Comments on: Is there a Whole Foods in Lowell yet? Plus advice & links on job searches http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/18/is-there-a-whole-foods-in-lowell-yet-plus-advice-links-on-job-searches/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Mon, 29 Sep 2014 21:14:56 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: passante http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/18/is-there-a-whole-foods-in-lowell-yet-plus-advice-links-on-job-searches/comment-page-1/#comment-819686 Fri, 29 Apr 2011 13:23:16 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14936#comment-819686 I just wanted to stress the fact that it will be even more difficult for an American with an US higher education to land an academic job in Western Europe than in the US.
First, forget about it if you’re a newly minted PhD (And forget about it if you’re ABD – I don’t know a single European country where they would even consider an application from someone who hasn’t finished his dissertation. In Germany, it even has to be published for you to be eligible). International candidates who do get hired must already have proven that they are outstanding scholars and must be known to the people in the field.
Then there are different sets of institutional and cultural constraints. France and Germany for example are not really international in their recruitement; moreover, they do expect fluency in their respective languages, as courses taught in English are few and far in between. In France or Germany, they will only consider an American hire if it brings them some kind of real prestige. So they might try to get that young Ivy League Professor, or an old Nobel-Prize winner, or even a young sexy scholar who’s doing something new that’s still not really being done here (aka gender or area studies), but that’s it. Among the countries that are more hospitable culturally and institutionally, you have the UK, but also Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland and Scandinavian countries (all “small” countries that have at least some understanding for the fact that few foreigners speak their languages).
Besides, you have various problems linked to the present financial situation in all those countries. Bear in mind that in most of Western Europe, the overwhelming majority of higher ed institutions are public. They have always had much less ressources then the American private research universities, and it’s only getting worse, with deep cuts in state budgets hitting universities everywhere. There are no jobs to be had at all in the UK. The job markets are also fragmented and small, thus may be even more competitive then the US. In France for example this year, there are 40 job openings in modern history (16th-20th centuries, all fields, including art history) in the whole country. In France, there are much fewer “contingent faculty” positions (except for PhD candidates TAing); most of the teaching is done by the assistant and full professors (well, and for those who do consider “adjuncting” – pay per course is about 500 euros, per SEMESTER – this is almost only done by professors who are teaching one course at another institution, for whatever reason they want, on top of their normal work load at their institution). Native English speakers might get one-year contracts on the secondary or higher ed level to teach English, but those positions will never be available for more than a couple of years (and at the higher ed level, some kind of qualification to actually teach English will be needed). They will necessitate that the candidate has a visa and work permit. In Germany on the contrary, there are no permanent jobs below “full professor”. You have absolutely zero chance of lending a “real” job in France or Germany doing teaching alone, no matter how good you are at it. In Germany, you actually have people teaching university courses for free or for a couple of hundred euros a course just because they are not yet full professors (which is achieved at 40+ years) and have to stay in the game.
Coming to Western Europe to teach is doable for young Americans just looking for a way to earn some money during a few months while they’re having fun or learning the language or whatever. Western Europe is no viable alternative for American PhD’s unless they have some deep connections in those countries (come from there, speak the language, have studied there, know a lot of people) or they are stars who just happen to be happy to spend a couple of years away from the MIT tenure track and work for a small fraction of their American salary for the love of wine & cheese (or beer & sausage!).
Oh and the Europeans usually have only heard of the most prestigious American universities and will look with skepticism or disdain at anyone who’s not a graduate from an Ivy League or equivalent. Finally, each of those countries has its own culture and system, which are all very different than the American one, and Americans will be expected to fit in.

]]>
By: J. Otto Pohl http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/18/is-there-a-whole-foods-in-lowell-yet-plus-advice-links-on-job-searches/comment-page-1/#comment-816990 Wed, 20 Apr 2011 15:31:41 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14936#comment-816990 The Middle East is a big place. But, other than Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan I do not know anybody who has worked there that lived on a compound. Certainly lots of foreigners live in places like Lebanon, Dubai, Turkey, and other places without being confined to compounds. I can not speak for Nigeria or Kenya, but I live in Ghana and live on a university campus. I live here because the university is 15 km from town, not because I think Accra is overly dangerous. It is safer than most big American cities. I have walked through Jamestown without any fear and it is quite poor by Western standards. On the other hand Nairobi, Lagos, and Johannesburg are dangerous cities. Or at least according to the crime statistics. But, then again so is Los Angeles.

]]>
By: Feminist Avatar http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/18/is-there-a-whole-foods-in-lowell-yet-plus-advice-links-on-job-searches/comment-page-1/#comment-816979 Wed, 20 Apr 2011 15:17:04 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14936#comment-816979 Most of the jobs in the middle east, I have seen, offer compound living as part of the wage package, which suggests it must be common for certain employers at any rate. But more generally, I was thinking of African countries like Nigeria and Kenya, where foreigners often live on compounds, sometimes perhaps because they are paranoid; othertimes because it is genuinely dangerous not to.

I was being a bit facetious when I said ‘locking out the poor’- I appreciate compound living is usually to do with security concerns (real or imagined). But as left wing softhearted type, I tend to see those security issues as being related to the fact the general population are living in desperate poverty. And all compound living seems to do is highlight that social disparity.

