Beyond a Comfort Zone: Diversifying Skill Sets in the Humanities

Saturday, January 5, 2019: 3:50 PM
Spire Parlor (Palmer House Hilton)
Brad Hunt, Newberry Library
D. Bradford Hunt will discuss the value in pushing well beyond one’s comfort zone to seek out new skills, leadership positions, and opportunities in the humanities. Moving past the somewhat static “scholarship/teaching/service” mode of the professoriate, those working in the humanities might embrace an entrepreneurial vision that views careers as a series of skill-building and leadership-seeking opportunities that can expand the reach of their scholarly contributions. The Newberry Library, an independent research library with a substantial fellowship program, multiple research centers, and wide-ranging training initiatives in the humanities, seeks to be a model for broadening views of how scholarship is produced. Fellowship programs can foster pioneering scholarly contributions in part by cross-fertilization with colleagues across the humanities. Research centers can support collaborative approaches to scholarship that can be presented in innovative ways. And training scholars in everything from paleography to project management is essential for the kinds of history that is both deeply archival and widely shared. Hunt will explain the value of these various programs in diversifying historians’ skill sets, expanding their networks, and enhancing their cross-disciplinary capacities.