by PhDinHistory | 1/18/2008 12:27:00 AM
As I have compared job ad listings on H-Net and in Perspectives, I find that that in recent years there has been about 1.6 academic history job ads on H-Net for every one that appears in Perspectives. So if there were about 1,030 academic history job ads listed in Perspectives in 2006 and 2007, then there was almost 1,850 job ads listed on H-Net during those years. This got me wondering what proportion of these job searches conduct interviews at the AHA convention. The Chronicle has a new article that reports interviews for about 260 jobs took place in the AHA Job Register Rooms earlier this month. This means that only a fourth of the jobs listed in Perspectives, and only about 14 percent of the jobs listed on H-Net, resulted in interviews at the AHA convention.

You might think these numbers are abysmal, but they are actually an improvement over recent years. For instance, in 2000, there were 193 searches coordinated through the Job Register during the AHA convention. During that same year, there were about 900 academic history job ads in Perspectives. That works out to a one in five ratio, which is actually slightly worse than what happened at the 2008 convention. However, I will point out that the 2007 convention included interviews for 283 out of the 1,030 job ads listed in Perspectives, which is a slightly higher percentage than in 2008.

So what do you think? Do these stats show that history departments have started moving away from using the AHA convention for their interviews? Or are we witnessing a gradual increase in the proportion of job searches which include interviews at the AHA convention? Is the interview process at the AHA convention in need of major reforms? Or are things getting better there? Before you answer these questions, you might want to take a look at the debates that have erupted over at the Chronicle of Higher Education web site.

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Blogger Ahistoricality on 1/18/2008 2:48 AM:

This is purely anecdotal, but I had a much higher ratio of AHA interviews this year than in some of my previous rounds on the market. Only a couple of phone interviews, but a bunch of AHA ones.

In Asian history, I'm seeing a slight increase in interviews at regional studies meetings, but in World History (with Asian focus) positions, mostly AHA.


Blogger Unknown on 1/18/2008 12:18 PM:

I wonder how many positions are interviewed for at the AHA, but not at the actual Job Register. Mills Kelly noted an egregious instance of this, but I'm sure there are others that are hosted at local restaurants.


Blogger PhDinHistory on 1/18/2008 3:52 PM:

Great points. I just wrote a
blog post that, if taken seriously by the AHA, would provide the answer to Jeremy's question. My recommendations might also shame a few departments who are not playing by the AHA's rules.


Blogger Unknown on 1/18/2008 5:52 PM:

That's a really good post. As an aside, I met Mike Bowen at the AHA, and he's a really nice guy from what I can tell.


Blogger Ahistoricality on 1/18/2008 11:14 PM:

Also, in regard to the Job Register question, about half of my interviews were in the Great Blue Hall; the rest were mostly in suites in the main hotels, but I had one each in the satellite hotels (which made Saturday entertaining!), in what may have been unregistered suites.