Saturday, July 5, 2014

Report of the MLA Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature

The Modern Language Association of America has recently published its Task Force Report on doctoral education. It contains an analysis of the state of doctoral education in literary studies, along with a set of recommendations for revising programs based on rethinking the way graduate students are trained and the range of professional positions for which our programs currently prepare students. You can read the executive summary and the entire report here. I also recommend that you read the constructive critique of the report entitled "Don't Capitulate. Advocate." For additional commentary on the report see "Fixing the Ph.D." by Joshua Rothman in The New Yorker, and "Restructuring the Humanities" by Christopher Long in the The Chronicle of Higher Education (June 23, 2014).

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Jobs We Want?

Miriam Posner has just published a thoughtful piece on the alt-ac movement in Inside Higher Ed. She's very supportive of the movement, but warns that it won't be a cure all for the difficult job market in the humanities. Definitely worth reading.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Alt Ac and "Disconnected Realities"

A new article in Inside Higher Ed by Carol Straumsheim, "'Alt-Ac' Realities," cites a new survey by The Scholarly Communication Institute at the University of Virginia that calls for humanities graduate programs to take a more pro-active and aggressive approach to alt-ac career counseling. "Ideally, the report reads, humanities departments should temper their students’ expectations about finding a career in academe before even admitting them, and continue to highlight alt-ac opportunities through career counseling." See also "Humanities Unbound: Careers & Scholarship Beyond the Tenure Track," by Katina Rogers, also cited in the article.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Humanities PhD Plus

A new article from Inside Higher Ed on formalizing digital humanities training for humanities PhD students. The article reports on the The Praxis Network, whose "programs are allied but differently-inflected humanities education initiatives, mainly focused on graduate training, and all engaged in rethinking pedagogy and campus partnerships in relation to the digital. Among other elements, the initiatives emphasize new models of methodological training and collaborative research. Each program exists within a particular ecosystem of disciplinary expectations, institutional needs, available resources, leadership styles, and specific challenges."

Ph.D. students rethink the tenure track, scope out non-academic jobs

An interesting new article just published on The Berkeley News Center Website. It begins:

The holy grail for Ph.D. students has traditionally been a professorship at a prestigious university, the reward for years of rigorous research, frugal living and a hard-earned collection of published journal papers. But in a sign of changing times, many Ph.D. students today are looking for jobs outside the halls of higher education, as tenure-track faculty positions at campuses nationwide become scarcer in a tight job market.

Enter “Beyond Academia,” the first career conference at the University of California, Berkeley, organized solely by Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows, an unlikely group for a non-academic job fair. The sold-out event — to be held in Berkeley this Friday, March 22 — is a quiet revolution if one considers the investment of time and money that goes into grooming a grad student for a tenure-track position.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Welcome

I've put together this fledgling site in connection with an upcoming discussion I'll be having with students in our graduate programs in English at Loyola University Chicago about the emerging alt-ac movement. My aim here is simply to gather together some useful resources and articles for students interested in exploring alternative academic jobs within, or outside of, colleges and universities, and to provide a place for discussion and the exchange of ideas. Of course anyone's free to use the site, and if you've got suggestions about resources or articles I ought to link to, please do let me know. Right now you'll find links in the menu to the right to, among others, Versatile PhD, a resource and social network site with lots of information (and material for those who pay for a "Premium" membership), and the MLA's new #alt-academy, as well as articles by Bethany Nowviskie, Brian Croxall, and William Pannapacker. For a general discussion of what's wrong with graduate education in English, click on the link to my appearance, along with Leonard Cassuto of Fordham University, on the television show Higher Education Today.