Going To Prospective Professor Talks is Fun and Cool

Treat Shepardson

A little over two years ago, while I was still trying to figure out how to transition between Div 1 and 2, I met with a HACU professor who I had never had a class with and had a long conversation about how I was confused and did not know what I wanted to do at all. As these things usually go, I left feeling a lot more positive and excited to go to Hampshire, and started to seriously think about what I wanted to do academically for the first time. A little later, that same professor sent me an email suggesting that I might want to attend some of the lectures that would be given that month by candidates for a new position in the school. I absolutely did not want to do this, but I thought she might be more likely to be on committee if I did, so I went to the first talk that week. I shunned the student receptions because I am a special snowflake, but quickly learned that the talks were fun, and cool. I ended up going to all four and submitting feedback to the search committee.
When Hampshire conducts a search process for a new professor, students have the opportunity to attend talks and reception with each candidate. I include this anecdote hoping to convince you that even though this may not seem like something you intuitively want to go to, you absolutely should, particularly if it is in the school you take most of your classes in, or if you want to have a better idea of who will be around to teach/advise in a particular subject next year and beyond.


This semester there will be at least three sets of talks, two in CSI and one in HACU. Two have already started. Talks for the new assistant professor of African American Literature will be held for the next two weeks from noon to one in Franklin Paterson Hall’s East Lecture Hall. Pizza will be served. Student receptions will follow from 3:30-4:30 in the cultural center, with food from El Comalito. The first of these took place this monday, with Dr. Frederick Staidum giving a lecture titled  “Reading and Mapping the Touristed Captive: Citizenship, Luxury, and Geography in Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave.


Talks for a new Professor of U.S. Foreign Policy and Empire Studies will be held for the next three Tuesdays starting next week, on February 7th, as well as Thursday, February 16th. A student lunch will be held on each of these days starting at noon in FPH, with the exception of the 14th, when it will be held in the Dakin Living Room instead. More precise details—including the times of the talks—will be announced a few days in advance, so check the Daily Digest!


After attending an event, you will be directed on how to contribute feedback to the search committee. This is your school, and who gets hired is one of the most important decisions it makes! Go see them!!

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