview and hire people from traditional disciplines rather than AMST grads.  Obviously, they should hire the best person and it is entirely possible, even likely, they come from history or english or poli sci, but if you are going to run an AMST grad program and then not hire AMST grads to teach in your dept, what message are you sending about your own field if you don't at least prioritize the consideration of candidates in your discipline? 

The message is the same as the rationale for an interdisciplinary program-- that the label of the departmental home matters less than the project and the work. We want disciplines to hire AMST grads, so it doesn't pay to reproduce their prejudices. BTW at my institution, we have AMST grads working in fields like art history, theatre, and religious studies, and we have several young hires in "traditional" disciplines who had AMST committee members at their doctoral institution. It serves AMST as a field and its degree holders to encourage this boundary crossing, not fight it.

-- So Did Yale ever hire that geographer? Anyone know for sure?

- Curious: what are your "top AS programs"? Since the NRC ranking system failed, this is up for grabs. Anyone please post your fave AS programs for:

  • strength of faculty as researchers
  • strength of graduate training
  • success at placing graduates
  • name recognition

--Yale, Texas, Minnesota are clearly the top three traditional American Studies programs, in my opinion.