Musicology Job Wiki Roundup 2012

May 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm 1 comment

Well, last year we were late, so this year we’ll be a bit early. Since no one else seems to track in a systematic way the placements in academic musicology posts, we are pleased to offer the fifth annual Job Wiki roundup. As usual, the same caveats apply:

  • WYSIWYG. I don’t try to verify the information on the wiki.
  • These numbers are based on named accepted positions only – rumored acceptances or “accepted but name unknown” are not counted.
  • Breakdown by sub-discipline is based on the actual announcement, not who a school ended up hiring.
  • Lateral moves account for some of the positions which took place with less recent PhDs.
  • “ABD” for our purposes means anyone receiving their degree in 2012 (i.e., probably was offered a position prior to receiving the degree).

 By the numbers:

As of 5/29/2012, there were 58 named hires, which cleaved out along the following categories:

TT, all ranks, Ethnomusicology: 13

TT, all ranks, Historical Musicology: 29

TT, all ranks, Other: (i.e., multiple disciplines, digital music, etc.): 3

Postdoctoral Fellow, Ethnomusicology: 1

Postdoctoral Fellow, Historical Musicology: 0

Postdoc, Other (or open): 4

VAP, Ethno: 3

VAP, Historical Musicology: 2

Unknown: 3

Total number of positions versus positions with named acceptances:

2011-12 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07
58 of 98 77 of 118 64 of  91 66 of 107 108 of 129 65 of  78

Placements were made from 37 Schools:

1 Hire (17 schools): CUNY; Florida State; KCL; Michigan; Ohio State; Oregon; Oxford; Pittsburgh; Rutgers; UBC; UC Riverside; UCLA; UCSB; UT Austin; Western Ontario; Wesleyan; Yale

2 Hires (10): UC Berkeley; Brown; Chicago; Cornell; Indiana; Northwestern; Nottingham; Penn; Princeton; Stanford

3 Hires (4): Columbia;  Eastman; UCSD; UIUC

4 Hires (1): NYU

5 Hires (1): Harvard

Year on Year High Placements by Institutions:

2012-11 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07
Harvard (5) Columbia, Harvard, Pennsylvania (6) UCLA and Berkeley (5) UCLA (4) Chicago (7) Harvard (7)
NYU (4) Michigan (5) Columbia (4) Columbia, Florida State, Berkeley (3) UCLA (6) Columbia and Pittsburgh (6)
Columbia; Eastman; UCSD; UIUC (3) UCLA and UNC-Chapel Hill (4) Berkeley (5)

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

ABD/2012 (16); 2011 (10); 2010 (13); 2009 (5); 2008 (4); 2007 (4); 2005 (2); 2004 (1); 2003 (1); 1999 (1); 1981 (1)

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

ABD/2012 (10); 2011 (8); 2010 (10);  2009 (5); 2008 (3); 2007 (3); 2005 (2); 2004 (1); 2003 (1); 1999 (1); 1981 (1)

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

2012 (4); 2010 (1)

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

2012 (2); 2011 (2); 2008 (1)

And, because I’m jealous of Ryan’s graph last year, here’s another one with this year’s data:

As before, the curve falls off sharply four years out, but the market for PhDs earned prior to 2009, at least as reported on the wiki, seemed a little bit firmer.

The Wiki’s Changing Audience

As it is not yet June, it seem likely that a number of VAP and one year positions will continue to be filled over the summer (a certain “Brigid” made this point in comments to our 2010 wrapup ). And certainly the fact that less than 60% of the positions announced this year have named hires at this point suggests that there are still several acts of drama to play out (also something to keep in mind if you are on the job market!).

One surprise is that the wiki tracked lateral moves this year, reaching all the way back to 1981. As far as I know, this is the deepest into the past the wiki has ever tracked, and suggests that its audience paying attention to and updating positions across ranks.

As with years past, there are of course a lot of unknowns in this analysis: the total pool of applicants (reportedly ranging from 100 to 200 for many jobs); the total pool of PhDs in historical and ethno looking for TT work in any given season; the total number of PhDs in historical and ethno actually being awarded every year. As in years past, I have not made an effort to track gender or diversity statistics for this analysis, and continue to believe that AMS and SEM would be able to develop much more authoritative numbers for the state of the market if there was the desire to do so.

As usual, tensions continued to run high this year’s wiki – there were accusations of deletion; bruised feelings by a variety of slights both perceived and real; large and small. But the incorporation of a “Dear Search Committees” and “Venting Page”  the Wikia (which hosts the Ethno/Historical wiki) provides some company for those dark nights of the soul.

So, is the job market getting better?

With six years of data, there seem to be a few overall trends which stick out. Of course, generalities have exceptions, but here’s my take:

–          In general, there are about 100 jobs a year, or which around 60-80% are ultimately filled.

–          Certain institutions do seem to place more graduates. Of course, some individuals are counted more than once – someone could have a postdoc in 2009 and a TT job in 2011. But it is noteworthy that UCLA and Columbia have been in the top three placements for four of the past six years. Harvard and Berkley trail just behind, landing among the top placement institutions for three of the past six.

–          At least as reported on the wiki, musicology TT positions tend to outnumber ethno positions by between 2-1 and 3-1 since 2010.

Despite its volatility for its participants, I think the argument can be made that the job market for ethnomusicology and historical musicology is actually rather flat over the course of the last six years. Of course, if the pool of applicants is growing larger and larger, that means it really is becoming more competitive…. But that’s a topic for another day.

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