That annual gathering of the (mostly) middle-aged men with (mostly) bad wardrobes is upon us–namely, the 122nd Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association in Washington, D.C. (This is not an ad hominem attack, rather a Hunter S. Thompsonesque observation grounded in reportage, only alas without the drinking and shotguns. To wit: one of the first AHAs I ever attended back in the previous century was in Chicago, and I got lost downtown in between the El and the Palmer House. I looked across the street, and saw a bunch of middle-aged men, and each one was wearing a tweed jacket with patches on the elbows, and I knew in an instant that I was no longer lost!)
I’m happily sitting this one out, but I’m in solidarity with all of you unemployed attendees and search committee members sweating away in the job register. Tenured Radical has posted some good advice to job seekers and other newcomers to conventionland. May the Job Fairy grant you some fantastic interviews, invitations to visit campus, and the job of your dreams. Failing that–remember, it’s possible to survive a 4-4 teaching load and/or a move to East Jesus State U. You’ll get good experience, improve your character, learn something about a new region of the country, and widen your circle of friends, if you’re not a complete jerk. People are friendly in East Jesus, and the cost of living is pretty reasonable there too, so you can even save up a little money for that summer research trip.