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Humanities Career Exploration Course

Year of Funding: 
Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr Mr. Nixter

It is, or should be, common knowledge that there are very few tenure-track faculty positions available in the humanities these days. Yet we continue to train and mentor graduate students as if a full-time faculty position at a four-year college or university was the end-goal of earning a doctorate in the humanities. It shouldn’t be surprising that graduate students want to be professors because they are taught and advised by professors. They have little, if any, exposure to those who have taken different routes after completing a PhD.

This workshop-style microseminar will draw on local resources—humanities PhDs working in a range of careers in the Puget Sound region—to mentor current graduate students who are interested in exploring a wide world of work beyond academia. Through panel discussions, shadowing sessions, and reflective exercises, we will consider what skills and values we want to cultivate in our work and examine how various forms of employment might help us to do so. The short-term goal is to encourage doctoral students to begin exploring a broad range of humanities careers beyond faculty positions; in the long term, I hope it will help to change the culture around how those of us in humanities doctoral programs think about, and how we plan for, post-PhD employment.

Primary Contact

Juliet Shields (English)