Call for Participants: 2018 NAASR Job Market Workshop
Alongside the AAR/SBL this year in Boston, NAASR will host its annual job market workshop from 1-3pm on Sunday, November 18. This is a great opportunity for early career scholars to receive feedback on their application materials from senior scholars with experience navigating the job market. Folks from any research area and specialty are welcome: if you're planning to apply for positions in Religious Studies, you'll fit right in. While most participants are ABDs, anyone on (or interested in) the market is welcome.
This year we've split the workshop into two sessions: a workshop (for small group feedback on application materials) and a general Q&A. You are welcome to attend either session for as long as your schedule allows. For more information, please click here..
If you're interested in registering for this no-cost workshop, please e-mail me (grazmike [at] gmail [dot] com) by October 1.
NAASR Job Market Workshop CFP
This session proposes to explore the employment challenges facing early career scholars through both a discussion and workshop. This session addresses issues important to junior academics (notably, but not exclusively, ABDs now entering/about to enter the job market) by demonstrating how a professional organization can provide a practical and strategic forum for job-market advice.
The following activities will take place during the session:
In the first half of the session, participants will break into small groups, each led by a more senior scholar. Within their groups, participants will discuss in focused ways how they might best represent themselves, their work, and their scholarly interests on the job market. The smaller setting will allow for more “hands on” advice, taking as examples the CV and cover letters the organizers will have pre-distributed among participants. Simply focusing on what one says in a cover letter’s opening paragraph, for example, or how one orders a C.V., will provide the way into larger questions of representation in these small group discussions. Participants should be ready to share and discuss their CV and sample cover letter with fellow group members (though hopefully all will have some familiarity with the materials in advance to facilitate a more focused workshop).
With the issues and questions from the small-group workshop in mind, the second half of the session will be devoted to an open discussion. The group leaders will begin by providing brief introductory remarks on what they each see as constructive and strategic advice for early career scholars who are navigating the academic job market, aimed initially at how applicants can be strategic not only in trying to ascertain a Department’s needs but also in negotiating potential theoretical and political landmines in the field. A discussion will follow in which participants can talk about these issues in an informal atmosphere and share information. This guided discussion will focus on four central questions related to how might early career scholars interested in theory and method:
- represent themselves strategically on the job market?
- apply to calls for general positions, fitting themselves to broad departmental needs?
- shape their cover letters and CVs to appeal to a wide range of departments?
- respond to critiques that they have no “specialty,” “content,” or “area of study”?
- The discussion is designed to reflect different opinions regarding the place of theory & method in the job market, as well as in the study of religion more generally.
As our workshop wraps up, we will hold the space until 4:30pm for continued group discussion as well as any breakout sessions or small group discussions that emerge.
Scholars of all concentrations within the field of Religious Studies are welcome to join the workshop—whether a NAASR member or not—though preference will be given to early career scholars, particularly those at the senior ABD stage (i.e., those already on or going onto the job market). Shortly before the workshop, but once the participants have been identified, each participant will be invited to share with the other members, via email or a closed social media group, their academic focus/dissertation topic, level of teaching experience, their level of experience with the job market as well as their own current position (e.g., PhD Student, Postdoc, Instructor, etc.) in order to ensure all participants come to the meeting somewhat familiar with the diversity of experience in the workshop. In addition, as stated above, each participant will be invited to provide a sample cover letter and CV for the organizers to pre-distribute. These materials will then be workshopped within their small groups. More details will follow after the participant list has been finalized.
[Image courtesy R0uge on Wikimedia Commons]