Friday, June 06, 2014

Still here

A conference, some deadlines, more travel, a hectic week, and then some more deadlines.  News I thought about writing about but didn't:
  • At The New Yorker, the case for banning laptops in the classroom (wait--I already did that). More on this from WaPo and Margaret Soltan. [Edited to add links.]
  • Cursive handwriting improves learning.
  • The MLA recognizes a jobs problem but touchingly believes that (1) 60% of graduates get jobs and (2) that jobs are going begging in museums, libraries, and nonprofits, all of which will snap up vast numbers of English Ph.D. graduates immediately if we can (3) lower the time to degree and provide different sorts of training without (4) diminishing the number of graduates.  
  • Quick quiz: which of these items is probably true?  Answer: 3. Joshua Rothman at The New Yorker does a quick check of the MLA's math.
  • Mad Men, although that may be yesterday's news. 
A real post soon.


sophylou said...

What is with these professional associations clinging to the fantasy that there are all these jobs in libraries, museums, etc. just ripe for PhDs' taking? AHA seems to think this too. I'm a PhD who works in a library, the job market for librarians is tough, and some librarians feel strongly that library positions shouldn't be being taken by humanities PhDs. I feel like this is almost a willed ignorance, since it's not exactly a secret that the job market is bad in these fields, too. /rant

undine said...

sophylou--this mystifies me, too. The job market in libraries and museums is at least as bad as in academics, and, as you say, each of these fields has its own set of (underemployed/unemployed) highly credentialed possible employees.

sophylou said...

And depending on the location, they may not be super-welcoming of PhDs. A basic google search on "PhD librarians" will turn up a fair bit of rancor, which is not a fun thing to experience if you have a PhD (even if you do go back and get an MLS). It isn't everywhere I gather, but it is there, and I can't help wondering if this cluelessness plays a role... other fields can't necessarily absorb another field's overproduction.

I do think, though, that there's a bigger problem with job availability across the board -- people may be going to grad school because of the job market in general being tight. Lots of wishful thinking about how green the grass is anywhere else.