As someone in the same position, your post both touched a chord and hit a nerve. Heh. I won't be on the market until fall of next year, in the best-case scenario, but I have little hope that things will change much by then (academia having the tendency to move at the speed of sludge). I worry that I will be pigeon-holed, and then I worry that I don't even meet the criteria for the pigeon holes.And then I either willfully stop thinking about it, or go on a two-day Ben & Jerry's/potato chip binge. (Both are equally effective coping strategies, but the latter has unpleasant side effects.)Good luck: to you, to all of us, and to schools in adapting to the changing and, yes, emergent nature of interdisciplinary research. It's going to be interesting...
Excellent post. We've all got to stick it out, and forge ahead. As I've been told, we can't afford self-pity. There is a place for our work. It just may take a little more digging than we anticipated, to mark out our territories.Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim's "Somewhere" is becoming my theme song.
Oof. Your post hit a nerve with me too. My research spans 3 major subdisciplines in my field of science. To make matters worse all three of those subdisciplines can be housed in multiple departments. In the last job cycle, I applied for jobs with three different specialities in 4 different departments and my two interviews were on two of my specialities that many people consider antonyms (but their totally not!). And I faced some tough questions in the interview process because of it. I'm kind of babbling here, but my points are: (1) The problem's not limited to the social sci/humanities; and (2) It can be hard for someone who is only trying to span subdiscipline.The problem is that I truly believe that we won't make major advances in science by continuing to refine our knowledge in narrow stovepipes. Only when we blur the boundaries will we find out remarkable things. Just try to get R1 science departments to recognize this!
Nice! You summarized my academic anxiety perfectly.
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