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  • Potential Opening Lines for My Novel About the Academic Job Market
  • Jacquelyn Ardam (bio)

There was no possibility of taking a tenuretrack job that year.

It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single adjunct in possession of no fortune, must be in want of a spouse (for medical benefits).

Dr. Dalloway said she would pay the MLA registration fees herself.

I am an invisible man.

All tenured faculty are alike; each contingent faculty member is untenured in their own way.

Literally every academic was spiteful.

The snow in the mountains was melting and the job wikis had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.

They say when trouble comes, close ranks, and so the tenured faculty did.

My name is Kathy H. I'm forty-one years old, and I've been a VAP now for over eleven years. That sounds long enough, I know, but actually they want me to go on for another eight months, until the end of this year. That'll make it almost exactly twelve years. Now I know my being a VAP so long isn't necessarily because they think I'm fantastic at what I do. There are some really good VAPs who've been told to stop after just two or three years. And I can think of one VAP at least who went on for all of fourteen years despite being a complete waste of space. So I'm not trying to boast. But then I do know for a fact they've been pleased with my work, and by and large, I have too. [End Page 579]

Jacquelyn Ardam

JACQUELYN ARDAM is Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Research Center for the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at UCLA. Her work has appeared in ASAP/Journal, Modernism/modernity, Comparative Literature Studies, and Contemporary Women's Writing, as well as in a number of nonacademic venues. She spent five years on the academic job market and four years as a contingent worker. She will never apply for a tenure-track job again.



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