The Core Working Group used our January meeting to make headway in planning the May 4 Town Hall event.
As outlined in our grant project proposal, the May event (under the working title Town Hall Meeting on Careers for Humanists) is an opportunity to encourage discussions between faculty, students, and alumni about possible career paths for humanities PhDs.
The event was conceived as an extension of an event hosted by the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development in December 2015. That event, called “Post Grad (Center): Putting Your Graduate Skills and Training to Work,” included twenty alumni from across the humanities and social sciences. These Graduate Center alums met and networked with approximately sixty students who attended the event.
The title for our May 4 event will be “Post Grad (Center): Engaging Publics with a PhD.“ Building off of the December 2015 event, we will bring together university scholars and PhD professionals outside academe, Graduate Center students, faculty, and alumni for panel discussions, breakout sessions, and a keynote address. We want everyone in attendance to join in the efforts of The New PhD: A Renaissance of Public Engagement to reimagine the possibilities opened up by doctoral study in the humanities and related disciplines and to help us give shape to a new PhD for the work of the next generation.
Following coffee and registration, our morning session will be a curated panel of scholars from a range of professional backgrounds. The panel will be centered around the notion that there are countless ways from both within and outside academia to continue one’s scholarly and research interests after graduation.
Attendees will break off into two groups for lunch. Students and alumni will participate in facilitated roundtable networking. Meanwhile, faculty members and program Executive Officers will participate in a facilitated discussion around the ideas generated during our monthly project meetings. We will discuss the cross-disciplinary initiatives that we have been developing to integrate professional development for public-sphere humanities into existing curricula. The goal of the grant has been to produce concrete plans that will transform the humanities PhD to meet the labor demands of the twenty-first century—preparing students for careers outside as well as inside academe—and we hope to win the support of Graduate Center faculty in order to put these plans into action.
During the afternoon, we hope to offer an array of breakout panel sessions on a range of topics related to careers for humanists, such as public service, journalism, and NGOs. There will also be a keynote talk prior to a reception during which participants can continue to network and discuss the day’s proceedings.
With a tentative agenda in place, our project leaders and committee members can begin extending targeted invitations to alumni and guest speakers.
The next project meeting will bring together the Steering Committee to discuss ideas for developing an alumni mentoring database and to continue plans for this May 4 event.