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MLA Job Leaks

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The main site can be found here. Please “Like” the Facebook page (and share with like-minded friends) if you find the site’s manifesto compelling (which you should):

  • We believe access to the jobs list should be available to all prospective faculty members, not just those with financial means.
  • We believe that a policy that publishes the list “openly” only occasionally, and gives full access to others who pay, isn’t really open.
  • We believe that the profession is better served by being transparent and accessible.
  • We believe that if other professional academic organizations can distribute their lists freely, than so can the MLA. (The MLA should be a leader, not a follower.) (American Historical Association and American Mathematical Society are both free.)
  • We believe that a policy which requires individuals to choose between paying and restricted access hurts the most disadvantaged of our community.
  • We believe that all those who are part of the MLA community should help address this problem and distribute the job list, however and whenever possible.
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  • I love how leftist academics in the US are constantly screwing over other leftist academics.

    • Do you ever add anything of value to any conversation? Or are you a permanent asshole.

      • He made me look up flight times from Philadelphia to Ghana

        I have read up a bit more about Ghana, in general.

        • Oh, I’m now sorta mildly interested in revisionism about race in the Soviet Union.

        • Grant

          He made me get a copy of the DSM IV.

        • Incontinentia Buttocks

          He turned me into a newt.

          • Linnaeus

            A newt?

            • rea

              He got better.

              • Hogan

                He turned IB into a guy?

      • Dave

        One could ask the same about a chap whose schtick is “wouldn’t the USA be a great place if we had a vibrant, empowered working-class movement, but we don’t, so boo-hoo, look how much more exciting it was in black & white, when the workers were getting screwed over, just the same as they are now, boo-hoo some more”.

        • spencer

          Not really. Those labor history posts are fascinating.

        • Yeah, I don’t get how writing a huge number of long, detailed posts about labor history is either a “schtick” or a failure to add value.

          Plus, Erik often posts about current labor disputes I’m not necessarily aware of, which is valuable to me.

          • Dave

            And by the same token J. Otto may be a little tedious, but to say that he never adds value is both mean-spirited and untrue. Hence, some sauce for the gander.

            • Bexley

              Amen Dave. Before his latest comment I assumed JOP only posted comments implying leftist US academics ignored racism within the USSR regardless of whether this is of any relevance to the thread.

              Now I realise JOP has a much wider repertoire and he posts comments implying leftist US academics ignored the negative features of all communist regimes regardless of whether this is of any relevance to the thread.

              • Hirsch who dominates Soviet nationality studies in the US certainly does deny the existence of racism in the USSR. She denies that it is possible to engage in racial discrimination against groups constructed along “socio-historical lines” rather than purely “biological” and genetic ones on the same lines as the Nazis. Her claim is that only discrimination against groups explicitly defined as “biological” groups constitutes racism. If we followed Hirsch’s logic for other regions of the world it would mean that apartheid in South Africa was not racist. Since as Saul Dubnow, George Fredrickson, Peter Skalnik, and Robert Ross have pointed out the South Africans defined “race” along “socio-historical” lines rather than “biological” and genetic ones like the Nazis.

                • Bexley

                  JOP – I’m not taking a position on whether leftist academics suppress details of racism within the former USSR. I don’t know enough to comment. My suggestion is that you should perhaps only raise it when its actually relevant to the blog topic.

        • This is entirely uncalled for. I’ve been greatly informed by Erik’s labor history posts, and they’re clearly relevant to happenings today, as we’ve seen with teacher strikes, as well as other situations. Maybe you think we should just forget about any labor movements ever?

        • Malaclypse

          How does studying history help us to leverage synergies to find out who moved the cheese?

          I’d call Loomis History’s Greatest Monster, but that would require having a knowledge base sufficient to make value judgements about the past, and I prefer treating each day as the blank slate it so clearly is.

        • Grant

          The labor history posts are epic and should be turned into a book.

          • I’ve actually been thinking about that, though I’m not sure what the publishing market would be for it.

            • Start with an ebook.

              Actually, what I would find cool is a calendar with labor related historial images and key events listed.

            • To be honest, I’m a cheap bastard, so I probably wouldn’t buy it, unless I were drinking and saw it offered.

              But from a freebie standpoint, I find it invaluable.

              • Linnaeus

                I’d buy it.

            • thefax

              I don’t know if this is what you’re interested in, but if you added some supporting materials (contemporary responses to the strikes, for example) to your posts and collected them it could be sold as an Intro to Labor History textbook. It’s not my field so I don’t know what else is out there, but your labor posts are useful in a way that would be accessible to introductory students.

