Other observations from MLA

by Anna Blanch on January 5, 2009

The general consensus from this year’s MLA (attended by approximately 8500) was that jobs are scarce and the academy is putting increasing demands on tenure and non tenure track faculty alike. Overnight Bowling Green University has announced that it has “let go” 43 non tenured salaried staff. They will lose their jobs at the end of the academic year, The Toledo Blade reports. I didn’t talk to one PHD student about to finish who was giddy from having received a job offer. More often, the discussion was about the 15-20 jobs they had applied for, some of which they had been placed on shortlists or been given interviews, which had been pulled or cancelled for budgetary reasons. Numerous schools have put campus-wide hiring freezes in place leaving departments with an overabundance of highly qualified attractive candidates and no jobs to give them!

On a similar but different front, MAMA, PhD is a great blog offering witty and insightful commentary on being a mother and an academic. I do not have children and thus can only marvel at how those with children manage to do it all. I look at my colleagues and wonder how they are able to put in the hours and still manage to maintain relationships with their spouses and children (which, by the way, they seem to be doing). I have enough trouble keeping myself out of trouble (which I sometimes fail at abysmally). They blogged positively about the Childcare experience at this year’s MLA.

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