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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | Brief note: The Last Life »

June 10, 2007


Jonathan Dresner

CVs with clear areas of specialization and competence? Most days I'd settle for cover letters that were specific to the job....

My first full time job as an Asian historian required me to teach the survey in Western Civilization.


That is an interesting discussion, especially to see how different the philosophers' and the APA's approach is to handling these lists of fields. But, in the way of most CV subtleties, the exact approach you take doesn't matter too much as long as you are basically reasonable about it. (At least, I hope this is so; I'm currently putting my CV together for next year's MLA, and your story about the interviewers ROFLing scares the crap out of me.)

I personally like to call this "Teaching Interests," since it strikes an appropriate middle ground between competence and specialization (as you say, we're all presumably minimally competent to teach courses on almost any subfield if pressed hard enough, and one can be justifiably reticent to claim true expertise too widely distributed). A list of fields and topics I'd actually enjoy teaching seems like the right balance to me.

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