By Molly Mann
When you ask a roomful of humanities scholars what they think about networking, the tension is palpable. Sure, much of the work of our profession is contingent upon relationship building—it’s how we develop publishing contacts and find collaborators, and why we travel around the country on shoestring budgets to attend conferences—but there’s something about the word “networking,” with its connotations of boardrooms and power suits, that is both mysterious and repellent to us.
By Molly Mann
In the second installment of Connected Conversations, Rona Sheramy discusses the skills and qualities that make it possible for humanities PhDs to thrive outside the academy; the importance of having smart, curious, critical thinkers in all areas of society; and loving the work that she does as the executive director of the Association for Jewish Studies.
Each academic year until 2018, the MLA is running a proseminar on careers for twenty graduate students and recent PhD recipients in the New York City area. Proseminar participants explore the full range of careers open to humanities PhDs, from tenure-track positions to employment in business, government, and nonprofit organizations.
In our first installment of Connected Conversations, Amanda Licastro, a student at the Graduate Center, CUNY, talks about her experiences as a “freeway flyer,” the necessity of hands-on work experience for graduate students, and the unique contributions that language and literature PhDs can make outside the world of the university.
“There’s a lot of advice out there for people making the transition into alt ac (or what we at the MLA call “connected”) careers,” says Stacy Hartman. “Most of this advice assumes that those considering an alt-ac career have abandoned their first career goal of becoming a faculty member. This assumption is very often true, but not always.”