What are the Best Practices for the Evolving, 21st Century Job Market? (Workshop)
Harbour Centre 1510
Organizers: Georgia Henley, Joey McMullen

The difficulties inherent in the 21st-century academic job search are well-known, perhaps even notorious. There is little that individual search committees can do about the paucity of academic jobs or the movement of university-level hiring away from tenure-track positions. That said, there are small steps that can be taken by search committees to make the process more humane and easier on candidates, such as sending confirmation of materials received, allowing for a Skype interview option at the initial interview stage, and notifying candidates of rejection in a timely manner. Through collegial, respectful, and open discussion, this workshop brainstorms small but significant ways that search committees can ease the stress of the job market by acting with increased transparency and speed. The discussion will also tackle issues of unconscious bias and "fit." This workshop will jointly consider the issues facing humanities PhDs on the academic job market through 1) group discussion and 2) data gathered from outside the workshop, as well as producing a set of actionable guidelines for search committees that, once published, will be circulated among scholarly organizations especially those committed to advocacy for the marginalized. The goal of this set of guidelines is to facilitate a more equitable, humane, and transparent search process for humanities job candidates, particularly those in medieval studies, but also further afield. In the spirit of inclusivity, we will incorporate anonymized comments from academics who cannot be at the conference or do not feel comfortable speaking openly. The discussion will be led by people who have recently been on the market as well as people who have recently been on search committees in order to ensure an equitable discussion.