Had a pleasant meeting this afternoon; it looks like there's a good chance we'll be partnering with the Chicago Humanities Festival in some way for Kriti, which is really nice. They don't have masses of money to throw around, sadly, but they may be able to chip in some, and regardless, their publicity and prestige would be a tremendous help to our nascent organization. So here's hoping we can get someone to come that they'd be interested in...
After that, picked up my new interview suit (Xmas present from my folks, dark brown Anne Klein pantsuit with a dark red silk blouse, for those who care :-), plus a few other random items from downtown (shampoo, frozen bao), and came home. Exhausted, tense about jobs. I know it sounds like I'm doing really well on the job market -- up to ten interviews total, now, I think. But if you remember that most of these places are probably interviewing twenty candidates at MLA, then you realize that my chances are still only up to 50/50. And that assumes that this isn't actually what's going on:
from a Chronicle advice column:I still remember my freshman year, when my floor of the dorm at U of C was photographed for the calendar because we were the most racially-diverse floor on campus. Sigh. All of this could drive a girl mad.
"The reason this type of thing concerns me is that, as a woman and a racial minority, I am aware of being used to superficially comply with some internal or external diversity statistics. This has happened to me throughout my life in subtle and blatant forms -- everything from organizations pursuing grants wanting suddenly (and temporarily) to include me in their roster, to schools wanting a photo for their latest brochure or public-relations project. My mother, a racial minority and immigrant, and a Ph.D./academic since the late 1950's has faced, in my opinion, even more of this kind of exploitation. She has probably been shortlisted dozens of times with few offers. I imagine nearly all academic job-seekers face multiple rejections, yet the constant "runner-up" status resulting from this racial/gender tokenism -- taken together with some vocal white factions decrying all the "special treatment" women of color receive -- is particularly wearying and disheartening. I've seen it take its toll on my mother and, though I am seriously pursuing an academic career, I will pursue another if I find myself similarly exploited."
Luckily, I had Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer's The Grand Tour to distract me -- I found a beautiful used copy when I stopped by Powell's in Hyde Park yesterday. I read most of it last night, but I had about an hour's left today, which helped alleviate my stress. Feisty brave young women who do magic but also appreciate the value of a pretty dress are endlessly amusing. Except, of course, that when the book ends, you're back to being stressed again.
I think I'm coming down with something; woke up coughing, and my eyes are tight and sore at the moment. But I'm also too restless to just lie on the couch and watch tv, and too fretful to concentrate on writing at the moment. Going to go to the grocery store and pick up some stuff; maybe the walk there and back will help dissipate the restlessness, and if not, then at least I'll have food to cook with. It's a bit early, but I'm hosting a SAPAC meeting here on Sunday, potluck, and if I start making curry now, it should still be quite tasty (or even tastier) on Sunday.