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Should I Just Quit Academia?

Should I Just Quit Academia?

The year 2011 was, for me, one of celebration. I finished a Ph.D. in history at the University of Chicago, with a dissertation on the Congress for Cultural Freedom and the cultural Cold War in Latin America. My dissertation was awarded distinction, a denomination I had not even known was possible prior to my defense. A couple of months later, my wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy, our first child. Soon after that I started a prestigious two-year postdoc in the humanities: one of six candidates from a thousand or so applicants. The salary there was in line with a beginning professor’s salary, and I felt, for the first time in my life, that I had reached the middle class. Optimism was easy to come by.

Yet of all the machines that humanity has created, few seem more precisely calibrated to the destruction of hope than the academic job market.

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One response to “Should I Just Quit Academia?

  1. Anonymous March 18, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    I’d at least stop having kids until you get a job.

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