Dear Phil Smokers,Quick answer, because I should be working on finishing a draft of the dissertation: Yeah, small liberal arts colleges exist where teaching is very important, though at the very good ones my impression is that research shouldn't be, and isn't neglected at all. A lot of these places are in nowheresville, but not all of them. Finally, it's just as hard to get a job at these places as it is to get an academic job at research-oriented universities. The secret formula for these jobs is just like that for any other: do everything, yes, *everything*, really fucking well and hope that the people reviewing your awesomely composed dossier have some modicum of interest in you.
I am a recent philosophy PhD in the UK, currently unemployed. I've had a string of brief appointments doing teaching work over the last two years. These have been very enjoyable. I would very much like to keep doing philosophy - especially teaching it - but like so many of us I'm having trouble getting published.
In fact, I've reached the stage where I'm fairly sure I just have a tin ear for writing publishable papers, and I no longer enjoy attempting to do so. I'm so convinced of this I'm ready to give up the profession. However, friends of mine keep telling me about these so-called 'liberal arts colleges' in the states, where publication is of little importance, and teaching is all (and I'm told by colleagues and students I have a gift for teaching philosophy, and that it would be a shame to waste it).
Now these places sound like mythological institutions to me, but before I quit the profession to become a soulless office drone in some large, ethically irresponsible corporation, can any of you confirm or deny these rumours? If these places exist, what god-like qualities are required to obtain employment there? Does it necessarily entail living in nowhereseville?
Yours in last-ditch-hope,
I'll have more to say about this less-than-foolproof strategy in a later post.