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A question for those of you who have interviewed for jobs at MLA:
How soon did the instutitions to which you applied notify you that you had gained an interview? I'm terrified of how much I'll have to pay for a flight to San Francisco if I find out, say, in December that I have an interview (or two). Is there some kind of protocol institutions follow where they try to at least let you know by the end of November so that you can make travel plans to attend the conference? Or do they assume you must already be attending?

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This doesn't specifically address your question, but you might find this website interesting -- http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Medieval_2009 -- contributors provide updates of when they hear back, etc.

I got the stapled postcard notification from Yale that they've received my application. As for Sweet Briar, their deadline isn't till the 15th and they're not on that list anyway (and I only just mailed my application to them on Monday).

My experience both from the hiring and the hire-ee end is that calls for MLA interviews can come as late as Dec. 15-20. Many departments don't put together their final MLA slates till right before they leave for Christmas break. My current department, for example, is scheduled to meet to ratify its interviewing slate on Dec. 16. So, horrible as the airfare quandary is, I think you have to act on the assumption that it will be worth going. I would be very, very surprised if you knew anything one way or the other by the end of November.

Hmm. Thank you for that - I'll have to think about this.

I haven't spent much time with the MLA job search myself, but my wife went to MLA three or four times to interview, then to the unis themselves for campus visits, etc., before accepting her current appointment.

Frustratingly, for some of her interviews, she didn't find out they wanted to speak to her at MLA until as late as three weeks before the conference.

Sadly, I think most schools simply assume that if you're sending in material, then you'll be at the conference.

I mean, if I acted now, I think I could get airfare for about four hundred and forty pounds...not that I have that on hand, but I can scrape it together by the end of the month, I think. I'm wondering if I should just bite the bullet and plan to go no matter what.

I remember talking to Linne about this a while back and she said if you only get, say, 1 interview, it might be worth seeing if you can do a conference call (at your expense of course) instead, and that these institutions can often be quite understanding about the huge cost of transatlantic travel, and the interviews at MLA are so short anyway...

I'd rather do it in person, though. I'd feel very odd about trusting something like that to such a tenuous medium!

Oh, definitely. But it is an enormous expense at that time of year. Seems like a very frustrating time of year to organise such a big event!! It's a big reason I didn't apply for anything that would require interview at MLA this December - with finishing my thesis and being really short of cash, I don't have the time or money to spare. Next year, perhaps (though hopefully I'll be doing something else by then!).

Well: I'm going now whether I get interviews or not *g*

Are they not supposed to pay for your travel costs if they ask you for an interview? I know UK universities certainly do.

For campus interviews yes, but not for conference interviews.

Sad, but true. They can't afford to ship 20 candidates to a conference.

On the other hand, if I should get an interview and then be asked to the campus for a visit, that will likely be paid for :)

I haven't gotten to that stage yet, but my understanding is that they assume you're already going to MLA.

And so I shall go, regardless what happens.

here via <lj user="medievalstudies">

Last year, I got my first interview request on November 8th (which is VERY unusually early) and my last on December 19th. So there's no guessing these things, but the majority of requests go out in the two weeks or so after Thanksgiving.

And yeah, this is tough on candidates who have to make travel plans without knowing whether they'll get an interview, but schools assume that anyone who's seriously on the market will be attending the conference.

Well, I'm serious - I just made my reservation!

Last year, while the bulk of my MLA interviews were scheduled in the first week of Dec., I had one school contact me to schedule a MLA interview in late Oct. and a couple of schools contacted me between Dec. 20-23. It's not uncommon to get phone calls less than a week before MLA, I know people who've actually gotten phone calls *at* MLA because another candidate canceled. It's a horrible crap shoot. The best thing to do is either decide you're going and go for the conference or not go. MLA gets a bad rap from those people who only go to interview or be interviewed. Approached right, it is a great, fun conference.

I've applied for two posts interviewing at MLA this year, so, based on what I've heard from you and a few others, I probably won't hear from them till at least early December.

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Yeah, Yale and Sweet Briar are the only two I've put in for. I have a little less than a year till I submit my dissertation; I'm at a UK university rather than a US one. I'm primarily going to be focusing on the UK/European job market if these two don't pan out. So you're going to MLA this year, too, I take it? I've been to Kalamazoo for the past two years running, and I'm going next year as well :)

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I'm looking at this as a dry-run for next year, to be honest - given that I don't submit until late next year, I won't be too crushed if no jobs come of this. I showed my supervisors a whole list of jobs, and after we discussed them, we decided that these two would be my best fits :)

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