Better Late than Never: Musicology Job Wiki Roundup 2011

November 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm 4 comments

Apologies for the long delay in getting this year’s summary together.  I blame it on my cross-country move and the fact that, once I had my own life figured out for the coming year, I gleefully left the wiki behind.  I started this post almost two months ago, but…well…life.

Although the 2011-12 job wiki (located on a different site this year) is in full swing, I wanted to take a moment to pull together some data from the results of the 2010-11 season.  Before I break it down, let me offer a few caveats:

  • As, always: What you see is what you get.  (See last year’s post for more on that)
  • All the following figures come from the wiki as it stood mid-September 2011, which is when it became more-or-less dormant.
  • I included neither the theory/dean/chair searches nor the “unknown acceptances” listed on the wiki.
  • For a fuller picture, please see our posts from 2010, 2009, and 2008.

On last year’s wiki, someone noted that there were about 75 listed jobs with known acceptances.  That same person asked: “Does that make 2010-11 a good year, a bad year, an average year, a less than average year, a more than average year?”  Let’s see…


There were a total of 77 listed hires:

Assistant Professor (tenure-track), Ethnomusicology: 12

Assistant Professor (tenure-track), Historical Musicology:  36

Postdoctoral Fellow, Ethnomusicology: 4

Postdoctoral Fellow, Historical Musicology: 11

Visiting Assistant Professor, Ethnomusicology: 5

Visiting Assistant Professor, Historical Musicology: 9

For comparison (total number of hires/positions posted):

2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07
77 of 118 64 of  91 66 of 107 108 of 129 65 of  78


Placements were made from 37 schools:

In the listings that follow, an exclamation point (!) indicates the placement of an ABD or 2011 PhD in a tenure-track position.  Unless otherwise indicated, all other placements are tenure-track assistant professor position.

I use the following symbols accordingly: + means one placement was a post-doc; * means one placement was a Visiting Assistant Professor

One hire (18): Boulder (*); Cambridge (!); Cornell (+); Eastman; Indiana; Kansas; London; Memphis; Macquarie; Minnesota (*); Northwestern; Oregon (*); Salzburg (*); Stanford; UC-San Diego (*); UC-Santa Cruz; U North Texas; UT-Austin (+)

Two hires (8): Chicago (+); Georgia (!); Illinois (!); Kings College; McGill (!); Princeton (!); UC Berkeley; UW Madison (+)

Three hires (4): Florida State (**); NYU (++); UC-Santa Barbara (+*); Yale (!!*)

Four hires (2): UCLA (+**); UNC-Chapel Hill (!);

Five hires (1): Michigan (++)

Six hires (3): Columbia; Harvard (++*); Pennsylvania (!++**)

For comparison: Year on Year High Placements:

2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07
Columbia, Harvard, Pennsylvania (6) UCLA and Berkeley (5) UCLA (4) Chicago (7) Harvard (7)
Michigan (5) Columbia (4) Columbia, Florida State, Berkeley (3) UCLA (6) Columbia and Pittsburgh (6)
UCLA and UNC-Chapel Hill (4) Berkeley (5)


Number of hires (TT, Postdoc, and VAP) based on year of PhD receipt:

ABD/2011  (23); 2010 (18); 2009 (18); 2008 (2); 2007 (3); 2006 (2); 2005 (4); 2004 (2); 2002 (1); 2001 (1); 1997 (1)

Tenure Track (TT) Hires based on year of PhD receipt:

ABD/2011 (8); 2010 (12); 2009 (11); 2008 (1); 2007 (3); 2006 (2); 2005 (3); 2004 (2); 2002 (1); 2001 (1)

Postdoctoral (PD) Hires based on year of PhD receipt:

ABD/2011 (8); 2010 (3); 2009 (3); 2008 (1)

Visiting Assistant Professor (VAP) Hires based on year of PhD receipt:

ABD/2011 (6); 2010 (2); 2009 (4); 2005 (1)

Here is a pretty graph that puts these hiring figures in perspective:

[Red = Postdoc, Green = VAP, Blue = Tenture-Track]

A few thoughts:

To answer the question posed at the outset of this post: Was 2011 a good year?  Yes, it was a good year.  A greater number of placements were made than at any point since 2008.  More importantly, the range of PhD programs making placements was higher than in years past–at least ten more than last year alone.

