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Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs Re: [gcsumfa] Re:: Edit Log



umass76


Mar 6, 2010, 4:39 PM


Views: 35716
Re: [gcsumfa] Re:

Oh Jeez... You are really wasting everyone's time now. The data I gave you was for entry-level jobs. Look at that list of schools above -- how many have MFAs? They are all jobs teaching CW to undergrads. Even Cornell's recent search was for a job teaching undergrads. The jobs not in the data above are the ones no one even gets to apply for (i.e. MFA jobs). And those are the jobs everyone actually wants.

You said my facts were wrong, you said 1-2 books was enough to get a job. I showed that you were wrong. You said I didn't know about or hadn't looked into the job market. I showed that you were wrong. You said that a CW Ph.D. could expect to find a TT job and that this was one reason to do a creative dissertation. I showed that that view was naive. Now you're using tautological reasoning to escape what you've said and I'm not even sure you realize it. This is what you're doing:

Q: Why do employers (GCSUMFA says, wrongly) not require applicants to have more than 1-2 books?

A: Because CW Ph.D. grads can't be expected to have more than 1-2 books.


Q: Why do employers care what recent CW Ph.D. grads do or don't have, when they can hire anyone of any age they want?

A: Because CW Ph.D. grads can't be expected to have more than 1-2 books.

Q: How do we know that it's no problem for recent CW Ph.D. grads to only have 1-2 books?

A: Because employers hire CW Ph.D. grads, and CW Ph.D. grads are likely to only have 1-2 books.

Q: What do we do with the fact that the data actually says employers are
not hiring recent CW Ph.D. grads for TT jobs (undergrad or MFA), not primarily hiring people with only 1-2 books and no major awards, and do not care about the age of their hires in a world where CW Ph.D. grads are likely to be around 30, and the Yale Younger Poets Prize considers a "young poet" someone 40 or younger (meaning employers could still be hiring "young poets" in hiring people 10 years post-doctorate, not to mention the fact that many programs don't want to hire young poets, but established ones)?

A: We ignore that information. Data is only significant if I take two seconds to pull it off AWP; if it gets contradicted by more extensive and more specific data, I retreat to the safety of tautology.


Look, GCSUMFA, I'm not telling you all this for my health. I already know this stuff, and I'm making decisions based on it. This is for your benefit, because clearly you don't know any of this. If you want to ignore it I could care less. I did what I could: I posted the information, and now folks can see the truth about things and decide what they think about it. But resorting to rhetorical pretzel-logic to defend your sense of self in the face of being woefully wrong is simply a disservice to yourself and to others here. The truth isn't about me or you, it just is. The data here isn't "Seth's data," nor does it reflect "Seth's agenda," it's simply the data. I care less about winning an argument; what I want is to get the facts right. So, the facts:

1. Employers primarily are looking for established poets and will often recruit these directly. These poets are likely to have won major national awards and have many books and none of us can compete with them for employment nor will we be allowed to.

2. When and if employers open their positions to national searches, they will not care about the age of their hires but rather their publication history. It will be presumed -- it will not advance anyone's chances -- that every candidate has a sufficient terminal degree in the field.

3. The standard for getting a TT job, at present, albeit only with respect to the small percentage of jobs that are open to public application, is 2+ books and 1 national award; in 4-6 years that figure will rise to 3+ books at a minimum.

4. The total number of available CW TT jobs, at any level, is laughably small. A few dozen per year at best. Around 2,000 new poets graduate from MFA and Ph.D. programs looking for jobs each year.

5. Colleges and universities have every right to consider diversity in making hiring decisions. The effect of this, non-pejoratively, is that those who can't bring any additional communal diversity to their prospective communities are at a disadvantage. In practical terms, this may well mean that white male poets will need to have, on average, a lengthier publication history prior to getting hired than others. This in no way means or suggests anyone else is unqualified -- merely that there has traditionally been a glut of white males in academia, and the present generation of white males is feeling the effect of that. No one's asking anyone to feel sorry for us, nor would we expect that if we asked. But for a white male poet not to consider the job market in all its complexities is folly, and for anyone (whatever their background) to underestimate the difficulty of this market is also folly.

So no -- CW Ph.D. graduates can't expect to have 2.1 books and 0.8 national awards. That's also why they can't expect to have TT jobs unless and until they reach that point.

And depending upon their personal background, they may need to push well beyond that point. And nobody gets to whine that it's not fair, because that question is entirely immaterial -- it is what it is.

Here's the good news: you will be able to get a 4/4 adjunct job with no healthcare. And you'll think I'm being cruel or facetious here -- I'm not. I actually do consider this the good news, for all of us.

S.


(This post was edited by umass76 on Mar 6, 2010, 4:46 PM)


Edit Log:
Post edited by umass76 (User) on Mar 6, 2010, 4:40 PM
Post edited by umass76 (User) on Mar 6, 2010, 4:41 PM
Post edited by umass76 (User) on Mar 6, 2010, 4:41 PM
Post edited by umass76 (User) on Mar 6, 2010, 4:42 PM
Post edited by umass76 (User) on Mar 6, 2010, 4:43 PM
Post edited by umass76 (User) on Mar 6, 2010, 4:44 PM
Post edited by umass76 (User) on Mar 6, 2010, 4:44 PM
Post edited by umass76 (User) on Mar 6, 2010, 4:44 PM
Post edited by umass76 (User) on Mar 6, 2010, 4:45 PM
Post edited by umass76 (User) on Mar 6, 2010, 4:46 PM


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