Wiki Round-Up 2008
The first job postings for 2008-2009 are starting to trickle in, so it occurs to me that the time is upon us for a short recap of observations regarding my friend (or foe) and yours, the musicology job wiki.
I should preface my comments by saying that I didn’t watch the job wiki nearly as closely this year as last. Part of that was because I spent the better part of my spring preparing/polishing an article and a dissertation prospectus (that is also my excuse for having not written anything for Amusicology since March!). I did, however, check in enough to sense a significant increase in the number of users. This is based on the speed at which things were updated (based on what I heard from friends on the market and at hiring institutions) and the extensive comments made in the newly added “general discussion” area. More on that in a minute.
First some stats (along with the caveat that this info is based on what is currently available on the wiki):
This year there are known results for 96 tenure track, temporary, and post-doc positions in music history/musicology/ethnomusicology. There are 14 more with unknown acceptances. Nine searches are apparently still going, 12 have no updates since their initial listing, and 9 more ended with no placement (canceled/failed).
The grand total of positions listed via the wiki during 2007-2008: 140
This is more than double that of the 66 listed during 2006-2007 (see my previous posts on the subject for more on last year, first one & second one). At the same time, the outcome rate, when we know who has filled the position, is somewhat lower: 68% this year and 79% last year.
Here is how schools did:
# means that one placement is a post-doc.
* means that one (or two if **) placement went to an ABD candidate.
15 Schools placed 1 graduate: Alberta, Arizona, Brandeis, Duke#, Florida, Georgia*, Indiana, North Texas, Northwestern, Ohio State, U of British Columbia, University of Virginia#, Western Ontario*, Wisconsin, and Yale
10 Schools placed 2 graduates: Colorado, Florida State University, Oregon, Princeton, Stanford*, Maryland, Minnesota, UC-Davis, UC-San Diego, and USC
9 Schools placed 3 graduates: Cornell, CUNY#, Eastman**, Harvard, Michigan, NYU##, UT-Austin, U-PENN, and Wesleyan
4 Schools placed 4 graduates: Columbia#*, Illinois, UC-Santa Barbara#, and UNC
1 School placed 5 graduates: UC-Berkeley
1 School placed 6 graduates: UCLA
1 School placed 7 graduates: Chicago*
“Top” 3 2007-2008: “Top” 3 2006-2007:
1. Chicago (7 this year, 1 last year) 1. Harvard (7 last year, 3 this year)
2. UCLA (6 this year, 1 last year) 2-3. Columbia (3 last year, 3 this year)
3. Berkeley (5 this year, 2 last year) & Pittsburgh (3 last year, 0 this year)
Since we don’t know number of PhDs that any of these (or other institutions) granted this year, it isn’t immediately obvious how many of these positions went to newly minted PhDs versus those with previous positions—with the exception of one grad from UCLA. Regardless, it will be interesting to see the results next year and see if we have another completely different set of “top” schools placing their PhDs as well as those not quite yet there.
An interesting new addition this year was move to indicate the status of a hire as “ABD.” By my count, that means seven placements went to candidates that didn’t have the PhD in hand when they landed that first job—though I presume they are probably pretty close! The positions these scholars obtained run the range of ethno vs. historical and tenure vs. temporary.
More stats (based on those searches with known hire information):
12 are one to three year positions music history/musicology
8 are one to three year positions in ethnomusicology
33 list music history or musicology
14 list specialties (post-1800, Baroque/Classical/Rom, 20th/21st, etc.)
19 give no further information
19 list ethnomusicology
6 list specialties (Latin American studies, African, jazz, etc.)
13 give no further information
8 list combinations of historical- and ethnomusicology, or broader categories (North American, Critical and Comparative Studies, Interdisciplinary Arts)
7 offer no further detail
It would be great to compare this info to the information from last year. However, I don’t have the info from last year, because someone deleted the archives (one of the few disadvantages of it being a wiki…))
This year there were more openings for those with historical leanings. Increasingly, however, institutions seem to not distinguish what type (ethno or historical) of degree they are looking for. Of course this sort of thing causes confusion, which prompted one person to begin a “general discussion” area in order to figure out the differences between UT-Austin’s two jobs. These were listed as “African-American” and “North American” and a mini-debate emerged, “since they’re not very mutually exclusive,” as one person reasonably stated. Someone from the search committee eventually jumped in to help clarify things. In the end, however, one of the jobs went to a candidate who some felt didn’t really “fit” any of the descriptions, official or otherwise. A final contributor to this particular discussion chimed in: “I think this shows you should apply for what you are qualified to do and not second guess what the search committee is looking for. Often THEY don’t know until they start looking at applicant files!” A good point to keep in mind–though I don’t think any search committee would suggest applying to every program out there. Some discretion is certainly in order.
The primary objective of this wiki is to keep candidates abreast of the hiring stages of things in the midst of the season. I think this year it did a particularly good job at that (though some of the discussions weren’t necessarily job-specific (see the rant about AMS program selection)). Increasingly, it provides us with insight regarding the hiring trends of our discipline–something I hope will continue. As I prepare to post this, it appears that someone has cleaned the slate and archived last season’s info. The process begins anew.
Good luck to everyone on the market this year! And, as I’ve said before: Congratulations to all of those who gained professorial employment this year – I hope to join you soon!
 I am presuming that positions not listed as temporary offer the potential of permanent employment.