The majority of tenure-track jobs went to people who earned their degree in the past three years, with those who finished in 2009 and 2010 pulling in the highest numbers.  The drop-off at 2008 is dramatic, however this might be attributed to the fact that more than 100 hires were made that year.

Not all listed hires were the result of a search tracked by the wiki. I noticed this year that several folks added their hiring info (generally in a VAP position) to the “known acceptances” list.  Having one’s name on the wiki is a point of pride for many, so I it makes some degree of sense that these are included in my data set.  It also highlights the fact that there are numerous jobs out there that emerge beyond the traditional hiring methods that the wiki tracks.

Ergo: Not all hires were ultimately listed on the wiki.  As I mentioned in my caveats, I did not include “unknown acceptances” here.  Furthermore, some positions, such as my current postdoc at Colorado College (through the fantastic Consortium for Faculty Diversity) did not appear on the wiki.  To give you a sense of how this sort of purposeful omission might skew the data, had my placement appeared on the wiki Harvard’s total placements for this year would have totaled 7.  This would have moved that institution back into the top position (based on placements) for the first time in five years.  Whoops.  Sorry Harvard.

Will 2012 be a good year?  At present there are more than 50 jobs searches active on the wiki.  Based on this alone,  we already have a lot of potential.  The VAP listings generally appear in early spring, so we might again hit more than 75 hires.  We’ll just have to wait and see..

Entry filed under: job wiki, musicology, professional development, Ryan Raul Bañagale. Tags: , , , , .

The Video that is not Little Richard as a Child Performer, or, How to Unfail Musicology One Post at a Time Amusicology goes to AMS 2011


  • 1. Drew Massey  |  November 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Good stuff Ryan! Nice to see the numbers for comparison. Of course, it would be really interesting to know about the total number of degrees awarded, something that the Wiki (and even the wiki counter) don’t really reflect. But I’m not sure if that information is collected in a systematic way for Ethno & Musicology….

  • 2. Ryan Raul Bañagale  |  November 8, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Indeed. Just among my close friends and colleagues I know there are a lot of PhDs out there that don’t have jobs. Both last year and this year I know of several jobs (not just the high profile ones) that received 200+ applications. This seems like another piece of information the AMS might be able to find a way to keep track of. See comments on last year’s wiki update for more…

  • 3. Ashley Rose  |  November 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Check out this job searching with social media infographic was shared by TheLadders on Twitter and originally posted by Alltop.

  • 4. Joe Musicology  |  November 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    It is VERY NICE to see all those jobs! and I am equally optimistic about this year. I do wish we had more context, particularly for how other fields are doing, both in the humanities and beyond. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics describes the Job prospects of recently minted lawyers as “keen…” adding that “some graduates may have to accept positions outside of their field of interest or for which they feel overqualified. Some recent law school graduates who have been unable to find permanent positions are turning to the growing number of temporary staffing firms that place attorneys in short-term jobs.” Sound familiar? Go check out the “Life after musicology Ph.D. section of the wiki. Musicology isn’t the only field that is struggling, and the weak job numbers do not reflect a bad decision on the part of those of us who have decided to study music, instead, they reflect a bad economy in which everyone is struggling. I hope things are getting better.


Amusicology is an online forum for musicologists, academic or otherwise. Although Ryan Raul Banagale and Drew Massey are its founders and chief contributors, we welcome guest submissions. Please let us know if you would like to contribute a guest posting. Comments are always welcome and encouraged!

Please bookmark us or add our RSS feed.

Bookmark and Share


%d bloggers like this: