The yearly convention for college professors of English and other languages begins in Los Angeles today. Organizers say the job market for their profession has stopped its nose-dive.
Three years ago more than 3,500 jobs filled the Modern Language Association’s convention jobs list. Last year the listings had dropped by more than a third.
The list remains nearly unchanged this year, says association executive director Rosemary Feal. "We’re at a historic low point as far as hiring for full-time positions, but it’s not terrible in the sense that I think we’re seeing a leveling out of the bottom of the job market," she said.
Feal says the economy’s to blame. She says there’s strong demand at universities for professors of British literature and creative writing. She also sees a growth in the study of Chinese and Arabic while budget cuts force some campuses to shrink their offerings in German and French instruction.