Moving History beyond the Academy: Lessons from the World of Jewish History
As the field of history considers how different disciplines can enrich the study of the past, it is critical, as this panel explores, to consider what the skills an historian can contribute to other fields, even those beyond the academy. In recent years, many scholars and graduate students have become a bit consumed by the "crisis in the humanities" and the shrinking job market. But far from a crisis, this new reality offers PhD in history more opportunities to use their skills in new realms. Indeed, modern Jewish history PhDs have long found opportunities outside of the traditional university setting to deploy the skills gained through their training. Numerous think tanks, Jewish cultural institutions, museums, archives, historical societies, and political organizations have benefited from these highly-trained critical thinkers' decision to use their skills beyond the academy. What lessons can the experience of modern Jewish history PhDs offer other fields in the humanities? What special challenges can arise when PhDs go to work outside the academy? As this panel will explore through its three panelists reflections on their own careers, there is much to discuss and gain from considering how to use one's PhD in insitutions outside the academy.