Musicology Job Wiki Roundup, 2009

April 23, 2009 at 8:17 am 3 comments

As the saying goes, it ain’t over till it’s over, but here are the numbers from the job wiki as of April 22 for the 2008-09 hiring season. For the sake of comparison, I’ve followed Ryan’s model from last year. It is perhaps being a bit premature to write our roundup so early, but it, hey, you get what you pay for. Disclaimer: I’ve made no attempt to verify what is on the wiki, and have not attempt to correct or add anything to what is up there. WYSIWYG.

Total Known Acceptances (listings from Ryan’s 2008 post):  38 (96)

Total Unknown Acceptances: 8 (14)

Total ongoing: 30 (9)

Total with no further information: 6 (12)

Cancelled/failed: 15 (9)

Total Positions listed: 97 (140)

As Ryan notes, of course, usage is key to the reliability of the information on the wiki – in 2006-07 there were only 66 jobs listed, meaning that (despite protestations to the contrary, discussed below), the number of postings is actually up from two year ago. 

How Schools Did

# means position is a postdoc

* means position went to an ABD

13 schools placed 1 graduate: Brandeis, U. Chicago, Cornell*, U. Georgia, U. Kansas*, Oxford, U. Rochester*, Royal Holloway, Stanford, U. Texas, UC Davis, UCSB*, York

4 schools placed 2 graduates: Cambridge, CUNY, Duke, NYU*, U. Maryland

3 schools placed 3 graduates: Columbia*#, Florida State, UC Berkeley

1 school placed 4 graduates: UCLA**

Year on Year High Placements:




UCLA (4)

Chicago (7)

Harvard (7)

Columbia, Florida State, Berkeley (3)

UCLA (6)

Columbia and Pittsburg (6)


Berkeley (5)


Breakdown by term/specialty (only counting completed searches):

Most of the information about subspecialty was removed from the wiki this year when jobs were filled, but here goes:

Visting: 2 (1 ethno/1 musicology)

Presumptively Tenure Track: 36 (12 musicology / 14 no information / 7 ethno / 1 contemporary /1 American / 1 African American

Listed Specialties: 4 ethno / 1 American /1 Theory / 1 20th-21st Century Music


What does it all mean?

The blogosphere has light up with discussions of job hiring this year, probably on account to several high profile searches being cancelled. On the job wiki, the discussion page has been littered with rants and raves, probably reaching its climax with an anonymous poster threatening suicide if they were unable to secure a job this year. Phil Gentry, and others, have been despondent about the prospects as revealed on the job wiki. Robert Judd, writing on January 30 to AMS-L, had a more optimistic assessment, writing that ” I have not seen the decline in musicology job advertising that the AHA and MLA report; at least, that’s not the impression I’ve received from seeing the postings to the job bulletin board.” Replies to him confirmed the trend, or at least stuck to some version of “hey, getting a TT  job is hard work!”

Absent the info on the sub-specializations of completed searches, it isn’t possible to conduct on an analysis of what was “hot” this year (if such a thing is meaningful). It is clear that Berkeley and UCLA had another good year in placement, but as Ryan noted in his last round up it isn’t clear when people received their Ph.Ds, so someone midcareer who is getting a job appears the same a freshly-minted grad student to the wiki readership. Neverthless, four schools have so far taken almost half of the jobs filled! 


Even if all of the open searches convert to completed ones, only 82 jobs will have been filled this year, down from 96 last year. Of course, Ryan was writing in August of last year so he had more perspective on what happened during the summer, but it doesn’t seem a stretch to say that things are off from a heady year last year. As I’ll suggest in a post later this week, though, the job wiki may not actually give people what they are looking for…


Entry filed under: Drew Massey, job wiki, musicologists, musicology, professional development.

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  • 1. PMG  |  April 27, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks as always for collating this information, as WYSIWYG as it is. I sometimes wish that the AMS could be more proactive about collecting statistics in a more empirical manner than the wiki allows. Bigger scholarly organizations such as the MLA and AHA do this, and while they have more resources then we do, I think it could be worthwhile. It’s not that better stats are all that useful for job seekers–I think it’s a very bad idea to choose a dissertation topic based solely on what you think the market will want in 2+ years–but it would help to dispel all the random anecdotalization and mystifying that goes around.

  • 2. Anita  |  August 12, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Looks like this year’s wiki will be a wash, since it’s become nearly impossible to edit and anonymous edits are no longer allowed. It would be fantastic if someone with access to the site could get us set up on the other academic job-search wiki or at least re-open the site to anonymous posers.

  • 3. Mobil Bekas  |  November 3, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Stop looking for a job. You should build an entrepeneurship and giving jobs to other. I live in developing country. No job will bring me to welfare except working for Oil Company and State Own Company. Because of this I build my own company,
    mobil bekas Indonesia


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