PublicHistoryGraduate Getting to the Malleable PhD

AHA Session 183
Saturday, January 4, 2014: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM
Thurgood Marshall Ballroom South (Marriott Wardman Park)
Jacqueline Jones, University of Texas at Austin and vice president, AHA Professional Division
Walter M. Licht, University of Pennsylvania
Elizabeth M. Covart, independent scholar
Ramona Houston, chief executive officer, Kalirah, Inc.
R. Darrell Meadows, Kentucky Historical Society
The Malleable PhD
Jacqueline Jones, University of Texas at Austin and vice president, AHA Professional Division

Session Abstract

This panel highlights the challenges of promoting and implementing the “malleable PhD.” Over the past two years, the Professional Division has learned that many graduate students and AHA members applaud the idea of expanding the career horizons of historians.   However, to reach this goal, members of a number of different groups will have to work together to change a culture that favors academic appointments over other kinds of employment.  These groups include directors of graduate study, academic administrators, faculty, historians working outside the academy, and graduate students themselves.

This panel brings together historians who have a variety of perspectives on implementing the malleable PhD. Dr. Ramona Houston eschewed a career in the academy in favor of founding her own consulting firm focused on African-American/Latino relations, and on contemporary issues facing these two communities. Dr. Elizabeth Covart is an independent scholar pursuing a number of opportunities outside the academy. Dr. R. Darrell Meadows is Director, Division of Research and Interpretation, at the Kentucky Historical Society. Dr. Walter Licht has served as a Dean at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Jacqueline Jones teaches graduate courses at the University of Texas at Austin, and serves as director of Graduate Studies in the history department there.

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