Education: Those Doctoral Dilemmas

The M.L.A. conference is exercised over unemployment

Once they were erudite conclaves, giant, annual movable salons in which men and women could come and go, talking of interrobangs and Michelangelo. But last week, when 9,000 scholars gathered in Chicago for the 92nd convention of the Modern Language Association, the proceedings at times took on the character of a longshoremen's dock shape-up. With so few jobs now opening up in colleges and so many hungry young Ph.D.s in desperate need of positions, the job-market function of the M.L.A. threatened to upstage the intellectual encounter...

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