Sunday, October 4, 2009

Postdoc-ery: Tailoring the Research Statement

So I have sortof something that resembles a project description for my future research project, henceforth to be pseudonymously known as Enlightenment Orifices: Transgressing the Boundaries of Body and Nation (chapter one: "A Nose is a Nose is a Nose: The French Revolution, Syphilis, and Early Plastic Surgery."). And, you know, I have a nifty title, I have some interesting ideas, and because I have already written a dissertation, I'm getting better at knowing how to frame and present this shit as if I already have an argument or know what I'm talking about. It's mostly smoke and mirrors, but, since it took me maybe six months to come up with a workable dissertation prospectus (to say nothing of the time I took after defending it reading tons of stuff and actually figuring out the contours of my argument), I'm hopeful that this improvement means I will actually be able to turn this into my actual book project one day.

But having a something does not mean I can just shoot it off to the various postdoc places, oh no! One place wants 500 words, another place wants 1000, some want bibliographies and some don't, some want you to situate the project in the rest of your scholarly trajectory or against your dissertation project, and others don't. So I am busy right now twisting and tying and trying to make this stupid something look like a research statement that matches what each place wants without it taking up too much of my time, since most of these thingys are due way before my tt job apps and I need to get those all ready as well, although if I really meant that I would not be blogging nor would I have a sparkling clean apartment with all the laundry done right now.

And through all of this I am hoping that the search committees will not recognize that this something is not a tailored research statement at all but some cheap-ass fabric tied together as part of a ploy to avoid incurring the labor costs of actually sewing anything:

I mean, no one's gonna know that the bandeau I sent one place became the maxi-dress or halter-top I sent somewhere else, right? But they very well might realize that it's just some cheap, hastily-thrown-together crap that makes me look like a total dork. That's why I'm hoping that the smoke and mirrors and some mood lighting, or at least some fancy jargon, will distract from the fact that this thing is both riding up and falling down right now, know what I mean?

Excuse me now while I deal with this wedgie.

*lest you think I resemble in any way that American Apparel ad, hahahahahahaahahaha! I haven't seen my collarbone or had just one chin for years! Though I should think, from long experience watching my students fidget in class, that even thin girls can't keep a tube top up in the right places. Ah fashion, why do you make us so stupid?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nicely done, Sis! And that chart is hilarious.