Back in September, everyone was freaking the fuck out over the MLA Job List--so few jobs! OMG! Apocalypse!
At the time I said--on a million Facebook and Twitter threads--that it was too early to tell, that jobs post later now, that initially things looked equally bad last year, that the jobs that had appeared were good ones.
Now it's October 31st, and I gotta admit: at least in Early Modern, it is that bad. As of today there are thirty-two tenure-track jobs with pre-MLA deadlines (a number that includes a few jobs at the associate or full levels and a few jobs overseas). Each of the last three years, in descending order, the number of pre-MLA tenure-line openings was 47, 41, and 49. Those weren't good numbers, but the market appeared to have stabilized at "pretty fucking bleak."
But unless this year is a fluke or institutions are shifting toward spring listings, we might say, with Satan, "in the lowest deep a lower deep/Still threatning to devour me opens wide."
Language and lit peeps: are you seeing similar things in your subfields?