Name, department, and area of expertise.
David Livingstone, Department of English and American Studies, Faculty of Arts, Palacký University, English literature, Shakespeare, American Folk Music, Children’s literature
My story (what am I doing in the Czech Republic?).
I came to Czechoslovakia from the United States in the summer of 1990 and have taught at Palacký University since 1992, first at the Department of Applied Linguistics and since 1994 at the Department of English and American Studies. I initially only had a B.A. degree, but eventually received my Mgr. and Ph.D. from Palacký University as well. I have thirty years of experience in Czech academia and have supervised hundreds of theses on the Bachelor and Master’s level. I am currently the head of the literary section of our department. I have traveled all around the world representing our university and department at conferences, exchanges and teaching stays.
Are the salary conditions at the university decent and sufficient?
The salary conditions are extremely problematic. For many years, and still to this day, I have to do extra work on the side to survive financially. In order to pay off my mortgage and support my family (wife, three children and mother-in-law), I had to do a number of jobs on the side: my own language school, translations, editing work, etc. This has, of course, slowed down significantly my own development as a scholar and of course the time I have been able to dedicate to my primary profession.
Is my career at risk?
I finally have more time to publish and focus on my academic career now that my children are adults and I have paid off my mortgage, but I am very saddened that my younger colleagues are experiencing exactly the same difficulties I had to go through during my beginnings.
Have I ever considered changing my place of work?
Sadly, very, very often, although I love teaching and most of the areas of my job.