Living a Professional Life
This is a new 5-credit course/workshop (now in its second year) that will provide graduate students:
1) with as much how-to information as possible about academic life, both as a grad student and after: how do you find out about conference paper and book reviewing possibilities? What are the top-tier journals in your field? How and where should you begin to publish? What about constructing a vita? Grant-getting? What is public scholarship? How do you apply for funding from the Simpson Center? How do you do ethnographic research? What about Human Subject review? What registers as interdisciplinary scholarship? How do you survive graduate school? How do you balance teaching, scholarship, service and the rest of your life? What do you need to know about the details of exams and dissertation writing? What if you'd like to teach in a community college? What's the job search like?
2) a sense of life and careers after graduate school in professions in addition to college and university teaching: What is "the versatile Ph.D"? Where and how do you look beyond grad school to careers in fields outside of teaching? What if you'd like a job in arts administration, high-tech, editing or publishing, non-profits or academic administration? How do you translate your scholarly knowledge, skills and abilities into a job search? How do you continue your intellectual life after grad school?
3) a chance to reflect individually on the shape of one's own scholarly work and contexts: How do I find interesting, relevant contexts for my literary readings? What if my main interest is not in literature or language, but in other cultural objects or in theory? What if my main interest is in literature or language and studying theory/or cultural objects seems unnecessary to my project? Is my reading and course work so far coalescing into an exciting project for the future? What am I doing in grad school anyway? How do I take care of myself and live well in my non-grad-school life? What about conflicts between academics and other things I want to do?
The course is designed primarily for those in their first or second year in the program, but interested others are welcome to join. Topics and discussions will depend in part in what you'd like to know about, think about, and discuss with others. In addition to our discussions, there will be class presentations so we can teach each other, practice in writing for academic publication, and a final personal reflection paper on your scholarly interests and career goals. If you have questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd like to include anything you think would be of help to you right now in your current thinking as a grad student.