Announcing #alt-ac: Playing on Both Teams, Winning on One

I’m tremendously excited to announce the release of #alt-academy, spearheaded by Bethany Nowviskie and involving 32 initial contributors, including myself. Built in the MediaCommons framework, you are welcome to not only read the essays in the collection, but also respond to the authors’ essays. What’s more, the collection will grow in the future and the call for further contributions has already been posted.

The #alt-academy evolved in response to a series of tweets on 20 November 2009, including one from myself asking Bethany (and other alt-ackers) to provide signposts for getting started on an #alt-ac career. Now that I’m in the beginning of just such a career, I’m pleased to provide my own signposts, idiosyncratic though they may be. To that end, my essay—”Playing on Both Teams, Winning on One“—compares and contrasts my experiences applying to tenure-track and #alt-ac jobs (finding, applying, and interviewing). More importantly—for me, at least—are my reflections on the feelings and appearance of failure that one may (inevitably?) feel on transitioning from traditional academic careers and into a new position.

I’ve not had a chance to read much of the collection yet, but it’s where I’m going to be spending my free time in the coming week. I look forward to seeing others’ thoughts about my own essay as well as the larger conversations that will spiral out from the project as a whole.