By Taylor Perk
At any AHA annual meeting, it’s easy to spot dozens of well-dressed individuals preparing for interviews in the hopes of finding a job within the academy. In the past few years, however, with the advent of Career Diversity, the flavor of the meeting has changed a bit. At the Colorado Convention Center, only a few rooms over from the Job Center, one could find several PhD students and faculty members gathered to think beyond the professorial life.
By Jessica Derleth and Tiffany Baugh-Helton
Jessica and Tiffany
While attending the AHA’s 2016 annual meeting, Jessica and I—PhD candidates in history at Binghamton University in New York—had a revelation of sorts at the Graduate and Early Career Committee’s open forum on Career Diversity. Like many other history graduate students, we had accepted the “Plan A” culture that exists in so many institutions: “Plan A” is a tenure-track job in academia; “Plan B” is whatever we can do to avoid becoming baristas with PhDs.
The AHA Council has voted to approve this set of guidelines, drafted by the Professional Division, on the doctoral dissertation process. The guidelines aim to help both doctoral candidates and those who advise them to fulfill their respective obligations in ways that facilitate the work of students and allow them to graduate in a timely manner, while also respecting the many other duties and responsibilities carried by faculty.
The National Endowment for the Humanities announced today the awardees of its Next Generation PhD: Planning and Implementation Grants. The grants will support efforts at a range of institutions to rethink the relationship between the doctoral curriculum and the career paths of humanities PhDs.
By Grace Ballor
Recent efforts to professionalize doctoral students in history for careers beyond the professoriate, including initiatives such as the AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians, have faced significant resistance from critics, students, and faculty alike, who worry about the commercialization of the academy. Skeptics express concern that attempts to “repurpose the history PhD” dissuade graduate students from scholarship in favor of other career paths, and deliberately devalue both a doctoral degree in history as well as the pursuit of historical knowledge.
To help history students adapt to the changing job market, the AHA has begun a new series on searching for jobs and developing careers. In this post, AHA’s Elizabeth Elliott checked in with her fellow Gettysburg College history graduates to see what careers they have pursued.
By Muriel C. McClendon
It is hardly necessary to note that these are challenging times for history PhD programs. Continued tightening in the academic job market combined with an overall shift in priorities across the landscape of higher education
By Jennifer McPherson
This is one of a series of AHA Today posts featuring subjects of importance to the history profession that were discussed at the 2015 annual meeting.