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 […]

Recap: A Tool Kit for Doctoral Student Career Planning

In May 2017, the MLA’s Connected Academics Initiative published a guide for PhD programs and faculty about doctoral student career planning. This past January, at the MLA conference in New York, Kalle Westerling attended a Connected Academics Initiative event on “Doctoral Student Career Planning.” Designed for faculty and advisors in academic institutions—especially those who wanted to advise their students about careers different from those of the traditional humanities career-track – this piece presents a writeup of the three panelists and a transcript of the Q&A.

Preparing for Humanities Careers: Suggestions for Doctoral Students and Departments

By Matthew Woodbury, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History As a historian, when asked to explain what I do, one reply is to say I study change and continuity over time. This month that methodological approach takes a personal turn; there are a few changes on my horizon as I reach the final weeks of my doctoral studies and finish a research assistantship with Rackham Graduate School’s Humanities PhD Project. Like the end of a calendar year, the conclusion of an academic year is an appropriate moment to celebrate successes, consider […]

American Historical Association’s Career Diversity Faculty Resources

The American Historical Association has identified five core skills of historical training – communication, collaboration, quantitative literacy, intellectual self-confidence, and digital literacy. Resources on the AHA’s career diversity resources for faculty page offer examples of class activities and projects that faculty could consider incorporating into existing syllabi or as inspiration for an new course or workshop.

Changing History – Dismantling divisions between academic and public history

Opportunities for team-based research, collaborative content development, and creating material that moves beyond classroom walls are relatively rare in humanities coursework. One model from UM’s department of history, proposed and organized by Dr. Michelle McClellan in conjunction with Dr. Lexi Lord, did all of these while providing students with experience in communicating to a range of audiences, using materials to create an argument, and working in conjunction with a range of organizations to accomplish a goal. Such skills are useful to a wide range of humanities careers inside and outside the […]

Promising Practices in Humanities PhD Professional Development

This report presents findings from the 2016-2017 Next Generation Humanities PhD Consortium that is useful for faculty and administrators interested in professional development. Funded by the NEH and facilitated by the Council of Graduate Schools, the document outlines lessons learned, suggests some practices encouraging career diversity, and includes some ideas about how to go forward with professional development.

Professional Humanities Careers Syllabus

Developed to build student awareness about the variety and range of career opportunities open to humanities doctoral students, this course – Professional Humanities Careers – from the University of Michigan’s David Porter and the MLA’s Stacy Hartman encourages students to “actively and holistically chart their own professional pathways both inside and outside of the university.”

University of Washington New Graduate Seminars in the Humanities

As part of the University of Washington’s four-year program Reimagining the Humanities PhD and Reaching New Publics, faculty fellows in the humanities are developing new courses that have a significant public-scholarship component. Though public engagement is only one way to think about redesigning graduate coursework, the course descriptions available here provide some food for thought.    

Next Steps for Career Diversity: Diving into Graduate Education

In the December 2017 issue of Perspectives, the American Historical Association’s news magazine, Executive Director James Grossman discussed next steps for the AHA’s Career Diversity Initiative. An overarching goal for the AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians Initiative is addressing discrepancies between what is taught in history doctoral programs and the work that history PhDs actually do. Developing skills in communication, collaboration, quantitative literacy, intellectual self-confidence, and digital literacy can have great utility for both new professors and non-traditional careers.

Connected Academics Proseminar Syllabus

  This site contains a downloadable PDF of the syllabus for an MLA-sponsored, Mellon-funded proseminar on careers. The course description outlines learning objectives and lists contacts at several site visits in New York City where seminar participants meet with PhDs working in non-academic positions.