RE THE HUMANITIES & FEELING DOWNTRODDEN
We talked a while on the phone about some of the issues raised in the links that I am including. I will preface this information by saying: I don’t really know what your career goals are. I don’t know if you want to be a professor, researching and teaching. I don’t know if you are even looking at academia as a golden path, for its grand promises and steady pay. (I know I was.)
For me, I am cyclically seized by the idea to go back to university, and I have to periodically talk myself out of it- at least until I come up with a more viable plan and some concrete career goals for myself. I don’t really need to tease out the content and implications of these articles right now for you- you will of course make your own judgements about their worth, accuracy, etc- I find the comments sections to be as illuminating as Benton/Pannapacker’s observations. I have returned to these articles several times over the last years- I think I first decided I wanted to do a Masters in a German program during a low point after Thanksgiving in my fourth year of Architecture school, and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. I read them again last summer when I was mourning my loss of access to the institutional privileges of university- library, community, DINING HALL, access to information of all kinds at will, legitimacy, mentor figures, etc, etc.
There’s tons of material like this nowadays (Liz probably knows all of it) and even some web sites designed to help people parlay their humanities degrees into jobs in business, government, etc - which might be illuminating for me as well. We can talk about implications!
OH- I don’t want you to go into a shame spiral. You have work to do and don’t need to be completely downtrodden. But still read them, maybe with popcorn and a beer. Soon enough you will have to consider the practical realities of your situation, and with talk of a potential PhD, or another grad program, if you haven’t already read these articles, they can be the start of some pragmatic thinking in terms of outcomes. Maybe you will find that you want to continue with a program anyway. If that is your dream, I guess you will do it. But I think I myself and a lot of arts/ humanities people haven’t really considered the full range of potential career paths, the full range of fulfilling contributions that scholarly people can make in all realms of activity. So even if you do go on to further schooling, taking some time for work experience and professional skills is probably still a good idea.
If you don’t like the mediation and commentary, you can do some exploration for yourself in the job forums at the Chronicle, where people are sending out 60 applications per season and not getting any bites.
I came across this page in a search result. There’s some stuff there, especially in the comments sections where people have the chance to weigh in.
Talk to you l8tr!