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Tag: hwwaltac

The Office Space Myth

During the first weekend of the Humanities Without Walls pre-doctoral workshop, I caught the last half of Office Space on television. The fear of becoming a corporate drone is one many academics likely identify with. But the choice is not between Initech and academia. (Even if it were a choice between only those two options, academia has its own litany of issues — just check out the academic equivalent of Office Space, Tenure). One of the most important things that the HWW workshop achieved was demonstrating the wide array of culturally and intellectually vibrant positions accessible to doctoral students. The…

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It’s a Process

Somewhat recently, I had a professor tell me to think of the (academic) job market as a three to five year process. I continued smiling but immediately thought about how terrible the (academic) job market is. In part, because it actually is a multi-year process. You dip your toe in as an ABD and apply for a few good fits. The next year, you apply for everything out of complete panic. Maybe you get a postdoc or Visiting Assistant Professorship and keep applying. After that, maybe you’re part of the lucky half that gets a tenure-track job. Otherwise, you keep…

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It’s what you do that matters

Earlier in the week during the Humanities Without Walls workshop, we spent a whole day learning how to “pitch” ourselves. This kind of self-promotion often makes academics uneasy as “selling” yourself can feel awfully close to selling out. The fact is (as many people pointed out) academics constantly pitch themselves and their work in application letters, dissertation proposals, grant applications, and many other situations. There is a big difference between academic and non-academic pitching, however. When pitching in academia, it’s who you are and where you are from. When pitching outside of academia, it’s what you do. For the world…

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Brian Without Walls

For the next three weeks, I’m participating in the Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Workshop on alternative academic careers. We just completed day two and I wanted to blog a few of my initial thoughts: I’ve noticed that the “without walls” metaphor is a great one for this workshop. Not only are we discussing doing the humanities in “the public” (outside the physical spaces of the academy), I find the workshop to be without the constraints (“walls”) of academia’s ideology. Most academic discussions of the job market focus on a duality. Are you in or out? Are you going to stay…