Monday, 10 January 2011

From undergrad to Chair, Part 6

I'd like to skip the next stage of my career but it wouldn't be fair to pretend I was always successful. The chair in children's literature at my department became vacant again, and I applied, and I didn't get it. Instead, I got a research grant which I took with me to San Diego, and I have told the story before. In San Diego I wrote several books, including two textbooks that are used in every children's literature course in Sweden. I hoped all this would count for my future career, but  Stockholm proved be a dead end. I was promoted to full professor in title, but my position was still a lecturer, with a huge teaching load and no time for research. I only had one and a half PhD students in eight years, neither in children's literature (I had several in Åbo and one in the UK). I applied for grants from Research Councils, without success. No matter how much I published or guest-lectured or won international awards, there was no way I could move forward. At one point there was a junior position in San Diego, and I was almost prepared to apply for it. I was prepared to apply for anything, anywhere. I was not prepared to be encouraged to apply for a chair in Cambridge. Yet here I am. Go to the very beginning of this blog to read how it happened.

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