Putting the Humanities PhD to Work

Thriving in and beyond the Classroom

Book Pages: 184 Illustrations: Published: August 2020

Literature and Literary Studies, Pedagogy and Higher Education

In Putting the Humanities PhD to Work Katina L. Rogers grounds practical career advice in a nuanced consideration of the current landscape of the academic workforce. Drawing on surveys, interviews, and personal experience, Rogers explores the evolving rhetoric and practices regarding career preparation and how those changes intersect with admissions practices, scholarly reward structures, and academic labor practices—especially the increasing reliance on contingent labor. Rogers invites readers to consider how graduate training can lead to meaningful and significant careers beyond the academy. She provides graduate students with context and analysis to inform the ways they discern their own potential career paths while taking an activist perspective that moves toward individual success and systemic change. For those in positions to make decisions in humanities departments or programs, Rogers outlines the circumstances and pressures that students face and gives examples of programmatic reform that address career matters in structural ways. Throughout, Rogers highlights the important possibility that different kinds of careers offer engaging, fulfilling, and even unexpected pathways for students who seek them out.


“Covering every conceivable aspect of rethinking doctoral education in the humanities, Katina L. Rogers offers sound and sage advice on topics ranging from inclusion and diversity in graduate programs to the need for better mentoring and the relegitimization of the humanities in the public sphere. Her exceptionally timely, important, knowledgeable, and necessary book fills a real need in the humanities.” — Michael Bérubé, coauthor of The Humanities, Higher Education, and Academic Freedom: Three Necessary Arguments

“Katina L. Rogers deftly skewers narrowed notions of scholarly success and makes an urgent case for graduate education as a pathway to practical, meaningful work. This book is right on time. We need versatile, thinking people in the postpandemic public sphere and the humanities in the driver’s seat for structural changes to come.” — Bethany Nowviskie, Dean of Libraries and Professor of English, James Madison University

"Written from a first-person perspective by the author and providing a review of resources and interviews, Katina L. Rogers’s book is a refreshing look at the subsequent pathways for academics within the humanities to explore when the traditional road to success within the academy has been upended. . . . This book does something special—it empowers, if not emboldens, the humanities doctorate, and encourages them to see the world in a way that is deserving of their time and hard work." — Kristen Vogt Veggeberg, LSE Review of Books

"Perhaps the most useful thing about Rogers’ book is that it offers ways to start making change–right away–no matter your position in the academy. . . . The task of reforming humanities graduate training for the better is something for us all to take on–students as well as teachers. It’s up to all of us, and we all have a role to play. As much as Rogers’ book is a call for institutional reform, it is also a call for individual and collective action." — Sonali Majumdar and Brandon Walsh, Scholars Lab blog


Availability: In stock
Price: $24.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Katina L. Rogers is Co-Director of the Futures Initiative and Director of Programs and Administration of HASTAC at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface  vii
Acknowledgments  xv
Introduction: Putting the PhD to Work—for the Public Good  1
1. The Academic Workforce: Expectations and Realities  19
2. Inclusive Systems: Vibrant Scholarship  39
3. Expanding Definitions of Scholarly Success  57
4. What Faculty and Advisors Can Do  76
5. Students: How to Put Your PhD to Work  101
Conclusion: Building a University Worth Fighting For  128
Appendix: Ten Ways to Begin  131
Notes  137
Bibliography  149
Index  159
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top