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American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Based in Richmond, Virginia, American Rambler discusses history, music, film, politics, and pop culture. The show is hosted by Colin Woodward, a historian, writer, and archivist. Episodes feature long form interviews that looks at people's upbringing, education, career path, and creative work. Along the way, Colin talks with guests about how artists and intellectuals must navigate the changing technological, creative, and political waters in America. it's a show that talks about everything from the Civil War to Netflix.
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Now displaying: March, 2020
Mar 31, 2020

This is part two of Colin's talk with Dr. Brent J. Steele of the University of Utah about the academic job market. Colin and Brent start out by walking us through the interview process, including the infamous Dinner, in which a candidate talks with the committee and tries not to order too many drinks and say something stupid. From there, they get into interview nightmares, which range from problems with technology to rude dinner and lunch companions, to phone calls from long-forgotten committee people. 

In the intro, Colin provides a Coronavirus update and debates whether anything we now know about the job market has been rendered moot by the pandemic. Happy April, y'all!

  

Mar 25, 2020

Dr. Brent J. Steele, head of the Political Science Department at the University of Utah (and loyal friend of the podcast) returns to American Rambler to talk about the (challenging? woeful?) state of the job market for Ph.D.s. Unfortunately the Coronavirus is only going to make harder an already daunting job search process. Is there hope for those wanting to land a tenure track position or just a good, stable job at some kind of research institution? 

2020 may suck so far, but times have always been hard for scholars. And in Part I of this discussion, Brent and Colin talk about the many tricky turns in navigating the job market, from building your CV, to applying en masse, to getting that coveted first interview. What are grad students to expect when they are looking for work? More so, what might anyone expect who is trying to land a job at a college or university? Well, the good doctors are here to help!

Mar 14, 2020

A fascination with Game of Thrones inspired Megan Kate Nelson's new book, The Three-Cornered War, which examines the role of the Union, Confederacy and Native Americans in the southwestern theatre of the Civil War. It's Megan's third book. Now that she is writing full time, she shows no signs of slowing down.

Megan is a native of the West herself, and to write The Three-Cornered War, she traveled to the places she describes in her book. She lives in Massachusetts, but she is still fascinated by the West she grew up in. She is already working on her fourth book, on the history of Yellowstone, which is slated for publication in 2022.

Are you thinking about grad school? While they both have Ph.D.s, Colin and Megan talk about the difficulties of being on the tenure track and how one should maybe consider the option of "alt-ac" careers. What do you do with a Ph.D. if academia isn't for you? Megan has shown that there is life, and success, beyond the Ivory Tower. And you can start by deciding not to write for free anymore.

You can find out more about Dr. Nelson at: http://www.megankatenelson.com/

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