Sunday, March 8, 2009

The job

Thanks for the good wishes, everyone!

I'm trying to figure out how much I feel comfortable saying about the job in this space. The college I'll be working at has certain quirks that are fairly distinctive, so including the relevant details would make it fairly easy to figure out my real-life identity. Then again, it's not that hard to do that if you're sufficiently motivated, since I've been pretty open about my research interests.

But some details that are less specific:
--I'll be teaching both medieval and early modern history, pretty much half and half. Basically, if something happened in Europe between the years 500 and 1700, it's my bailiwick. I haven't had to teach early modern for a couple of years, so I'll need to brush up. If anyone has suggestions for Renaissance/Reformation/early modern readings for undergrads, I'd welcome them.

--My department is really small. All members seem to get along well, unless they've been pretending for my benefit. Tips on navigating a small department also welcome.

--I won't have any advisees or committee assignments in the first year, so I have more time to figure out those aspects of the job.

--The college has a medieval & Renaissance studies program which apparently needs new life breathed into it. Suggestions on attracting students and/or inspiring an interdisciplinary program are very welcome!


BarbS said...

I teach early modern, but it's hard to make recommendations without knowing what you'll be teaching. If you are going to do an early modern survey, I like Wiesner-Hanks' textbook - it is organized thematically, which lets me go deeper into each theme than a chronological text does, and there are lots of document readers available to supplement it with primary sources. (The online ones provided by the textbook author are too short for my taste.) For a topical course, if it is on a big topic like the French Rev, I'll pick three or four of the many excellent books available. For other classes, it depends on the topic - I teach a lot of women's history, and there aren't any really good textbooks out there yet (although there are for the modern period). So I usually combine a bunch of chapters that I scan and articles from J-Stor. I find that having a rather standardized way of doing course design, with a clear idea of what kinds of assignments I want to use for each level course, makes it much easier to do new preps - I just have to decide on the readings or texts I want to use for that particular task. But the topical classes I teach are not the Ren/Ref type of thing, so this may not work for you. I'd suggest that you ask for copies of syllabuses that other people have used for specific courses/topics that you need. If you want to see any of mine, send me an email.

clio's disciple said...

Thanks! For next year on the early modern side, I'll have a survey of European history 1300-1700, and a course that will be focused on the Reformation. In subsequent years I'll need to develop new topical courses.

Matthew Gabriele said...

Ms. Disciple,

First, of course, congratulations! I'm actually in quite a similar situation at Virginia Tech (small department, teaching medieval/ early modern, building moribund Med-Ren program), so I'd be happy to chat and share ideas. Please send an email so we can chat.

Matthew Gabriele said...
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