Entrepreneurship for Humanities PhDs: Resources

Margy Thomas Horton of ScholarShape, who participated in our 2015 Conference, “The Transferable PhD,” shares with us a host of guides, resources, books, and a lean business plan for those thinking of leveraging their PhD training into a small business. (more…)

Altacs in Academe: Theory and Practice

Three Conversations with Dr. Brenda Bethman, April 9-10, 2015. Sponsored by the Altacs in Academe Carolina Seminar, UNC-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Bethman is the co-founder of Alt/Academix, a consulting firm that provides workshops and individual consultations to help graduate students and PhDs make themselves marketable for academic administrative positions. She has presented and published on #altac careers, social media, assessment, women’s leadership, women’s literature, Elfriede Jelinek, Marlene Streeruwitz, Ingeborg Bachmann, and feminism in a variety of venues. She is the author of “Obscene Fantasies”: Generic Perversions in Elfriede Jelinek, published in Peter Lang’s Austrian Culture Series. She is also the co-founder and co-editor of the Student Affairs Women Talk Tech blog, and one of the founding members of the #femlead Twitter chat. She holds a B.A. in German Literature from Dickinson College, an M.A. in German Literature from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in Modern German Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies from UMass Amherst.

For more information on the three events, please see the Altacs in Academe: Theory and Practice website.

MARCH Public Historian in Residence (Co-Editor, The Public Historian)

As co-editor of The Public Historian and Public Historian in Residence at Rutgers University Camden, the successful candidate will serve as a voice for public history practice in the creation of scholarly content for the journal. (more…)

Christopher Brooks, “Connecting the Dots: Why a History Degree is Useful in the Business World”

Most faculty members have heard cynical parents making arguments like, “My kid should go for a straight business degree. I am not paying for this fun stuff, like history. He needs a job to pay off all these loans! Besides, unlike majors such as engineering, computer science, and business, most college degrees are useless, for jobless blowhards. Right?”

Read Christopher Brooks’ article, “Connecting the Dots: Why a History Degree is Useful in the Business World” at the AHA Website.

Frank P. Barajas, “Decolonizing the Newspaper: The Historian and the Op-Ed”

In a democratic society, debate over ideas and an appreciation for the past are dependent on multiple perspectives. Only recently have the historical vantage points of racial minorities, the gay community, and women, for example, been given increased space by newspaper editors. For me, it is important that intellectuals from a demographic group that has been studied in the past voice a perspective in the present. Otherwise, the discipline becomes a colonial enterprise.

Read Barajas’ full article, “Decolonizing the Newspaper: The Historian and the Op-Ed” at the AHA website.

AHA Career Contacts

AHA Career Contacts is a new service that matches history PhDs employed beyond the professoriate with graduate students and recent PhDs who are interested in broadening their career horizons. Since the conversation around this issue began at the AHA in the fall of 2011, historians employed across a wide spectrum of professions and contexts have asked us how they can help the AHA normalize career paths that for them had to be exceptional. They want to help graduate students and recent PhDs appreciate and articulate how their training as historians qualifies them for careers other than as members of college and university faculty.

The Transferable PhD: Converting Academic Skills to Broader Career Paths

The History Professional Development Committee (HPDC) of the Duke History Department is pleased to announce our upcoming half-day conference, “The Transferable PhD: Converting Academic Skills to Broader Career Paths.” Our panels and keynote feature humanities and social sciences PhDs discussing how their training and skills transferred to a variety of careers, from consulting, to teaching, to starting their own business.


Saturday, March 28th, 8:30am to 2:00pm
Location: Carr 103, Duke East Campus, Durham NC
Google Map of Parking Information and Event Location

Download Program PDF

8:30am Light Breakfast and Coffee

9:00am Panel 1 Building Your Brand: Humanities PhDs as Entrepreneurs
Margy Thomas Horton, ScholarShape

9:45am Break

10:00am Panel 2 Rethinking Audience
Trudi Abel, Rubenstein Library, Duke University
Jacqueline M. Olich, RTI International

10:45am Break

11:00am Panel 3 Teaching as a Strength
Chair: Richard Schramm, National Humanities Center
David R. Long, Durham Tech

Zach Lechner, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
Martha Regalis, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

12:15pm Break

12:30pm Lunch and Keynote
Benjamin Filene, Director of Public History, UNC Greensboro

“Shooting Ourselves in the Foot–and How to Stop: Applying Ph.D. training to Non-Academic Jobs”

Benjamin Fileme

Benjamin Filene is Associate Professor and Director of Public History at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. He is author of Romancing the Folk: Public Memory and American Roots Music (named a notable book of the year by the New York Times Book Review) and co-editor of Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World. Since 2006 he has worked with his students to complete a series of community-based, collaborative projects relating to North Carolina history, and he consults on exhibition projects across the country.

Prior to UNCG, Filene was Senior Exhibit Developer at the Minnesota Historical Society. He served as lead developer on Open House: If These Walls Could Talk (winner of a WOW Award for innovation from the American Association for State and Local History) and Sounds Good to Me: Music in Minnesota. Filene received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University.


Registration is free, but we please ask that participants RSVP via our Google Form, http://goo.gl/forms/JyaUTZX59X

Many thanks to our sponsors: Duke History Department; Forum for Scholars and Publics; The Graduate School; and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Careers in Nonprofits for the Humanities and Social Sciences

February 10, 2015, 3-430pm, in Perkins 218. Humanities and social sciences scholars with graduate degrees may find good fits for their research, analysis, writing, grant-writing, and quantitative skills in nonprofit contexts. This panel will feature several successful professionals, some of whom hire Ph.D.s, leveraging their graduate degrees in a variety of nonprofit settings. (more…)

Careers in Arts Development, University Development, and Academic Administration

Talk Music and the Professional Development series are bringing an alumna, Camille Crittenden, for an informal session on Friday, 2/20 from 3:30–4:30 in Friedl 225.

Dr. Crittenden finished her PhD in musicology at Duke in 1997. She held visiting/adjunct/lecturer positions at Duke and in California before pursuing a career in development and management. She is currently the deputy director of a research institute at UC Berkeley dedicated to IT research in the interest of society (CITRIS).

The topic will be “Careers in Arts Development, University Development, and Academic Administration.” It will be informal: coffee and chat.

This is part of the Professional Development Series at The Graduate School. If you already plan on coming, please register for the event.

Christopher White, “Reflections on Pursuing a Non-Traditional Academic Career”

Dr. Christopher White is one of a growing number of academics who have pursued an alternative academic career (or “Alt-Ac“). In this blog post, he reflects on the uncertainty and self-doubt, as well as the joys and triumphs, that he has experienced in defining his academic career on his own terms.

Christopher White, “Reflections on Pursuing a Non-Traditional Academic Career” at Conditionally Accepted