Do You Want to Help Reinvent the PhD in the Humanities?

Reinventing the Humanities: A Georgetown Retreat

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If you are a faculty member, graduate student, administrator, or alt-ac professional who cares about the future of doctoral education in the humanities, please join us at our region-wide Reinvent the Humanities PhD Retreat, to be held at Georgetown University on 23 and 24 October.

Our work at Georgetown under the auspices of the MLA’s Connected Academics project involves answering the most pressing questions concerning doctoral education in the humanities today. Given the academic job market, what is the proper role of current and planned doctoral programs in the humanities? Are there programmatic changes that could better serve graduate students entering this market? What is the value of the PhD in the humanities both within the academy and out in the world?

Our public forum on Friday, 23 October, at 4:oo p.m., followed by discussion and a reception, will address innovations in humanities doctoral education. We have a wonderful slate of speakers, including the following:

Jane McAuliffe, former director of the Kluge Library and current director of National and International Outreach, a new service unit of the Library of Congress

Peter Brooks, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholar, Princeton University, and the editor of The Humanities and Public Life, 2014

Julie Meloni, PhD English, Washington State University, 2010, Senior Manager of Software Engineering, Hobsons, Education Solutions Company

Katja Zelljadt, Director, Office of Challenge Grants, National Endowment for the Humanities

Their comments will frame our daylong series of interactive working group discussions on Saturday, 24 October, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., in which we will explore ways to better prepare humanities PhD students for opportunities both within and outside the academy.

The morning will involve forums from the perspectives of key administrators, including Carlos Alonso (Dean of the Graduate School at Columbia University); recent graduate students; alt-ac representatives; and contingent faculty members.

The afternoon will be devoted to a design lab, facilitated by Sherry Linkon (Faculty Director of Writing Curriculum Initiatives at Georgetown University), in which we will explore and develop proposals for change.

The day will be followed by a celebratory reception.

To be sure you receive future announcements and details about the retreat and about all our activities, we invite you to join our electronic discussion list. Simply fill out this quick form telling us your name, affiliation, and contact info and we will add you to our list or name you as a potential guest at our retreat. All you need bring is yourself and your ideas—no conference fees! Attendance is limited; we will send you a confirmation after we receive your completed form.

We invite you to save 23–24 October to join us at Georgetown and to forward this invitation to your departments, colleagues, and professional contacts interested in attending. We look forward to working together with you to reinvent the PhD!

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