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Would you try and break into academia now? (Literature)

27 replies

QuimReaper · 13/06/2021 11:55

I'm 33 and had my viva in March. I always thought I wanted to go into academia but I'm feeling increasingly disillusioned for a number of reasons:

  • The humanities were hardly rolling in it before the pandemic and really won't be now. In my occasion desultory job searches I've seen NOTHING advertised. I worry a lot about trying to find a job, spending years in precarious short-term contracts, and ultimately ending up nowhere. I passed my viva with no corrections, have some good relationships in my university, and had excellent feedback on my teaching, but I doubt any of that would translate into my being a successful applicant in the current climate. A proper stable career in the humanities almost seems like a thing of the past.

  • Life / work balance seems awful. For some reason women seem to really get the fuzzy end of the lollipop here - it seems like a lot of academics I know are married to their work, and are hardly raking it in, especially at the early stages. Somehow the male academics I know frequently seem to get off more easily.

  • Freedom of speech issues really concern me. I am already loath to stick my head above the parapet on Twitter even as an anonymous person, and am in awe of women who are vocal about their beliefs, but universities seem like stunningly hostile environments, and frankly, students are starting to look like the worst of the lot. I feel really conflicted about this, as if people resist entering the field because they're scared off by the mob, then the field will lose any possibility of dissent or diversity of opinions, and I would be directly contributing to the problem by staying away on this basis. But as I say, it's not the only reason.

Would love to hear the thoughts of anyone who's working in academia currently.
OP posts:

RoseAndGeranium · 01/07/2021 19:11

Sorry, to be clear I’d have been going in for between 1 and 3 hours of teaching on each of those days.


JonahofArk · 07/07/2021 12:45

Hi @QuimReaper - I tried sending you a PM but I'm not sure if it worked as I've never sent one before. Let me know if you haven't received it.

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