I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but it looks like I’ll be wrapping up my PhD soon in the next year (hopefully by mid-year) and then I’ll be out on the job market. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about the quest to find academic work, so I’m trying to keep my hopes up and hold on to the good stories I’ve heard. But you know, I’m not afraid to pay my dues and do the low-level academic work for a while until I can pin down something really great. (Or, if things go that way, whatever kinda work I can get!) I’m really keen to move into an academic career, I must say. I love my dissertation topic, but I think I want to be challenged with something new, whether it be lecturing or a new project. I could use a new environment as well. In any case, I’m simultaneously depressed and hopeful after re-reading Jonathan Gray’s fantastic series of posts on how to apply for academic jobs. (Check them out here.) It looks like it can be a long road, but hopefully one that’s worthwhile in the long run. It’s interesting to me that the more educated you get, the less jobs you’re actually qualified for! If anyone out there in the interwebs finds any job applications in my area, I’d love it if you could pass them my way.
In other news, I’m currently reading an interesting ethnography about Japanese hostess clubs by Anne Allison, entitled Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club (1994). I greatly admire Allison’s more recent book on the cross-cultural appeal of Japanese mass media products (Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination, 2006) and am interested in ethnographic approaches to studying sexuality and sex work. Whether or not hostessing can be considered sex work is another question entirely, but I am curious to see how Allison addresses the complexities of collecting consent in environments where the participants are often intoxicated and Allison worked as a hostess herself to collect her data (I’m only on the second chapter at the moment). I’ll keep you posted!