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Alumni Spotlight: Interview with Gavin Mueller on his New Faculty Position
Dr. Gavin Mueller (Cultural Studies '16) recently accepted a new position in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. We conducted a short interview with Gavin in order to learn more about his appointment and future research plans.
Congratulations on your new faculty position. Could you tell us about your new department and what classes you'll be teaching?
Gavin Mueller: I'll be teaching in the Media Studies department at the University of Amsterdam, specializing in New Media and Digital Culture. It's a very large department, with a good reputation, and there are many faculty members doing critical work on digital media. This semester I'm teaching New Media History and Analysing Digital Culture, as well as advising research projects by undergraduates and MA students.
How did you come to settle on a department overseas? Do you have any advice for future applicants?
GM: I've never ruled out overseas positions when I've been on the market, and I'd estimate that around 10-20% of positions I've applied for were overseas. Ultimately, this was the only offer I got this year, so I took it. I would recommend that anyone on the job market consider overseas positions. As we know, the origins of Cultural Studies are across the Atlantic, and cultural studies is well represented in universities outside the U.S. The traditional search engines, such as Chronicle Vitae and Higher Ed Jobs favor US positions, so make sure to check out other job search engines like jobs.ac.uk. Subscribe to academic listservs that specialize in your fields of expertise where jobs might be posted, and correspond with colleagues who are also on the market with whom you can exchange job ads. I found this position through the latter two, not through search engines -- and I almost didn't apply! My general philosophy of being on the market is apply to anything that seems like it could fit: it's the search committee's job to decide if you fit or not, not yours. Your job is to put your best foot forward in a challenging situation where you have imperfect knowledge, and to get yourself to the next stage of the interview process.
Could you tell us a about your current and future research? Do you have any updates on the publication of your dissertation?
GM: I am currently finishing two books, one based on my dissertation research on media piracy, and one that is less academic about work and resistance to technology. I have a few ideas for future directions for my research, but I'm trying to focus on finishing my current projects while remaining open to new directions. I'm hoping my new position will provide lots of inspiration.