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Job oppertunities for history and art history

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Hey everyone,

I'm somewhat out of place here, i am only in undergrad, and am still planning my transfer to a 4-year institution. I am planning ahead, and I know career wise i want to go into academia. My main areas of interest are art history (especially when theory is involved), and history. With regards to job prospects does getting a double major in undergrad in art history and history, help seem more attractive to academic job prospects? I will double major in history and art history even if it doesn't, because i like both areas, and I plan to eventually get a PhD in one of those disciplines. My thought behind the job prospects is that a Community college, or SLAC would be glad to have a professor teach some classes from one discipline and some survey classes in the other (in this case history).

I now job opportunities are slim for post secondary teachers, but I also don't care about teaching at an ivy league, and would be find teaching at a SLAC or community college.



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Usually, professors teach within their discipline, unless 1) there is crosslisting or 2) Your research takes you elsewhere. Eg: Several historians in my department (history) teach courses in International relations.

History and Art History are very distinct disciplines. Our methods, objects, and scholarship are different, which translates into different training and different expectations for the profession. This does not mean that you shouldn't try to collaborate with others and develop inter-disciplinary projects. Further, depending where you are trained as an art historian, you'll receive training more geared towards archaeology, heritage conservation, art history "per se", etc. 

Now, your double major will not play a role in your job applications. The training for teaching comes at an advanced degree, where you take seminars that discuss methods, historiographies, and interventions. As part of a PhD you will likely sit for comprehensive exams. They look differently across departments, but in general you prepare several fields. I can totally see you preparing a field in art history of... [fill in the blanks] if you are in a history PhD or viceversa. This will provide you with substance to show in your cover letters that you are prepared to teach X, Y and Z. 

Regarding places to work, Community Colleges (CC) and SLACs have very different profiles. The former emphasizes teaching and the later, research is a substantial part of your tenure portfolio. So, as you move along, think both of your teaching and research agendas, how you can develop them, how they inform each other, and how that serves your own interests. 

Good luck!

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