Yesterday was the third in a series of four job talks in the department. We are looking for somebody who can teach post-1945 US History. The way it works is we list job openings on H-Net and recieve a bunch of applications. Then the committee winnows the list down to three or four potential hires. Those people come into Buffalo and meet with the faculty and grad students. Then, they do a "job talk", which means that they present an original historiographical paper to give an idea of their work.
There have been three job talks so far and, as far as I can tell, the third is in the lead with the department. I've seen the second and third and, honestly, they were both excruciatingly boring to me. But, I don't care much about US history or the post-1945 period. To be honest, there are a lot of replicant historians coming out of grad schools. They are certainly very professional and diligent and know their area of study very well. But, they don't exactly take any chances, and their work is a bit soulless. They will certainly lead their fields in the future. But, it's not exactly life-altering stuff.