AHA Today

What We’re Reading: January 17, 2008 Edition

AHA Staff | Jan 17, 2008

It’s a touchy subject and also the focus of the first half of this week’s “What We’re Reading” post: the history job market and the AHA’s role. We point to four articles, and the comments that go with them, to explore a range of views on the subject. Following that is a selection of announcements (including new projects, new award recipients, and new books), links to an excellent series of posts on the digital humanities, and details on how Lincoln’s cottage is going green.

Perspectives on the job market

  • Disciplinary Associations Should Start Treating Job Seekers With Respect
    Michael Bowen at Inside Higher Ed gives a no holds barred critique of the AHA’s part in both reporting history job market statistics and facilitating the interview process. He then suggests four ways the AHA can reform. See the comments at the end of the article where readers debate Bowen’s points and address the challenges search committees experience as well.
  • The War Between the States (of unemployment)
    Blogger Historiann responds to the Inside Higher Ed article, noted above, embracing some of Bowen’s ideals while disputing others. Historiann goes on to discuss how new technology has helped lead to some of the problems job seekers experience today. 
  • Good Prospects Don’t Equal Confidence for History Job Seekers
    Continuing with the topic of the AHA and the job market, this Chronicle of Higher Ed article tells the story of Babette Faehmel, a graduate student in history at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Faehmel came to this past annual meeting with no interviews lined up, but had one by the end and called her whole experience “worthwhile.” But the article also emphasized the stress of the history job hunt, and many historians’ frustration with the “mystery” that surrounds the whole process. Note: Next week (and on) you can read this article here, though it requires a Chronicle subscription.
  • Some Myths about the Job Market
    Finally, Sterling Fluharty, at PhDinHistory, posted an article earlier this month in response to Robert Townsend’s article in the January issue of Perspectives on History. In the post, Fluharty dispels “myths” about the job market and offers his conclusions and suggestions for improving it.

What Else We’re Reading

Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Pillarisetti Sudhir, and Robert Townsend

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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