Connected Academics at MLA 2016


Below are the official Connected Academics sessions and activities occurring at the 2016 MLA convention in Austin. For updated information on the participants, time and date, and location of each session, please follow the link to the convention program.

From Our Partner Institutions

306. Connected Academics: Humanists at Work

Program arranged by the University of California Humanities Research Institute Connected Academics Project.

Participants consider the changing nature of work and its relation to a variety of humanist careers. In particular, they examine risk taking and creativity as two necessary attributes for humanists at work in the world and challenge artificial distinctions made between humanist work “within” and “outside” the university, especially in relation to graduate education.

676. Connected Academics: Articulating the Value of the Humanities to the Larger World

Program arranged by the Georgetown University Connected Academics Project.

What is the value of the humanities out in the world? Panelists articulate the transferable values, skills, and attributes acquired through advanced training in the humanities. They also investigate how we can go beyond the “outreach” of the “public humanities” to what we might call “inreach”—the direct influence of humanist PhDs working in business and government.

763. Connected Academics: Redefining the Humanist Entrepreneur

Program arranged by the Arizona State University Connected Academics Project.

Participants include English and foreign language PhDs who have crafted scholarly identities outside the traditional academic department and utilized their scholarly expertise to invent new vocations. Their career paths ask us to reexamine our training, reimagine the boundaries of the academy, and reconsider scholarly skills and the careers they can lead to.

Career Diversity

233. Connected Academics: Expanding Career Possibilities for PhDs

364. Connected Academics: A Showcase of PhD Career Diversity

Showcasing careers of PhD recipients who have put their advanced degrees in the humanities to work in a variety of rewarding occupations, these sessions are an opportunity to discover the wide range of employment possibilities available within and beyond the academy. Presenters are available at individual stations for one-on-one discussions about their jobs and the career paths that led to them.

Presenters include university employees in a variety of nonfaculty positions—including an associate director of principal gifts, a deputy director of a research initiative, and a director of career development—as well as a program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities, a director of a university press, high school teachers in English and foreign languages, a content creator for Twitter, a freelance translator and novelist, a director of a learned society, an independent library consultant, a managing editor of online communications and a director of information systems at a scholarly association, a director of grants at a state humanities organization, an archivist at a public policy think tank, an associate at a research institute serving the not-for-profit sector, an analyst at a publishing and media company, and a recent PhD recipient working in a for-profit design and development shop for digital media.

Career Planning

2. Careers for Humanists: A Job Search Workshop

This workshop is designed for graduate students and others interested in pursuing new career options outside the classroom or outside the academy. It focuses on practical strategies for conducting such a job search—preparing application materials, networking, negotiating an offer, and more. Preregistration required. (Registration and waiting list have been closed.)

Job Counseling

Job seekers can meet with experienced department chairs, career, or PhDs employed outside the academy for 25-minute one-on-one sessions to discuss their search and career options, both academic and nonacademic, and to review any application materials they may have. Counseling is offered on 8 and 9 January at the Job Information Center (Governor’s Ballroom, level 4, Hilton Austin), where individuals may sign up in advance for a single meeting.

Breakfast Meeting for Directors of Graduate Study

Participants offer short presentations on helping doctoral students broaden their career horizons and supporting those who seek employment outside the academy. A question-and-answer period follows the presentations, and a light breakfast will be served. Preregistration required.

Jennifer Furlong, director of career planning, Graduate Center, City University of New York
Christine Kelly, director of career development, Claremont Graduate University

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