Katherine Side

This selected bibliography was initially prepared in 1997 for the National Women's Studies Association conference. It was updated for the seminar "Finding A Job in Women's Studies" Graduate Programme in Women's Studies, York University, Canada in January 2003.

This bibliography focuses primarily on print materials and is intended as a selective list of resources that may prove useful for the academic job search in Women's Studies. While there are many accounts of women in academe generally, as well as reports from university associations, councils, discipline-based associations and individual institutions, this bibliography attempts to limit resources to those items that provide information about the academic job search and/or about the academic job search in Women's Studies. It may also be helpful to look for additional resources in other disciplines.

Please feel free to copy and/or circulate this selected bibliography, compiled by Katherine Side. If you have additional references and/or comments, please forward them to Katherine Side at the Department of Women's Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


There has been a proliferation of these resources; this is a highly selective list of general sources about the academic job search.

Boufis, Christina & Victoria Olsen (eds). On the Market: Surviving the Academic Job Search (New York: Riverhead Books, 1997).
An edited collection of forty first-hand accounts of PhDs on the academic job market in the 1990s, with some essays by feminists on the job market. See, Sivagami Subbaraman's, "Of Job Trails and Holy Grails for Feminists Out There: A Postmodern Cautionary Tale."

Formo, Dawn, Cheryl Reed & Ross Winterowd. Job Search in Academe: Strategic Rhetorics for Faculty Job Candidates (Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, 1998).
Valuable because it is written by those who have recently been on the academic job market, it provides information about preparing CVs, the interview process and negotiating the employment contract.

Goldsmith, John, John Komlos & Penny Schine Gold. The Chicago Guide to Your Academic Career: A Portable Mentor for Scholars from Graduate School Through Tenure (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001).
Intended as a comprehensive guide from the job search process through to promotion.

Heiberger, Mary Morris & Julia Miller Vick. The Academic Job Search Handbook, 3rd Edition (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001)
A through and comprehensive guide and frequently used resources that includes all aspects of the jobs search. It provides helpful guidance for the interview process, including a helpful section on the telephone interview.

Also see,

Debelius, Maggie & Susan Basalla. So What Are You Going to Do With That? A Guide for MAs and PhDs Seeking Careers Outside the Academy (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2001).
While not specifically about job searching in the academy, it is based on the author's conversations with those who have left the academic job search and is written by two women who did.

Whicker, Marcia Lynn, Jennie Jacobs Kronenfeld & Ruth Ann Strickland. Getting Tenure: Survival Skills for Scholars (London: Sage, 1995).
A readable guide to specific steps toward tenure, without assuming that the reader already knows how the tenure process works.


There seem to be fewer sources published recently that are specific to women and the academic job search.
Caplan, Paula. Lifting A Ton of Feathers: A Woman's Guide to Surviving in the Academic World (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993).
Chapter 7, "What You Can Do" specifically addresses the academic job search, and at the time of hiring. Important for its extensive bibliography on the academic job search.

Toth, Emily. Ms, Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997)
Ms. Mentor (a.k.a. Emily Toth) takes a witty approach, written in the style of an advice column. Chapter Two specifically deals with the topic of 'the job hunt.' Ms. Mentor also regularly answers letters in her advice column, Ms. Mentor in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Rose, Suzanna (ed). Career Guide for Women Scholars (New York: Springer, 1986)
An edited guide contains articles dealing specifically with the academic job search for women scholars.

Also see, Profession (Modern Languages Association) 1994, pp. 57-109. Contains eight articles about the academic job search in the 1990s, including an article by Judith Pascoe about job searching while pregnant.


Bowen, Angela." Testifying: My Experience in Women's Studies Doctoral Training at Clark University" Feminist Studies 24, 2 (1998) pp. 374-402.
In addition to discussing her experience in the freestanding PhD in Women's Studies at Clark University, Bowen also discusses how she positioned herself on the (US) academic job market in Women's Studies/English.

Hembold, Lois Rita. "Getting A Foot in the Door" The Women's Review of Books (February 1994).
Provides practical advice about what search committees in Women's Studies are looking for, written by someone who has chaired search committees in Women's Studies.

Pedersen, Diana. "'Are You A Woman, or an Historian?' A Feminist's Guide to Surviving the Academic Job Interview" Atlantis: Women's Studies Journal 18, 1 & 2 (1992/3) pp.168-176
An article written by a Canadian feminist historian who was actually asked the question in the title in a job interview.

Subaraman, Sivagami. "In Different Spaces: Feminist Journeys from the Academy to the Mall" in Robyn Wiegman (ed.) Women's Studies On Its Own: A Next Wave Reader in Institutional Change (Durham: Duke University Press): 258-266.
A candid discussion of the realities of feminist adjuncts in US universities, that also critically engages with racialization and citizenship.

Warhol, Robyn. "Nice Work If You Can Get It - And If You Can't? Building Women's Studies Without Tenure Lines" in Robyn Wiegman (ed.) Women's Studies On Its Own: A Next Wave Reader in Institutional Change (Durham: Duke University Press): 224-242.
Raise some questions for those seeking jobs in Women's Studies. The author suggests that tenure lines in Women's Studies alone are unlikely in future and suggests developing tenure lines in 'traditional departments'.


The Chronicle for Higher Education has a Career Network Section that regularly lists job postings. It also offers practical advice. Examples of past titles include "The Worst Mistakes You Can Make", "CVs, Cover Letters and References: How to Present Yourself on Paper". Also read first-hand accounts and diaries shared by other job seekers. It is available in print and in a web based format.

WMST-L File Collection: Academia includes list-serve postings on the topic of women's studies/women's issue in academia.

Molly Dragiewicz, Women's Studies and Cultural Studies at George Mason University (US), maintains a Job Resources section on the website, . This page has links to non-academic jobs, as well as academic job, checklists for the job search process and links to sample interview questions.

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