Job Placement for Ph.D. Program

The 2017-2018 Placement Committee is:

  • Pat Crain (Chair),
  • John Archer,
  • Bill Blake,
  • Simon Trujillo,

First Hand Accounts

The Department of English has an intensive process for preparing doctoral candidates for a competitive job market. A standing committee of three faculty is devoted to job placement. In the spring term prior to the job-hunting season, this committee holds an orientation about the process and distributes a comprehensive handbook that includes sample job letters, cv’s, and other materials. As the job season unfolds, the placement committee maintains frequent contact with job seekers and advisors, offering further support with respect to recommendation letters, writing samples, and professional networks. Most importantly, it holds a series of events that address different stages of the process (see below) including mock interviews with students prior to the MLA conference, and a workshop on the teaching portfolio. The committee also arranges mock job talks for students receiving campus visits. Securing a tenure-track job in the current climate typically entails more than one year of comprehensive searching, and the placement committee continues to work with students for as long as it takes. Graduates of NYU’s English department are scholars and teachers all over the country, and the world, at large research universities (UC Berkeley, Brandeis, Yale, University of Nebraska, University of Texas, Cornell, American University of Beirut), small liberal arts colleges (Iona, Whitman, Connecticut, Rhodes) and a range of institutions in between.

Recent Fellowships

Adam Spanos, Harper-Schmindt Postdoctoral Fellow
at the University of Chicago 

Collin Jennings, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 
in the Experimental Humanities at Bard College 

Jane Carr, ACLS Public Fellowship, New
America Foundation

Mo Pareles, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in
Medieval Literature, Northwestern University

Elizabeth Bonapfel, Mellon Postdoctoral
Fellowship in the Humanities, Freie
Universitat, Berlin

Laurie Lambert, Postdoctoral Fellowship in
Critical Caribbean Studies, Rutgers University

Lea Juric, Postdoctoral teaching Fellowship,
Fordham University

Brendan Beirne, Postdoctoral Fellowship in
Contemporary Literature, Washington

Jesse Morgan Owens, Facuty Fellow,
Newhouse Center for the Humanities,
Wellesley College

Spencer Keralis, Council on Library and
Information Resources Fellowship

The Process

Spring: Orientation Meeting
The placement committee holds a meeting with students considering the job market and distributes a comprehensive handbook that includes sample job letters, cvs, and other materials.

Summer: Dossier Preparation
In consultation with students’ advisors, the committee works with students as they prepare cover letters, dissertation abstracts, cv’s and statements of teaching philosophy. Each dossier undergoes 3 rounds of editing, by all members of the placement committee who meet with students individually until the dossier is ready for submission for advertised positions and fellowships.

Fall: Introductory Meeting
The placement committee meets with job seekers to discuss the contours of the job market, field questions and map out application strategies.

“Workshop on the Teaching Portfolio”
This workshop answers questions regarding the preparation and presentation of the teaching portfolio (syllabi, evaluations, teaching philosophy etc.). What should be included? How best to present data? What makes a teaching statement compelling? This year’s workshop was led by Professor Sonya Posmentier and Professor Nicholas Boggs.

“Workshop on the Postdoctoral Fellowship Application”
This workshop considers the unique genre of the fellowship application. How does this application differ from a standard cover letter? What makes a compelling research statement? This year’s workshop was led by our two current ACLS fellows, Dr. Elizabeth Twitchell and Dr. Gregory Vargo.

“Mock Interview Workshop”
The mock interview workshop prepares students for answering questions on their research and teaching. Students are given questions/exercises to prepare in advance and are timed and given feedback on their responses.

Winter: MLA interviews and interview support
“Mock Job Talks”
Students present their job talks to faculty and students, field questions from the "audience" and receive feedback on their research and presentation from both specialist and non-specialist listeners.

The Results

Tenure-track hirings:
Colin Jennings, Miami University
Omar Miranda, University of San Francisco

External postdoctoral fellowships:
Adam Spanos, Harper-Schmidt Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago

NYU postdoctoral fellowships:
Blevin Shelnutt
Adrian Versteegh

Tenure track hirings:
John Easterbrook, California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo
Mo Pareles, University of British Columbia

External postdoctoral fellowships:
Collin Jennings, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Experimental at Bard College

NYU postdoctoral fellowships:
Jonathan James
Carla Thomas
Rachael Wilson

This year, 3 students received tenure-track job offers, 1 student accepted a postdoctoral fellowship, and 1 was placed in a postdoctoral position at NYU.
Tenure-Track Positions :
Angela Bennet Segler, University of Nevada- Reno, "Mediation, Meditation and the Manuscripts of Piers Plowman"
David Sterling Brown, University of Arizona, "Placing Parents on the Early Modern Stage"
Ada Smailbegovic, Brown University, "Poetics of Liveliness: Natural Histories of Matter and Change in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Poetry"

Post-doctoral Fellowships
Collin Jennings, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Experimental Humanities Center, Bard College 

Post-doctoral Positions at NYU:
Nicholas Matlin


This year, 6 students received tenure-track job offer and 4 students have received Mellon post-doctoral fellowships. 2 students have been placed in NYU post-doctoral positions.

Tenure-track positions
Matthew Bruen, ("Local Literature: Place and the Writing of Community in Nineteenth-Century America") Young Harris College
Bomin Ki, Seoul National University
Rachael King, ("The Known World: The Epistolary History of Eighteenth-Century Media"), UC Santa Barbara
Dan Remein, ("Wonder and Ornamentality: Medieval/Modern Poetics"), U. Mass, Boston
Kathryn Vomero Santos, (“Staging Translation in Early Modern English Drama”), Texas A&M
Shirley Wong, ("Poetics of the Local: Spaces of Modern and Contemporary Irish Poetry"), Westfield State University

Post-doctoral Fellowships
Jane Carr, Bates College, African-American Literature
Rachel King, Michigan Society of Fellows (declined)
Elizabeth Bonapfel, Mellon, Dahlen Humanities Center, Freie Universitat, Berlin
Mo Pareles, Mellon, Northwestern University

Post-doctoral Positions at NYU
Gerald Song, Bridget Mcfarland

Students at NYU have thus far received offers of tenure-track positions at U.C. Davis (Laurie Lambert, “Worlds Real and Invented: The Grenada Revolution and the Caribbean Literary Imaginary”), Manhattan College (Maeve Adams, “Forms of Persuasion in Britain, 1770-1870”), University of Toronto (Liza Blake, “Early Modern Literary Physics”), Allegheny College (Jennie Votava, “The “Other” Senses: Mediating Mind and Matter on the Early Modern English Stage”), Ryerson University (Toronto) (Laura Fisher, “Pedagogies of Uplift: Reform Institutions and U.S. Literary Production”) and Ithaca College (Jen Spitzer, “Defending the Soul: British Modernism and the Resistance to Psychoanalysis”).

During the previous three years, despite the downturn reflected in the national job market, NYU students have received tenure-track offers from Colgate University, Tulane University, St. Joseph's College, Pace University, The Citadel, Pacific Lutheran, Wake Forest, Nanyang Tech (Singapore), Seton Hall University, Connecticut College, Columbia College, Willamette University, Southern Methodist University, University of Sussex, Fordham University and University of Ottawa. In recent years, our students have also gone on to post-doctoral fellowships at Wellesley University, University of Queensland, Harvard University, Washington University and Mcgill University. They have also taken other academic positions at Pacific Lutheran University and Cooper Union.

First Hand Accounts from PhD students