Grad students take stock at mid-year

Sara Hales, Katie Walden, and Mary Wise (with friend)

History PhD candidate Mary Wise, American Studies PhD candidate Katie Walden, and Classics PhD candidate Sara Hales contributed to this post. Katie and Sara’s Twitter handles are @kwaldenPhD and @saralynnhales.

In this final mid-year assessment of Next Gen activities accomplished thus far (the first two are here and here), three participating graduate students, after polling their peers, list priorities and future goals.

Some discoveries made through planning process:

Interest in discovering new ways to make research more accessible

Discovery that Next Gen is not only about Alt-Ac careers

Interest in priority given to transferrable skills

Appreciation for model (provided by Amanda Visconti) of making research more public

Interest in possibility of adopting more collaborative research model, perhaps drawing on strategies used in the sciences

Enthusiasm expressed for working outside of the academy—appreciate diversity of topics that Next Gen PhD planning process has covered

Some concerns identified through the planning process:

 Risk factors in making research public at an early stage

Need to offer options to graduate students earlier

Importance of preventing Digital Humanities training from becoming one more thing, supplement to existing structures

Need to make sure graduate students have the resources they need in order to accomplish alt-ac work and alt-diss work

Would welcome more attention to divisions between scholarly writing and public writing

Need more discussion of interdisciplinary research and creation of actual collaborative processes within the university

1 thought on “Grad students take stock at mid-year”

  1. “Interest in possibility of adopting more collaborative research model, perhaps drawing on strategies used in the sciences.”
    This would be ideal, I think it would perhaps take a shift to a more pragmatist/instrumentalist philosophical understanding of the work, what sorts of tools (writ large) are best suited for the subject at hand, how to frame research/data sets into manageable projects, and so on.
    Not a little task and certainly a lot for faculty to take on while doing their more traditional jobs, would be good to have some administrative support (including time and financing) but given the political/economic pressures these days for reform of higher-ed the powers that be might welcome such an effort to stand out from the crowd/market and to offer a truly integrative course of study (currently by and large students are left to their own means to try and stitch together the patchwork of courses/depts involved in getting a liberal arts degree).

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