Note: Anyone looking ahead to the next job season and needing a good laugh might like to check out this MLA spoof. It's ongoing and borderline brilliant.

Johns Hopkins Humanities Center

  • Email ack. 11/18 (x7)
  • There were a little under 600 applicants.
  • Wow!
  • I got an email ack. for this app too. Which wouldn't be extraordinary...except I didn't apply for it. WTF?
  • Does anyone know if they will be conducting MLA interviews?
  • No. Straight to campus visit.  Heard through the grapevine that this is probably a replacement hire for a star - from what I've heard, straight to campus visit is typically the MO for such hires.  
  • Have those invitations already been sent out, then?
  • Can the person who says they won't be doing MLA interviews indicate where he or she got this info? Thank you.
  • They never do MLA interviews at the Humanities Center.
  • When will the campus visits be scheduled for?
  • Probably February.
  • Any idea when the campus visits will actually be scheduled?
  • Between now and February
  • By "replacement hire for a star," should we assume that this will probably go to someone who is a few years out? 
  • Q: Who's the "star" in question?  Somebody must know who this shining light is.  Would give us all a better idea what they're looking for. A: Professor Richard Macksey retired this year.
  • any new news about this gig? Have they invited people for interviews already? 
  • Estimate from the office is that there may be some news about visits around the end of next week.
  • Many thanks to last poster
  • Does the next-to-last poster mean the end of the week of Jan. 11?
  • Any new news on JH?
  • Campus visit scheduled 1/9
  • Scheduled on a Saturday?!
  • So, I guess the short list jumped out at them more quickly than they thought it would? Does anyone know how many people are on the short list scheduled for campus visits?
  • Also, does anyone know if they decided to go for a senior hire after all? At least I, invited, am an ABD.
  • Congratulations! Are you the same person who reported here her (or his) visit being scheduled on 1/9? Also what's your field if you don't mind saying? Yes that's me; I do film studies in relation to complit and humanities in general.
  • Kind email rejection, 1.14 (shocked!!! I mean shocked by the rejection part. I was really holding out for this one.)
  • One must add: the rejection email I received openly lists some 70 equally rejected applicants' emails. If I may in turn openly quote, the second sentence here seems almost a token of false-modesty, as if the choice that they will be making is rather likely to have been a mistake: "This decision by no means reflects the quality of your work or the strengths of your dossier, but is based upon our current departmental needs. We know from painful experience how imprecise and unfortunate these sorts of judgments frequently are, but had no choice to proceed as best we could". Anyone not receive rejections today or tomorrow, nor invites? Those could be the alternates. 1/14
  • So now the sociological question is how the committee determined or ranked the "current department needs". But the Humanities Center does not seem to be an institution too keen to subject its own preference formation to such sociological inquiry!
  • Looking at the department's faculty, I am guessing that the Committee determined that there is a pressing need for someone studying non-European, post-colonial or minority literatures from a rigorous philosophical and theoretical perspective. At any rate, it'll be interesting to see what they are after.
  • I would fit that profile but did not make the short list. Separately, I have heard that there are senior candidates under consideration.
  • Having just been rejected by JHU, I do want to say that I appreciate their handling of the adminstrative error that caused the email sent out to display the names of other applicants. Such mistakes happen, and once they do, a speedy apology is the best one can hope for.
  • So there's a short list made up of senior scholars and at least one ABD?
  • Q: Has anyone (else) heard nothing? Not that I think it could be good, but curious as to what it means. (2x)
  • A: Probably means that either the e-mail went to your SPAM box or that you are on the "long list" (i.e. the list from which they made they short list) and your name is being held onto in case none of the short list pans out. I would move on at this point.
  • Anyone else get this apology email about releasing our email addresses? If they want to apologize for something, they can apologize for not interviewing me.
  • " long list"? dream! no more than 3-4 candidates are usually brought to campus for a position, after that, searches tend to be shut down till the next year
  • 'Separately, I have heard that there are senior candidates under consideration. Could the poster of this be a little more forthcoming on the "i have heard"? is this just another of the rumors surrounding this position? (2x)
  • A: A prof. who would be in a position to know told me that several senior candidates were under consideration.
  • Are the several senior candidates still under consideration? Are they making campus visits along with the junior people? does anyone know how many candidates there are at this point?
  • all junior candidates. including inside candidate.

