The academic job market is famously difficult to navigate. Ironically, the decrease in job opportunities has prompted an increase in the number of materials required by each application—cover letters, CVs, recommendations, dissertation abstracts, research statements, teaching statements, diversity statements—all of which must be customized for each institution to which a candidate is applying. Yet, in spite of these challenges, there are still job openings each year and there are still success stories of people being hired for these positions. While no longer a guarantee, the only way to attain a full-time position in academia is to apply for one.
It is no secret that over the years, the number of PhD graduates and the number of available permanent academic jobs has been inversely disproportionate. Wendler et al.’s 2010 study revealed that a little under 50% of US PhD graduates found academic jobs, most of which are unlikely to be full-time positions, and majority of which go to graduates of more prestigious universities. Yet these numbers rise dramatically once one looks outside the hallowed walls of the North American university.
Classroom spaces and working environments speak volumes about how institutions conceive of teaching, learning and research, and whether they invest in collaboration. In many ways, institutions remain fixated on the front of the classroom, on the teacher as the “sage on the stage” rather than having faculty experts serve as “guides on the side,” “advanced organizers,” and “resources” for helping students foster their own learning. Individual offices silo faculty from one another, while graduate student and adjunct offices often offer fewer desks than bodies that use them. This long-held standard is changing somewhat, but slowly.
This session will be an extension of the discussions during the Let's Work Together: Collaboration and Pedagogy roundtables at the 2017 NeMLA Convention in Baltimore. The goals of this session are to further discourse about the ways in which collaboration can be fostered and implemented at the administrative and curricular level, as well as how individual contributors to the university culture—faculty and students of all levels—can incorporate and emphasize collaboration.
Double Helix: A Journal of Critical Thinking and Writing publishes work addressing linkages between critical thinking and writing, in and across the disciplines, and it is especially interested in pieces that explore and report on connections between pedagogical theory and classroom practice. The journal also invites proposals from potential guest editors for specially themed volumes that fall within its focus and scope.
Suzanne S. Hudd
Sally Elizabeth Mitchell
Robert A. Smart
Kathleen Blake Yancey
This roundtable will look at pedagogical strategies for examining the 2016 election in Standard Freshman English Composition courses. English Composition instructors are struggling with approaching relevant concepts (ex. argument) and reading selections that do not alienate portions of the classroom with every choice. While it would be ideal, it is not necessarily feasible or responsible to be bi-partisan with every lesson plan. Submissions should present pedagogical approaches that stimulate constructive inquiry, application of course concepts, and/or address concerns of partisan discourse (in the texts, by instructors, or students).
The last few decades have witnessed a growing interest in the benefits of linking the learning of a foreign language to the study of its literature. In fact, the emphasis on working with culturally authentic texts is one of the central claims for curriculum reform in EFL/ESL teaching nowadays. Moreover, the latest developments in text-based teaching point to a curriculum in which language, culture, and literature are taught as a continuum.
Nevertheless, the incorporation of literary texts into the language curriculum is not easy to tackle. Many linguists refer to literary content as extremely demanding for both teachers and students. Not surprisingly, many teachers tend to avoid using literary texts for this reason.
Teaching American Literature: A Journal of Theory and Practice (TALTP), a peer-reviewed open source online journal, is accepting articles for our Winter 2018 issue, How Do We Survey. We are interested in articles by instructors and their experiences in teaching the American literature survey course in all its permutations. How are the classics and contemporary American authors balanced in surveys? What are the difficulties? The benefits? Any issue pertaining to teaching American literature is welcome, from assignment creation, gender issues, difficulties with translations, to first-hand accounts of both successes and failures.
Fostering Global Competence: Teaching Language and Culture Through Film
The session aims to reimagine the fundamental pedagogical role of foreign language and culture courses in the college curriculum in the era of globalization. Providing students with cultural experience is the objective and challenge in beginners’ language and culture courses. Films can provide the narrative of our fast-changing time, allowing reflection on global issues as well as cultural values. This session will explore whether it is possible to add relevant content to our instruction to help students reflect on the global era.