Future job wanted, ideal credentials not yet known

speech_pathology_test_the_university_of_iowa_1940sSpeech Pathology Test, U of Iowa, 1940s

Over the past few days, I’ve talked to several groups on campus about the NEH Next Gen Humanities PhD planning process and about our upcoming symposia featuring Dr. Amanda Visconti and Dr. Nick Sousanis, dissertation innovators. The groups included the Humanities Advisory Board, a graduate class in the French department, a group of librarians, and several English PhD students who are working on fine-tuning their job application materials.

Here are some of the concerns expressed by faculty:

“My discipline is a book field, and I’m concerned about sending students out without a book.” And (summarized): To what extent are deans at other universities going to be amenable to unconventional research formats at the promotion stage?

“It’s absolutely vital for students in my field to write real, I mean conventional, dissertations.”

“Students in my department have been doing very well in the academic job market.”

Here are some of the career aspirations expressed by graduate students:

“I want to be an archivist.”

“I would like to be an American Literature college professor. More realistically, I would like to work in international relations, specifically at an embassy/consulate.”

“I would like to be a translator.”

“French teacher or professor in language and literature. (Dream job: music composer for films.)”

“Community engagement relating to cultural policy and human rights and working with women for more education/empowerment.”