Diplomatic Approaches: A Romance Languages PhD purses a path in Italy’s consular service

By Matthew Woodbury Dr. Pierluigi Erbaggio received his PhD in Romance Languages from the University of Michigan in 2016. He is an Administrative Assistant at the Consulate of Italy in Detroit, MI. He spoke as part of U-M’s PhD Connections: A Career Conference in April 2018 and agreed to share some more perspectives about his own trajectory. Italy’s diplomatic presence in Michigan began over a century ago with the appointment of a consular agent in 1899. Today, Dr. Pierluigi Erbaggio works alongside eight other staff at the Consulate of Italy’s offices […]

A Classical Studies PhD follows her love of teaching

By Matthew Woodbury Dr. Jacqui Stimson received her PhD in Classical Studies from the University of Michigan in 2017. She is a Postdoctoral Teaching Consultant at the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Education Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Stimson doesn’t have a typical day at the office. After just one year consulting at Carnegie Mellon University’s Eberly Center, she already manages a diverse portfolio of tasks. Her responsibilities fall into several broad areas: individual consultations with faculty and graduate students, developing teaching seminars and workshops, shouldering a share of […]

Teaching Career Diversity Through Informational Interviews

  The content and format of career diversity within humanities departments follows no single model. As curriculum committees and graduate program chairs consider whether or not to make coursework or training mandatory, where to situate it within the arc of the program, and how to connect students with resources beyond the unit or department, it can be helpful to identify models implemented at other institutions. One approach – by Dr. Purnima Dhavan, Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Washington’s history department – featured in the July 2018 issue of […]

Humanities for All

A project of the National Humanities Alliance, the Humanities for All database showcases “higher ed-based publicly engaged humanities initiatives, presenting a cross-section of over 1400 undertaken over the past decade from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.” Projects are organized by discipline, theme, geography, and type of institutional and community partners. There’s plenty of material for students investigating a range of humanities options, for scholars interested in models of how to add a public facet to their research, or anybody who wants to learn more about the […]

Where Historians Work

Created by the American Historical Association, this database of 8,515 historians who graduated from US universities between 2004 and 2013 “provides the fullest picture  of PhD careers available for any discipline.” The tab displaying information for careers beyond the professoriate is particularly interesting. It details the occupations – ranging from a single “pest control officer” to 363 “post-secondary education administrators” – of the 53% of historians who do not work in tenure track roles at 4-year institutions. Part of the AHA’s broader commitment to career diversity, the database “allows current and potential […]

Synthetic Thinking: An archivist’s journey from dinosaurs to Du Bois

By Matthew Woodbury Dr. Robert S. Cox is Head of Special Collections at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. He received his PhD in History from the University of Michigan in 2002. Dr. Cox began his PhD to learn about the past. Initial training as a paleontologist, however, meant that the materials he consulted were millennia older than those he now manages for the University of Massachusetts Libraries. Shifting doctoral programs from studying fossils to reading and writing about American history required both learning new disciplinary approaches and refocusing on […]

Mobilizing the Humanities for Diverse Careers

  This piece from Anne Krook encourages humanities graduate departments to focus “on two problems whose fixes are within our own control.” She identifies the problems as as, first, training “students in too narrow a range of dissertation lengths and types” and second “most often implicitly and explicitly devalu[ing] non-academic job outcomes.” Departments and advisers might, instead, consider shorter dissertations, how to “teach students to write for broader audiences in a wider variety of venues,” and how to train “faculty to value and support the non-academic jobs that we know […]

How Graduate Advisers Can Bolster Their Career Guidance

This piece by James M. Van Wyck encourages graduate advisers to actively develop their knowledge of where humanities PhDs work, to look to their own networks as a resource for connecting students with possible post-graduation options, and to adopt a perspective that understands career advising as a team-based approach rather than the sole responsibility of the adviser.  

Where do humanists work?: Organizational Profiles

Graduates of humanities PhD programs finish their degrees with wide-ranging abilities in research, communication, instruction, and project management. For students who have spent many years at research-intensive institutions, however, it is can be difficult to imagine contexts outside of the professoriate where they might apply their training. As an assignment for English 630: Professional Humanities Careers, doctoral students from across the University of Michigan’s humanities departments brainstormed the following list of organizations as places to pursue humanities careers. By no means exhaustive, the organizations below can nevertheless inspire job-seekers to […]

How to Mentor Graduate Students: A Guide for Faculty

Developed by the University of Michigan’s graduate school in 2018, this guide is a “resource for faculty members who seek to improve their relationships with their students and their effectiveness in working with them.” Featuring ideas for how to communicate expectations and responsibilities, examples of how departments at Michigan frame mentoring and supervision, and suggestions for campus resources, the guide is “not only for those who are new to the role, but also for those who have enjoyed success but are looking to become more skillful in the wide variety of situations […]