University of Minnesota (cultural studies and comp lit)

  • Q: Where is this advertised? Thanks!
  • I couldn't link to it because I only found it on the MLA listings (password-protected) -- it's expired now but you can search for it under "expired listings" and it will come up.
  • This job is also listed on the Film & Media Studies page
  • Has anyone heard back regarding this position?  I didn't even get an acknowledgment... (12/4) // A: I have also heard nothing. I have a sneaking suspicion that they have an inside candidate, but that is really based on nothing more than the fact that they seem to have a couple of grad student instructors who work on their desired areas. And U of MN seems like the kind of school that is not averse to hiring their own. But I hope (for my own sake) this is not the case, because from what I know it is a cool department. And I can attest that Minneapolis is a great place to live.
  • They do not hire recent grads into tt positions. Look at their faculty profiles.
  • Inside source tells me 450 applications received.  MLA invites forthcoming.
  • 1 interview posted on film and media page. (12/18)
  • Thoughtful rejection via e-mail (1/11) (x2), (1/12)
  • Job filled


Is it just me, or are the Comparative listings (specifically, the lack thereof, which then results in ridiculous levels of competition) offered this year utterly depressing?

It's not just you, wiki friend. It's beyond depressing. Best wishes to you in all this madness.

Thanks for commiserating with me, wiki buddy.  I wonder how comparatists fare in general against those who focus on a single national (or linguistic) tradition when it comes to jobs in English or Foreign Language departments... Best of luck to you too!

I have an inkling of how comparatists fare when it comes to English jobs. The Chair of English at my graduate institution told me that, for purposes of hiring, they make two piles of applications: one for people with English PhDs and the other for everyone else (including to Comp Lit). They never even touch the Comp Lit pile unless they've worked their way entirely through the English pile and found NOTHING promising. In this current job market, it seems unlikely that the Comp Lit pile gets considered at all. I can't speak for the situation at every institution, but I suspect that this sort of thing might be a common practice in English (and other national literature) departments.

I really hope that isn't true.I have run into some bias in the English dept at my university, but I have also run into people who are very supportive of the mission of Comp Lit (as many profs in the English dept have PhDs in Comp Lit). I have gotten a few inquiries from well-regarded English programs. Oddly, though, I have been blown off by SLACs. I wonder if the bias perhaps is more intense at smaller (perhaps more conservative) schools? The research universities don't seem to care either way. Or maybe I am just coming up with theories to make myself feel better. : )

Oh, I totally support your theory about SLACs (of course, maybe I'm also trying to comfort myself). And it confuses me because I attended a SLAC as an undergrad, and I always play that up in the letter. But these are still fairly traditional departments, and I do think they find it harder to justify hiring someone who hasn't had that "traditional" training. I think research institutions are pretty open, as I've witnessed in various hiring processes at my grad and current VAP schools.

Thanks for the confirmation! The irony is that a Comp Lit person would be a huge asset to a SLAC--we can wear multiple hats and often bring more kinds of specialties to the table than a traditional English candidate. And, at my university, you have to do EVERYTHING students in the English dept do (if that is one of your concentrations)--the same exact qualifying exams, etc. But, you ALSO have to have the foreign language knowledge, two other sets of exams, etc. So, I can't see why SLACs wouldn't see that we are a HUGE BARGAIN!!!

Thanks for your thoughts! (I'm the original poster.) Of course, the second and third answers make me feel a bit better than the first, but I think that all of the posters make very helpful observations.  (And I couldn't agree more with the poster just above!) Just to add my experience on the market this year: I have a CL degree and I've been called for two MLA interviews, both in English departments (one at a public, the other at a SLAC). However, both of those are for specializations that are inherently comparative, so I suppose it makes sense.  Good luck to us all!

As a complitter who got a job in an English department (Public R1), I can say that English faculty do need reassuring that your time studying something outside of their field hasn't meant any reduction in your disciplinary knowledge. For the campus visit, I was advised to show mastery of my period within English literary history since I would be competing against English Ph.D's whose knowlege could be assumed. On the other hand, it can be an advantage when someone on the search committee has a complit Ph.D. and sees a kindred soul in you. Pros and cons... In any case, statistics show that tenure-track hiring of complit and english Ph.D's is roughly equivalent (the numbers are rough since there are so fewer complit phds), contra the stereotype. These statistics also show that complitters are much more likely (than nationalist litters) to be placed at doctoral institutions, thus conforming to the idea that liberal arts are less likely to hire complitters:

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