Required qualifications:Now, I know what you're saying ---- no, no, of course this is not discriminating against the candidates by age, since someone with a 2008 PhD-granting date could easily be younger than someone with a 2011 PhD. It's just saying that your 2008 dissertation, research agenda, identity as a scholar, all of that has gone stale and rotten and has started to smell like a pile of dogshit in July. Too bad you were stupid and stored your academic identity out on the hot and moldy basement of adjunct-dom rather than the temperature-controlled refrigerator of tenure. Besides, it's not like there are a lot of scholars who graduated and then didn't find tenure-track employment in the last five or six years, right?
1. Ph.D. in English or American Studies or closely related area awarded between 2010 and time of appointment.
2. A promising record of scholarship/research in pre-1900 American literature and culture.
3. Ability to teach a range of subjects in American literature and culture between 1600 and 1900.
Meh. I'm actually not all that offended by this. (It helps that I'm not an Americanist and so wouldn't be applying for this job regardless.) I think I'd rather people put this shit in their ads, straight up, if they are using the PhD conferral as a freshness date, than have the majority of the searches not list this and secretly use it as an exclusionary criterion, which I have been paranoid about for the past few years anyway.
I don't think though that it will cut down the applications by that much, and I don't think it will necessarily help them parse out the best candidates. And then, if we're going for something truly arbitrary, let's just highlight the sick random aspect of the job market and start specifying height or shoe size in our ads? Left-handedness?
I suppose it is kinda better than having punishing publication requirements to apply (two books and six articles in order to upload an application even, you worm!!!!), or throwing in an unnecessary amount of application materials as a way of discouraging large numbers of applicants. That doesn't actually work; it just makes applicants work even harder. And get grumpy.
And if cutting down on the number of applications they have to read through is the real reason they are specifying this, I am tempted to send in a packet simply out of spite. You'll be able to recognize my application easily --- it'll be in the flaming brown paper bag on your doorstep.