Is there some kind of job ad template that gets distributed to all women's studies departments? Because apparently they're ALL hiring people with the exact same specialty. I swear, every ad has been eerily similar to this one (I've gone ahead and highlighted the buzzwords for those of you playing along):
[Your university name here] invites applications for a full-time, permanent, tenure-track Assistant Professor position, beginning Fall 2007. Required qualifications: Ph.D. in relevant field in hand by August 16, 2007; demonstrated ability to teach core courses in Women's Studies (or closely related fields); an intersectional and interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research on gender, race, class, and sexuality; and evidence of a strong research program. Desired qualifications: Research specialty in one or more of the following or related fields: LGBTQ Studies (particularly concentrating on Queers of Color and/or transnational sexualities), transnational labor, social justice movements; demonstrated ability to teach graduate courses in Women's Studies or related field; demonstrated ability to link university and grassroots initiatives; and cultural competencies in communities of color.
Seriously, people. Can't we get some new vocabulary (and specialties!) circulating in the Chronicle of Higher Ed ads this year? Those of us who jumped on the popular women-in-science bandwagon of a few years ago would appreciate it.
Also, to that one university's women studies department that is hiring a specialist in pre-19th century Africa: Thank you, but good luck finding person with a women's studies Ph.D. who researches that period in Africa. I know they must out there, but I haven't met any. Wanna know why? It's because they're all busy working on contemporary QLGBTI transnational grassroots social competency studies in communities of color. Your discipline has made its bed--now lie in it.
And good luck 6-10 years from now, when all those grad students will be exiting their programs with shiny new dissertations on transnationalism. . . and oh, look, there are no jobs because you've already filled all your transnational positions with their dissertation advisers.
FWIW, I really do think QLGBTI transnational grassroots social competency studies in communities of color are worthy pursuits. (Throw "pop culture" into that mix and that's largely what my own Ph.D. discipline is supposed to do.) I just don't think everyone should be channeled into this field because hey, there are lots of other worthy specialties out there that--judging by course offerings in many of the departments advertising for these positions--seem to be getting overlooked.