I have accepted a position at Shimer College, a small Great Books school in Chicago. The position is tenure-track equivalent, and I will be teaching broadly in the humanities and social science areas of their core curriculum. I am very excited to be joining Shimer’s unique program, which I feel will be a good fit for my interdisciplinary approach and my pedagogical focus on primary texts — and I am of course relieved to have found a permanent position at all in such a terrible job market. The fact that it’s located where I actually want to live feels near-miraculous.
That I even applied was a stroke of luck — I had not seen the job listing until it was e-mailed to me by Noah Kippley-Ogman, a Shimer alum and a long-time lurker. My position at Kalamazoo came up under similarly serendipitous circumstances, as did its extension from one to two years, and so in many respects I consider myself one of the most fortunate young academics around, particularly in light of the fact that my first round of applications went out literally just as a world-historical financial crisis was getting underway.
While the process was difficult and exhausting and while this year in particular included a number of heart-breaking near-misses, I have come out better than most: I’ve never taught on an adjunct basis, I’ve always had a reasonable teaching load and will continue to, and I’ve been continually employed full-time with benefits basically since graduating (except for the present gap between my contracts at Kalamazoo and Shimer). I still believe that there’s no reason that my path has to represent such a fortunate exception, but the fact remains that it has been — and I’m grateful for that.