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Jobs in the Field

Positions by Listing Type

Since the economic downturn of 2008, numerous studies and articles have offered detailed analyses of the humanities and social science job markets, particularly as decreased funding for many humanities and social science departments have hindered their ability to hire new faculty.  How has Jewish Studies fared? A look at AJS’s positions listings over the past few years offers some insight. AJS’s Positions in Jewish Studies is the most comprehensive guide to jobs in the field. Although not all positions get filled, a look at the numbers over the past few years helps us to understand hiring trends. Generally, since 2010-2011 (for positions beginning in fall 2011), the total number of positions listed and the total number of tenured or tenure-track positions advertised has remained relatively stable. The total number of non-tenure-track teaching positions lasting more than one academic year declined dramatically in 2012-2013 (for positions beginning in fall 2013) compared to previous years, while the number of post-doctoral fellowships and one-year teaching appointments has remained stable since 2010-2011.

As part of its strategic plan, AJS is forming a Data Collection Committee to analyze hiring trends, as well as other data in the field that affects AJS members. What data would you like to see us take into consideration? Please let us know by emailing ezadoff@ajs.cjh.org.


The graph below details positions listed on the AJS website over three job cycles (2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013) as well as the current job cycle (through November 25, 2013).

  2010-2011 (Positions beginning Fall 2011) 2011-2012 (Positions beginning Fall 2012) 2012-2013 (Positions beginning Fall 2013) 2013-2014 (Positions beginning Fall 2014)
Total number of positions listed on AJS website 69 76 68 54 (through November 25, 2013)
Academic positions listed as tenured or tenure- track 30 30 32 29
Percentage of academic positions listed as tenured or tenure-track 43% 39% 47% 53%
Academic positions listed as temporary and full-time (lasting at least two academic years) 14 16 5 1
Other positions listed: post-doctoral fellowships, one-year temporary teaching positions, administrative positions, and positions outside of the university 25 30 31 24
Of the tenured/tenure-track listings, number of listings  specifically for assistant professors 16 10 14 14
Of the tenured/tenure-track listings, number of listings specifically for associate professors 0 1 0 0
Of the tenured/tenure-track listings, number of listings specifically for full professors 3 3 4 4
Of the tenured/tenure-track listings, number of listings with rank open (assistant, associate, or full professors) 3 4 5 4
Of the tenured/tenure-track listings, number of listings specifically for assistant or associate professors 3 4 2 0
Of the tenured/tenure-track listings, number of listings specifically for tenured faculty (associate or full professor) 2 5 4 4
Tenured/tenure-track listings that do not specify rank 3 3 3 3

 

Positions by Sub-field

Institutions advertising a position on the AJS website can cross-list it under several subfields (i.e. a department may seek a professor in either Talmud or Jews in Late Antiquity or Bible). Below are the most common sub-field listings for positions advertised in 2012-2013 and during the current academic year 2013-2014.

Sub-field listings for 2012-2013 academic year:

  • Hebrew Language and Literature: 22 listings
  • Medieval History: 18 listings
  • Modern Jewish Thought: 18 listings 
  • Modern European History and Modern American History: 17 and 14 listings respectably
  • Jews in Antiquity and Talmud: 15 and 13 listings respectively
  • Israel Studies: 15 listings
  • Holocaust: 11 listings

Sub-field listings for 2013-2014 academic year (through November 25, 2013):

  • Modern European History and Modern American History: 15 and 12 listings respectively
  • Antiquity and Talmud: 12 and 7 listings respectively
  • Medieval History: 9 listings
  • Modern Jewish Thought: 8 listings
  • Israel Studies: 8 listings
  • Bible: 7 listings
  • Holocaust: 7 listings