From Welfare to the Tenure TrackHistorians in the News
tags: Chronicle of Higher Education, adjuncts, tenure
Last summer, as her 45th birthday approached, Melissa Bruninga-Matteau made a promise to “end part of her life.”
She had earned a Ph.D. in medieval history—from the University of California at Irvine, after nearly a decade of study—back in 2011, and she had hoped to glide into a solid faculty position. Instead, the previous two years had been marked by disappointment, depression, and rejection. Though she had applied for more than 100 teaching openings, nothing much had panned out. The best job she’d been able to find was as an adjunct at Yavapai College, a community college in Prescott, Ariz., where she taught a couple of humanities courses for meager pay and no benefits.
Bruninga-Matteau ended up relying on food stamps and Medicaid, barely scratching out a living for herself and her 17-year-old daughter. When she wasn’t grading papers, or worrying about keeping the lights on and the hot water running, she was trawling the Web in search of articles about the brutal academic job market and colleges’ use of adjuncts.
“It was just all so depressing,” she says. “If I was ever going to provide for myself and for my daughter, I needed a job with decent pay and benefits.”
So Bruninga-Matteau told herself that if she didn’t land a tenure-track job—somewhere, anywhere—by her birthday, June 11, she was going to give up on her dream of becoming a history professor and move on from that chapter in her life....
comments powered by Disqus
- A girl named Greta and the seriously sexist history of Time’s Person of the Year
- Poll: Majority of Democrats think Obama was better president than Washington
- Civil War Soldiers Used Hair Dye to Make Themselves Look Better in Pictures, Archaeologists Discover
- Monumental statue of black man defies Confederate monuments
- From Consensus To Deadlock: Is Impeachment Still A Check On Presidents?
- Black Scholars Respond to Dr. Lorgia García Peña Tenure Denial at Harvard
- Historians Kirsten Weld and Erik Baker Interviewed About Harvard Graduate Worker Strike in Chronicle of Higher Education
- Kate Shaw: Andrew Johnson Was Impeached for Being a Racist Demagogue
- Bullets That Killed John F. Kennedy Immortalized as Digital Replicas by Smithsonian
- 37 books for history lovers: 11 Historians Select Their Favorite Books of 2019