I’m Going on the Job Market

Drumroll please…. Alice is going on the job market this year!

After a wonderful two years as a postdoc here in Comparative Media Studies at MIT, I am preparing to enter the tenure-track job market this year. From October to February, I will send letters, requests, and papers to everyone willing to consider hiring someone like me. I’m not just looking for academic positions, though. I am open to finding a good fit in the private sector/real world, so I’ll be tapping my social network for leads.

I’m hoping that I’ll find a position with an equal balance of research and teaching in a department or program looking for someone in some combination of the following: digital literacy, new media, videogames and web 2.0 cultures, writing, composition and rhetoric, social-science methods, communication, culture, and so on. Of course there are a lot of ways to define these things, and there are a lot of different kinds of jobs I could see myself doing.

Why the long list? I’ve been in a lot of programs, departments, and disciplines. I’ve been in creative writing, literature, literacy (in writing studies/English and K-12 education), language (courses in sociolinguistics and discourse), writing and composition studies, and now media and videogame studies. Writing and literacy have always been the central threads of my work, with a heavy emphasis on pedagogy and literacy learning, especially videogames.

So there you have it. I’m polishing my CV (see my Vita page here for the most recent version), asking for recommendations, proofreading my writing samples and statements of teaching philosophy, and composing many, many cover letters. It’s a huge undertaking but I’m hopeful that I’ll land in the right place. Stay tuned.

4 responses to “I’m Going on the Job Market

  1. First off – good luck! The academic job search can be both incredibly satisfying and disheartening, occasionally at the same moment…

    But a question – is it a good idea to publicly post what type of job you’re looking for, in terms of type of school, teaching load, & place? Unless you only plan on applying for jobs that meet those qualifications, you may find yourself in the odd position of having to write a cover letter explaining why a job in a very different type of situation is appealing to you – search committees will look at your website and see what you “really” want, and might be gunshy proceeding in fear that you would reject their job or leave after a couple of years.

    There aren’t really rules on how to navigate the digital world in the academic job search, but there’s no doubt that in media studies especially, your application extends into your blog. Just a thought…

    Hope you find exactly what you want & it doesn’t require any such contradictions!

  2. Thanks for the positive vote, Jason! It’s definitely nice to get support.

    I did a full search when I was finishing my PhD and I think that it’s fairly obvious when I share my work and my dossier that I’m looking for a position that is equal parts research and teaching. But if there was one major thing I learned from the last campus visits I did, it was that it’s a mistake to think that this process has any real hard-and-fast rules or that I can know ahead of time what a committee will want. The academic job market is just a crazy place! I’ve learned that it’s best not to try and beat the system.

    Two years at MIT working with Henry Jenkins has only taught me to work harder, learn more, and be serious about what I want. I know I’m a beggar and not a chooser here, don’t get me wrong. But being a woman in technology and humanities at a top-tier engineering school has taught me to ask politely for what I want and just keep my fingers crossed. That’s about all I can do, you know? The rest is certainly the committees’ decisions, no doubt about that. But I’ll do my best in the meantime.

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