Paula R. Curtis
University of California, Los Angeles. Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer

Quantitative & Qualitative Reflections on Recent Hiring Trends in Japanese Studies

Government and institutional investment in international education, the humanities, and higher education at large has been in decline for more than a decade, leaving Japanese Studies (among other area studies) with fewer and fewer resources to maintain robust programs. Despite some post-COVID and post-lockdown improvements, the future of many already underfunded departments, centers, and libraries around the world remains uncertain. With these concerns in mind, this presentation will discuss recent hiring trends in Japanese Studies based on job advertisement data collected over the course of several academic job market cycles from 2020 to 2023. Offering reflections on both quantitative and qualitative data from these online postings, it will survey differences in employment opportunities across discipline, location, institutional home, long-term job stability, and other categories of interest that inform the overall state of the field. Viewing these trends in conversation with other regional specializations within East Asian Studies, this talk invites broader discussions of how individuals and institutions can or should strategically advocate for the future of the Japanese Studies field at local and global levels.