Danielle Dutton and Eric Zimmer: Question Time

The Next Gen PhD planning committee met this week to prepare questions for our upcoming CV/Resume Symposium, at which our expert guest panelists, Danielle Dutton and Eric Zimmer, will talk about their career paths.

Danielle Dutton

Danielle Dutton (PhD in English, University of Denver, 2007, MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2002), is the author of the highly-regarded historical novel Margaret the First, which takes as its inspiration the life and work of Margaret, Duchess of Cavendish, the seventeenth-century writer and intellectual who was the first woman to be invited to the Royal Society of London. After receiving her PhD, Dutton worked as a book designer at the Dalkey Archive, and she founded the publishing project Dorothy, which publishes two works a year, mostly by women, in beautiful paper formats.

Eric Zimmer

Eric Zimmer (PhD in History, University of Iowa, 2016), is a Senior Historian at Vantage Point Historical Services, Inc. and a Research Fellow at the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies. Zimmer’s dissertation, “Red Earth Nation: Environment and Sovereignty in Modern Meskwaki History,” completed under the direction of Professor Jacki Rand, received the Rachel Carson Prize for Best Dissertation from the American Society for Environmental History. He is at work on a biography of a prominent Jewish politician and businessman on the Northern Plains.

In our Next Gen grant proposal, we talked about the CV and the resume as miniature autobiographies that distill life experience. As the committee composed questions for Dutton and Zimmer, we contemplated all the varied forms in which graduate students might be called upon to represent their personal attributes and aspirations. We were also interested in learning more about how Dutton and Zimmer manage to remain true to their intellectual and creative passions.

Here are some of the questions we’ll be asking Danielle and Eric at our Friday (April 7, 3:30-5:00, EPB 109) symposium:

1) What led you to pursue particular career opportunities (and perhaps not others) after receiving the PhD?

2) Please talk about your research and writing practices.

3) How have you framed yourselves for different employers? What kinds of advice do you give your current students or colleagues about this task of framing?

4) What kind of support (if any) did you receive as a grad student in shaping your CV or resume for the first time? How does your self-representation vary depending on the professional venue?

5) For Danielle: How did you go from a PhD in English and Creative Writing to a job as a book designer at Dalkey Press? For Eric: How did you arrive at your job as a corporate historian?

6) Please give us a glimpse of a day in the life of a small press founder and a public historian.

7) Please talk about your online self-presentation, the extent to which you curate a web site, Wikipedia page, or other modes of highlighting your interests and skills.

8) What are your strengths or interests that don’t get conveyed in your CV or resume? How do you communicate them?

9) Are CV/resume categories changing? Note, for example, the highlighting of where one’s writing is being assigned on syllabi. Is this new? Are there other new categories?

10) How do your imagine your future career path?

11) How did you maintain a confident sense of your scholarly and creative identity at moments of transition or when your career path seemed precarious?

12) If you could redo your graduate education, what would you change? What changes to grad training might be suggested by your experiences?

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