Graduate Course Description

Working with the PhD

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Tuesday - 4:30 p.m.
MU 305

Working with the Ph.D.

David Kurnick

This not-for-credit seminar will think about what sorts of skills graduate students in literature acquire as they progress towards their degrees and how adaptable those are to various kinds of employment after graduation. Many of our sessions will involve visits from professionals in various fields (nonprofit work, publishing, librarians, higher education consultants, public humanities workers, professional grant-writing). They will talk to us about the nature of their work, the skills they seek when they’re hiring, and what you might do while you are still enrolled as a full-time student to put yourself in a position to be a plausible job candidate later on.

Three other related projects: we’ll explore several different tools that promise to help us think about what lines of work are appealing to us. We’ll also pay attention to writing habits, planning and finishing a dissertation, balancing writing, teaching and other forms of work. Finally, though this is primarily a practical class, well also be reading about the nature of the current academic job market (its history, and predictions for where it’s going). The semester will conclude with a collaborative project in which students formulate proposals for possible reforms to our own graduate program structures.