]]>
By: J. Otto Pohl http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/18/is-there-a-whole-foods-in-lowell-yet-plus-advice-links-on-job-searches/comment-page-1/#comment-816968 Wed, 20 Apr 2011 14:12:38 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14936#comment-816968 Feminist Avatar:

Other than Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan I am not aware of any countries in the Middle East or elsewhere where foreigners generally have to live on compounds. Certainly foreign women are free to work and travel around Lebanon, the UAE, Turkey, Morocco and most other countries in the region. If you ever watch House Hunter International there is an episode on the UAE which stars a couple of foriegn women teachers. They are allowed to live and travel anywhere they want in Abu Dhabi and do not have to wear any hijab. So rather than many countries I can only come up with three Islamic states where foreigners often live on compounds. One due to the host government’s policy (KSA)and the second two due to safety concerns due to ongoing military conflicts. In none of these cases are people being locked out on the basis of being poor. Rather foreigners are being locked in to segregate them from society as in the KSA or prevent them from being killed as in Iraq or Afghanistan.

]]>
By: Feminist Avatar http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/18/is-there-a-whole-foods-in-lowell-yet-plus-advice-links-on-job-searches/comment-page-1/#comment-816915 Wed, 20 Apr 2011 09:13:41 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14936#comment-816915 I don’t apply for jobs in the middle-east or in countries where I’d have to live in a compound (despite there being many, many of these right now). Being a woman is a big part of the reason for this- I don’t want to live in a culture where my movement was seriously restricted; I am also very ambivalent about living somewhere where the very poor are locked out of your rich compound for ‘your safety’. What does that say about us if we are willing to ignore such poverty when it’s on our doorstep? At least, in the Western World, I can pay my taxes and do some charity work and lie to myself…

]]>
By: Nicole http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/18/is-there-a-whole-foods-in-lowell-yet-plus-advice-links-on-job-searches/comment-page-1/#comment-816781 Wed, 20 Apr 2011 00:43:50 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14936#comment-816781 Dr. Koshary–

There’s an alternative… it’s called leaving academia.

Most professions let you choose basic locational preferences… urban/rural, area of the country etc. If my current job doesn’t work out, I have my eye on the CA Bay area. I could (probably) get an industry job there that pays quite a bit more than my current salary and would be in my favorite place to live. In the mean time, I’ll go with a job I like in an area that doesn’t make me miserable.

I also didn’t apply for a job in my home town. I love my parents, but I also love distance.

]]>
By: Charles http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/18/is-there-a-whole-foods-in-lowell-yet-plus-advice-links-on-job-searches/comment-page-1/#comment-816749 Tue, 19 Apr 2011 22:13:29 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14936#comment-816749 Dr. Koshary, I understand your general point–don’t be too picky, as that’s a course for disaster–but it’s equally insane notion to claim that all academics must be willing to live anywhere and everywhere. In fact, I think that kind of thinking can lead to the cultish, vaguely monastic or missionary mindset of academia, that it’s shameful to leave this profession for mundane concerns like enjoying the place you live in.

]]>
By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/18/is-there-a-whole-foods-in-lowell-yet-plus-advice-links-on-job-searches/comment-page-1/#comment-816726 Tue, 19 Apr 2011 19:45:02 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14936#comment-816726 I’m somewhat sympathetic–for example, one friend declined a campus interview at one uni because it’s too close to where his toxic family lives. My non-white friends have felt really marginalized and without a community at schools in isolated, rural areas (although they took them, at least until they could find a job in a better location for them.) These qualms are along the lines of your refusal to apply for a job in Saudi Arabia, I think. (That might be a more extreme example, but you get the point.)

Not all jobs are equally attractive or equally objectionable to all. And, over the course of your career, you might find that your tastes or needs change, too.

]]>
By: Dr. Koshary http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/18/is-there-a-whole-foods-in-lowell-yet-plus-advice-links-on-job-searches/comment-page-1/#comment-816724 Tue, 19 Apr 2011 19:21:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14936#comment-816724 Seriously? There are still prospective academics out there on the job market who are declining to apply for a perfectly good job because it’s in a geographic region they don’t favor? WTF? Who on earth does this nowadays?

I apply for every job that I could convincingly do, in every location. Every one. The only continent that hasn’t come up yet for me is Antarctica. The only job I ever saw that seemed a good fit for me that I didn’t apply for was in Saudi Arabia; my spider-sense told me that it was a really bad idea for me to live in Saudi. And it takes a lot to make me worry about danger.

I’m simply dumbfounded at the idea that an apparently sane academic on the market now could skip applying for a position in, say, any of the cities that Perpetua names, on the basis that they wouldn’t feel maximally bourgeois and comfortable. How does that make any goddamn sense?

]]>
By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/18/is-there-a-whole-foods-in-lowell-yet-plus-advice-links-on-job-searches/comment-page-1/#comment-816674 Tue, 19 Apr 2011 16:33:07 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14936#comment-816674 CoughCoughUNDERSTATEMENTcough.

]]>