In response to Jon Porter's message:
Here is at least some of the information you asked about. Hope it helps.
The job market for medievalists here is truly abysmal, though, so I can't
be very encouraging.
>Unlike the AHA (shame!), the Chronicle of Higher Education kindly
>posts their job adverts on their web page (http://www.chronicle.
>merit.edu); the adverts invariably ask for a *dossier* or *placement
>file* as well as transcripts.
>My first question: under these circumstances, what is a
>dossier/placement file? Is there a difference? What goes in them?
A dossier/placement file contains letters of reference. Rather than
constantly demanding letters from their advisors, etc., most academic job
seekers in the States set up a file of such letters in the placement office
of the university from which they received their Ph.D. Every time they
apply for a job, they ask the office to send out a copy of the whole
dossier. In other words, this is simply a short-hand request for letters
of reference--they needn't be sent in "placement file" form. (By the way,
usually you should have at least three or four letters--one long one from
your advisor or research director, and others from noted scholars you have
>My second question: the only transcript I have is from my
>undergraduate days in a small town in Indiana. Do they really want
>to see that? Both my MPhil and (touch wood) PhD are from British
>universities, which don't have the silly things; as my PhD is all
>research, there would be nothing to record on a transcript if it did
>exist (except, of course, all the stuff I had to do in order to do the
>research: Latin, paleography, research methods... as well as the
>various classes I sat in on in order to escape the Library -- but no
>records were kept). So what do I tell them?
Again, this is not a big deal. Basically what is wanted is information on
what you have been doing over the past few years. You could provide this
yourself in your cover letter if you have no transcript to send.
>My third question: I take it that the AHA is still the hiring fair
>for young mediaeval historians. Correct?
Yes. So be prepared to attend, even at great expense, if you are offered an
interview there. I have served on search committees that rejected
candidates who were unwilling to attend the AHA.
Megan McLaughlin,Associate Professor of History and Women's Studies
History Dept., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
309 Gregory Hall, 810 S. Wright St., Urbana, IL 61801
Tel: 217-244-2084 Fax: 217-333-2297
E-MAIL: [log in to unmask]