NeMLA 2020: Now What? The Comparative Literature Degree and the Job Market

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Claire Sommers/NeMLA
contact email: 



The academic job market is famously difficult to navigate, particularly in the Humanities. While no discipline in the Humanities has a high number of positions available, it is especially challenging to find jobs in a Comparative Literature department, as the majority of hires are made through an English or Language department. Comparative Literature PhDs must therefore be prepared to market themselves to other academic departments and disciplines. This roundtable will offer practical advice for Comparative Literature PhDs on the job market. Topics we hope to discuss include:




· Applying for jobs in unitary disciplines such as an English or Language department


· Showing specialization with an interdisciplinary degree


· Framing a Comparative Literature degree as an asset


· Addressing “jack of all trades, master of none” critiques


· Productive steps that can be taken in graduate school to prepare for the job market


· Marketing yourself to a variety of fields

Please submit a 300-word abstract and 100-word bio by September 30, 2019. You will need to create a user account through the NeMLA website ( in order to submit an abstract. Contact Claire Sommers, NeMLA's Promotions, Exhibits, and Professionalization Coordinator ( with any questions.