    • spencer

      This would *never* happen in Ghana. Or Uzbekistan.

      • DrDick

        No, all the leftists would be boiled in oil in Uzbekistan, as they all properly should be.

        • You are aware that the current ruler of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, was head of the Uzbek section of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union up until the USSR collapsed? Most of the economy in Uzbekistan still remains controlled by the state along Soviet lines. Unless you think Brezhnev was a right wing capitalist it is hard to see how Karimov could be one. But, then again there are all kinds of extreme left Maoist factions claiming the USSR was capitalist so maybe you think only Albania under Hoxha was actually socialist.

    • Linnaeus

      I didn’t know that the MLA was leftist-only. Did I miss something?

      • Hogan

        Marxist-Leninist Association. Duh.

        • Linnaeus

          Silly me. It was just so obvious!

  • arguingwithsignposts

    You mean the MLA job list isn’t available to the public? I’m not familiar with MLA practices, but that’s really, um, quite something in the 21st century.

    All the academic orgs I’ve participated in have open job listings.

    • spencer

      The AAG (Association of American Geographers) job list is not open either.

    • Scott Lemieux

      APSA didn’t used to be public; I forget if that’s changed or not. Obviously, closed job listings are a scandal and SEK is on the side of the angels here.

      • djw

        I think you still have to have an APSA membership to access the job listings.

      • elm

        AFAIK, APSA’s is still not public in real time. You have to be a member of APSA to access it. Graduate student rates are pretty cheap ($44) and they also only charge $44 if you’re unemployed (but you can only do that for 2 years). The problem comes if you are in lecturer/VAP hell. The rate structure is progressive, at least, but the minimum rate for full members is $96 dollars and it goes up pretty quickly.

  • Marc

    It might help those of us not in the know if you described the basic issues, which would help to make sense of the manifesto. Is it that job listings are posted in a subscription-only list (e.g. one typically accessible to academics with an institutional subscription?) If the listing is to be open, who should pay for advertising and maintaining it? (There are certainly models for dealing with this; I’m just asking what the current model is.)

    • SEK

      You’re right, it should be open, and technically is, in that whatever department you graduated from should provide you with the password required to access the list … but that’s not common practice, and the point of this is to make it unnecessary. At the moment, the hoops you have to jump through to join and/or renew membership in the MLA are onerous, as is the price. The whole point of this movement is to make the act of applying for jobs affordable for those scholars who’ve fallen into the margins, i.e. adjuncts, working mothers, etc.

  • Maybe it’s all the sports-related posts here lately, or maybe it’s the quantity of sake I’ve put down tonight, but I read the title as “MLB Job Leaks” and wondered why we should care about the baseball association posting jobs. I mean, I’m not gonna try out for shortstop.

    • rea

      Well, but you would be trying out for shortstop, if Obama hadn’t betrayed the cause of welfare reform.

      • Malaclypse

        See, I would have tried out for shortstop, but the high marginal tax rates of the 1970s incentivized my decision to Go Galt from baseball as a young child.

      • My one season in little league, I played left field but the center fielder was too far right, and the right fielder would only something-something. I swear this sounded better in my head. A little help?

  • adolphus

    In what way are the AHA “job lists” open? I have to enter a password to view the advertisements online. It was once my job to post job ads for a much smaller historical association and we got a stern email from AHA for cross posting some of their stuff because they a)charge advertisers for them and b) charge subscribers to view them.

    Truth to tell AHA job advertisements are useless to me since my subfield rarely advertises there. They no longer have the monopoly they once had.

    But I sense there is something different between a “jobs list” and paid advertisements in their newsletter. Can someone explain that?

  • dsn

    I thought the MLA jobs list already was open http://mlajobs.tumblr.com/

    :P

    • spencer

      That’s pretty funny.

  • VeeLow

    I’m with you 100%, but if what Rosemary Feal points out in your first comment box is true, then, well–there’s kinda no story.

    So is it true that everybody has free access through their PhD-granting institution?

    • Anonymous

      since I can’t edit, I’ll reply–I refer to the following two comments to the post titled “Money Money Money”:

      “…Any grad student current or former can get access to the database now. It’s explained at http://www.mla.org under Job Information Service…As noted on the MLA Web site, get in touch and we’ll help. Your degree-granting dept should be providing access to all students current and past. If they aren’t, we can get it done.”

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