Category Archives: MLA

The Job Application Process in Higher Education is Broken—and We Need to Fix It

The following is a rejection letter I recently received for a tenure-track position in English literature, which I quote at length to illustrate the current state of the academic job market from the applicant’s perspective:

Dear Christopher Stampone:

Thank you for your interest in employment with [X]. There were many highly qualified applicants who applied for the position of ASSISTANT/ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR 10 MONTHS position and our decision was very difficult. Although your background is impressive, we have selected a candidate whose qualifications most closely match our job requirements. . . . Please accept our best wishes for success in your job search endeavors.

Sincerely,

Search Committee

<department> Department

Clearly, the school’s statement about my “impressive background” is disingenuous because the “Search Committee” of the “<department> Department” failed to complete the appropriate spaces in their rejection form. I am quite convinced that they do not really think I am “impressive” since every applicant has an “impressive” background by default. The position went to someone with unspecified “qualifications” that supersede my own. I might ask questions but I doubt “Search Committee” would respond to my queries.

Such poorly-written and thoughtless rejection letters—which, as I discovered, are quite common in academia—reveal the reality of the HR-driven job application process. This process is broken—and we need to fix it.

Continue reading The Job Application Process in Higher Education is Broken—and We Need to Fix It

Planning for MLA!

With winter break almost now in full swing, we have to come to a frightening realization: MLA 2016 in Austin is just 3 weeks away!

In preparation for this event, the largest of our academic yearly conferences, some of us might be sweating profusely over the idea of interviewing for those dearly coveted jobs, while others may be frantically polishing papers for our MLA debuts.

To help minimize the fury of pre-conference preparations, here below you’ll find a list of panels and events that may be of particular interest to young Romantic scholars and graduate students. Bookmark it now!

The entire searchable program is available online here. And the Committee on the Status of Graduate Students in the Profession has gathered a catalogue of important networking and social events at the conference, along with workshops and panels of interest to graduate students, which can be found listed here.

See you in Austin!!

MLA_Austin2016

Continue reading Planning for MLA!

Proposing a Special Session for MLA

Last week, I submitted a panel proposal for the next MLA convention in January 2016. (alternative title for this post: What was I thinking?!?)

I was motivated, in part, by an important realization about my own position on the academic career ladder:

There comes a time in every young scholar’s life when she must realize that she is no longer part of the junior graduate cohort. Suddenly there are an uncountable number of faces that you don’t recognize around the department, and conversations being held about seminars you didn’t even know were being offered. This signals only one thing: you’re now horrifyingly closer in position to that new assistant professor who just got hired than you are to the first-year doctoral students. You are more scholar than student, more faculty than freshman. (When did this happen, exactly?!)

Continue reading Proposing a Special Session for MLA

More Romantic CFPs!

MMLA (Columbus, OH, Nov. 12-15):

“Intersections of Art and Science in the Long Nineteenth Century”:

We welcome papers that explore the intersection of “art” and “science” in the long nineteenth century. From Keats’s enigmatic intonation “beauty is truth, truth beauty,” to Ruskin’s declaration that “high art differs from low art in possessing an excess of beauty in addition to its truth, not in possessing excess of beauty inconsistent with truth,” to the aestheticism of the fin de siècle, the nineteenth century witnessed a fraught renegotiation of the relationships between knowledge, art, and science. We are interested in papers treating artistic representations, practices, and engagements with the empirical sciences, and in the epistemological shifts that constructed “art” as both distinct from, and linked to, “science.”

250-word abstracts by April 5th to Andrew Welch at awelch2@luc.edu.

To feature your conference proposal on the NGSC Blog, please write to the Managing Editor.

New CFPs: MLA 2016

Dear Romantic readers: Here are some calls for papers that might interest you for MLA 2016 (Austin). If you have a CFP you’d like to promote, please write to me and I’ll add it to our list!

Performing Romanticism(s)

Special Session
Papers addressing how literary scholars can use performance–the stage, lectern, classroom, and other non-traditional scholarly practices–to reconsider issues pertaining to Romantic-era drama, poetry, and prose. 250-word abstracts and brief bio by 10 March 2015; Omar F. Miranda (ofm203@nyu.edu) and Randall Sessler (ras559@nyu.edu).

Ineffectual Lyric

Special Session
Auden claimed “poetry makes nothing happen.” How does lyric aim for political effects, and fail? How does lyric cope with its ineffectuality? Is the ineffectual the apolitical? 250-word abstract; c.v. by 10 March 2015; Daniel Wright (daniel.wright@utoronto.ca).

After John Clare

The John Clare Society of North America invites proposals for its panel at the Modern Language Association Convention in Austin, Texas, January 7-10th, 2016.

TOPIC: “After John Clare.” Scholarship on any aspect of Clare’s influence on 19th, 20th, or 21st century poets and/or his poetry’s continuing relevance to the field of lyric studies. Abstract and brief bio by 15 March 2014 to Erica McAlpine at erica.mcalpine@keble.ox.ac.uk.

Family, Kinship & Identity in British Literature, 1750-1900

Special Session
How do eighteenth and nineteenth-century literary works portray the effects of kinship networks (family, marriage, siblings, parents) on individual characters/identities? 300-word abstract plus bio by 15 March 2015; Talia Vestri Croan (tmvcroan@bu.edu).