I thought it would be interesting to think this week about the unusual position of being a scholar of American history living and working outside the US. Many academics consider working in the US at some time in their career, no matter what their field, but this pull must naturally be even stronger for we Americanists!
One of the disadvantages of working in American academia at the moment are the extremely competitive nature of the job market, and especially the difficulty in transitionin from adjunct to tenured post. Another issue to think about for American historians is that the subject is ubiquitous there. Many more scholars work on each topic and this again increases the competitiveness of the job market.
On the plus side though, working in the US and studying the history of the country has got to be inspiring intellectually. You will be in the heart of every debate and will be able to see in the country today the political and cultural ramifications of the historical trends you study. And on a practical level gaining access to important archives will be easier from within America.
However, the easy availability of digitial resources and the occasional availability funding to do research abroad means that scholars outside the US face no disadvantage. And as a teacher, getting university students to learn about a topic unfamiliar to them in the UK is exciting in different ways to teaching American students who have had their own history drilled into them from kindergarten onwards.
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