The Humanities Without Walls Fellowship: A Career Diversity Laboratory for Humanities PhD Students

AHA Session 292
Monday, January 6, 2020: 11:00 AM-12:30 PM
Nassau East (New York Hilton, Second Floor)
Jason Mierek, Humanities Without Walls
Jennifer Garcon, University of Pennsylvania
Winifred Maloney, Trinity College
Caroline Marris, Columbia University
Margaret Nettesheim Hoffmann, Humanities Without Walls
Dianne Harris, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Session Abstract

Over the last five years, the Humanities Without Walls consortium has offered an intensive three-week summer workshop designed to introduce thirty American and international PhD students in the humanities to the varieties of career paths available with advanced degrees. While previous AHA career diversity roundtables and panels led by HWW have sought to explore the annual fellowship from the perspective of pedagogical approaches and methodologies, this panel featuring former HWW fellows and a representative from the Mellon Foundation seeks to unpack post-workshop professional development opportunities with a particular emphasis on how fellows have communicated their experiences to faculty and colleagues. How did/do they explain career diversity and PhD career development to fellow academics? What were the reactions from university administration to their fellowship experiences? What have been the challenges, lessons, or successes as they’ve moved to apply the lessons of the workshop into their broader academic communities?

In 2020 and beyond, Humanities Without Walls plans to move forward our mission and the work of career diversity from the experiment of the workshop’s laboratory to the construction of more formal structures and networks supporting the post-workshop endeavors of HWW fellows. We hope to provide resources for the fellows that will assist them in translating the lessons of the workshop to their academic and professional communities. We propose to extend this conversation from theory to applied practice and seek to scale the impact of the predoctoral fellowship during this conference roundtable. We hope this conversation will provide lessons for our combined AHA and HWW communities, while also exploring some of the meta meanings and the impact of this work through an analysis of the post-workshop experience. Our goal is to propose pathways forward grounded in the challenges and successes of career diversity programming.

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