An announcement

I have accepted a position at Shimer College, a small Great Books school in Chicago. The position is tenure-track equivalent, and I will be teaching broadly in the humanities and social science areas of their core curriculum. I am very excited to be joining Shimer’s unique program, which I feel will be a good fit for my interdisciplinary approach and my pedagogical focus on primary texts — and I am of course relieved to have found a permanent position at all in such a terrible job market. The fact that it’s located where I actually want to live feels near-miraculous.

That I even applied was a stroke of luck — I had not seen the job listing until it was e-mailed to me by Noah Kippley-Ogman, a Shimer alum and a long-time lurker. My position at Kalamazoo came up under similarly serendipitous circumstances, as did its extension from one to two years, and so in many respects I consider myself one of the most fortunate young academics around, particularly in light of the fact that my first round of applications went out literally just as a world-historical financial crisis was getting underway.

While the process was difficult and exhausting and while this year in particular included a number of heart-breaking near-misses, I have come out better than most: I’ve never taught on an adjunct basis, I’ve always had a reasonable teaching load and will continue to, and I’ve been continually employed full-time with benefits basically since graduating (except for the present gap between my contracts at Kalamazoo and Shimer). I still believe that there’s no reason that my path has to represent such a fortunate exception, but the fact remains that it has been — and I’m grateful for that.

51 thoughts on “An announcement

  1. Congratulations, Adam! To the degree that anybody deserves to win the lottery, you certainly did. I’m really glad for you.

  2. Echoing the other people here, congratulations!

    My girlfriend (soon to be my fiancee, I hope) is very involved in the Great Books community. She graduated from Thomas Aquinas College, which is a Great Books school approaching the Great Books from a Roman Catholic perspective (4 years of studying Thomas Aquinas, required courses in medieval Latin, etc). Here in San Francisco, there is a quite active reading club which graduates of several different Great Books colleges / universities participate in (St. John’s, Thomas Aquinas and others).

  3. Congratulations. As a St. John’s alum (Annapolis) and a long time lurker, it is my earnest belief that you have a lot to offer Shimer and that the environment there has a lot to give back.

  4. I’m a 2011 Shimer alumnus who is also lurking on your blog as a result of your hiring. To Adam’s credit (and in order of congratulations), I would like to point out to the congratulators that Shimer’s hiring process is unique and thorough. You don’t just get interviewed by the Dean and faculty, but by the entire, closely knit and idiosynchratic Shimer community in a meeting with the Shimer community and a candidate-led sample class that students volunteer to attend. The students who have met and/or taken the class with the candidate then fill out evaluation forms on the candidate. Then, finally, all of the typical qualifications, along with all of the feedback given, are considered by a democratically elected committee made up of equal parts students, faculty, and staff. So indeed, if you’ve been hired at Shimer, you’re likely the right person for the job and have earned it. Enjoy.

  5. Thank you for your confidence. The interview process was certainly exhaustive — and exhausting! I don’t think I’ve ever been as tired as I was on the night after my first full day of interviewing.

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