Ahead and Abroad (Moving Forward)

Georgetown: “Sustaining the Public Humanities PhD Model: Teaching, Mentoring, and Placement”

  • Push to institutionalize any changes
  • Create a public humanities certificate program and humanities center
  • Four pillars of humanities center—global/interdisciplinary/digital/public—ground the program in the community
  • Important Questions and Considerations
    • What does public humanities mean?
    • What does a PhD in public humanities look like?
    • Think about ideal as both intellectual and professional
    • Humanities for the common good
  • Advising in a Public Humanities Program
    • Allow advisors from other departments
    • Limit the number of students per advisor
    • Be explicit about what we mean with mentoring/advising
    • What does good mentoring look like?
      • Care about students personally and their general well-being
      • Most research on mentoring is dedicated to undergraduates
      • Utilize the MLA toolkit
      • Mentorship
        • Enduring personal relationships
        • Reciprocal relationships
        • Provide direct career assistance
      • How does it differ from sponsorship?
      • Students need to be coached into seeking out mentors
      • What should the minimum expectations be?

MLA: “Rethinking the Dissertation”

https://connect.mla.hcommons.org/rethinking-the-dissertation/

  • What is the purpose of the dissertation?—lots of confusion
    • Contribution of knowledge to a field
    • Demonstration of research chops
    • Kind of transformational document—intellectual transformation
    • A relic?
      • Simply a basis of the monograph
      • Closely tied to the system of publications
      • Dissertation standard can’t change unless the monograph standard changes
    • Create connections to local cultural sites and institutions—complexity that demands collaboration
    • Questions and Considerations
      • Who is it for? What is its basis?
      • How is the dissertation serving the students?
      • Does it need to be bound by discipline?
      • Dissertation as a showcase—of self, of knowledge, of capability,
      • Should it be viable for other careers—more versatile
      • Interdisciplinary?
      • Rename it a doctoral research project?
      • Showcase or platform?
    • At some level the dissertation interfaces with potential career possibilities
    • Assumption that changing the form of the dissertation lowers standards
    • What would it mean to DECENTER the dissertation?

UCHRI: “Sustaining Resistance: The Discourse and Work of Community through Humanists@Work”

  • How to create community? Sustainability? Sustainability depends on staff and faculty
  • Resistance to certain models of sustainability
    • Anecdotal Evidence
    • Grad students—anger, frustration, perception that they are less supported
    • Faculty—resistance to entrenchment of neo-liberal university and these activities that spring from that
    • Resistance to incorporating staff into conversations, not just resources or support, but thought creators and collaborators
    • Faculty resistance to ownership of mentorship, to talk about things they’re not experts in (“I don’t know enough about that”)
    • Solutions?
      • Community and community empowerment—create solidarity and support
      • Give students some voice in institutional debates
    • Ethical responsibility to provide job opportunities and support grad students in pursuing other careers
    • Potential Initiatives
      • Networking tutorials
      • Resume language workshops
      • Community
    • First step—bring the conversation to the forefront

ASU: “Internships for Humanists: Reimagining Career Pathways through Transferrable Skills”

  • Internships for PhD Students
    • Starting Questions
      • Is there value in structuring internships around project-based deliverables for internship professional development?
      • How can we articulate the value/purpose of internships to diverse audiences: students, faculty, administrators, internship partners?
      • What does an internship look like that is mindful of inclusion and diversity? Is there a fundamental framework necessary for establishing community involvement?
      • How to integrate internship into PhD program curriculum and courses?
      • Documentation? Reporting? Evaluation? as part of student internship experience
    • Values of Internship
      • Student provide a voice; input is valued
      • Collaboration
      • Open future opportunities
      • Tangible outcomes
      • Application of skills/knowledge in meaningful setting
      • Developing transferrable skills
      • Discover skills/talents you didn’t know you had
      • Pushed outside comfort zone
      • Job crafting—able to shape internship to personal interests, goals, etc.
    • Criteria for Internships
      • Breadth and depth of the experience
      • Opportunity for students to apply principles learned in and outside the classroom
      • Opportunity to observe professionals in action
      • Opportunity to develop specific skills
      • Supervision and processing time
      • Safe work environment
      • Environment free from discrimination and sexual harassment
    • Preliminary Steps for Internship
      • Discuss expectations, job description, learning objectives
      • Share documents
      • Formulate structures to create job transparency
    • Best Practices
      • Structures, paperwork, documentation, benchmarks
      • Provide both project-based internships and task/skill-oriented
      • Find/create variety of internship opportunities and partnerships
      • Oversight
      • Allow students to create own internship experience
      • Encourage independence to pursue informational interviews and network of contacts
    • Questions of terminology
      • Internship vs fellowship—What do these terms imply to students and faculty
      • Need to rebrand?