Archive for November, 2011

Materials Needed for HASTAC Workshop on Alt-Ac

In the haze of quickly writing something yesterday about the great workshop on alt-ac that will be happening at the HASTAC Conference, I forgot to do the most important thing: ask for your help. I have a few things in mind for how you can help the workshop be more successful, even if you won’t be with us in Ann Arbor.

1. Share job application materials with us. The workshop will include a discussion of how application materials for alt-ac jobs differ from tenure-track positions. We are particularly interested in looking at cover letters. If you have a cover letter for an alt-ac job to which you applied—whether that application was successful or not—and would be willing to share, please send a copy my way. If you have a copy of the ad for the position, that would be even better. We will of course redact your name and any other information that you feel concerned about.

2. Share advice with us. If you were going to give someone tips about alt-ac—about applying for jobs, about seeking mentors, about the positives or the perils, anything—what would it be? Please leave comments to this post or submit them via Twitter using the hashtag #altacadvice. We will collect this information and share it publicly with the workshop and with the wider world.

With your help, we can make this workshop better and more effective for those who are exploring the interesting interstices of the academy.

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HASTAC Workshop on Alt-Ac

I’m excited to be attending the HASTAC Conference for the first time in a few weeks, but I’m most excited for the alt-ac workshop that is being organized by Fiona Barnett and Korey Jackson. Fiona has written a blog post explaining the format for the workshop, which is not only free (!!) but comes with dinner for attendees. In short, however, the workshop will begin with presenters talking about their own experience in alt-ac positions, will move to looking at some sample application materials, and conclude with smaller break-out groups to workshop CVs, cover letters, and more.

I’m expecting to speak quite a bit about the CLIR Postdoctoral Program (applications are due December 19!), but also about my experiences applying to many different alt-ac positions over the last several years, which I wrote about in this year’s alt-academy project.

I think it’s especially valuable to be having this workshop about alt-ac right at the height of the job market for many fields in academia. Kudos to HASTAC (and Fiona, who originated the idea) for taking on the problems of reforming graduate education in a very public way.

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