In December 1998, I was attending the Modern Language Association conference in San Francisco. I sat in the back of a crowded room where presenters were using literary theories in contemplating the depleted academic job market. Although they were talking mostly about literary fields-the market seemed far from depleted for composition specialists and applied linguists-I decided to let myself be amused by a prominent literary scholar’s psychoanalytic reading of how her own experience of being on the job market was akin to being castrated. Another speaker argued that early professionalization had become the norm, allowing institutions to expect more from graduate students without also increasing compensation. He also suggested that the pressure to publish was taking time away from graduate students who should be reading more widely.