Welcome to the blog for the Humanities Without Walls Alternative Academic Career Summer Workshops for Pre-doctoral Students in the Humanities (we’ll also refer to these as the HWW Predoctoral Workshops)!

The Humanities Without Walls is a consortium of humanities centers and institutes at 15 major research universities throughout the Midwest and beyond. Based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the consortium is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The purpose of these three-week workshops (the second of which is scheduled for July 18th through August 5th, 2016) is to introduce current doctoral students to the various ways in which they may leverage their pre-existing and developing skillsets to pursue careers in the public humanities and the private sector (also sometimes referred to as “alt-ac” careers). Each workshop will bring together a cohort of approximately thirty Fellows, two from each of the universities in the consortium. HWW Fellows will have the opportunity to engage with leaders working in a range of occupations both in and outside university life that draw on humanities training and extend its horizons beyond academe.

This blog is intended to engage participants through reflection and commentary about the workshop’s activities, particularly its focus on potential career paths inside and outside of academia. Our intention is that workshop Fellows will emerge with a network of contacts in a range of professional realms; a significantly broadened sense of the career possibilities that await humanities PhDs; a cohort of “alt-ac” fellows from whom they may draw support and advice; and a set of resources aimed at helping them advance into the various realms considered under the broad rubric of “the public humanities.” It is our hope that having current Fellows write and reflect about their experiences will benefit all the participants as well as all of those graduate students who have not had the opportunity to attend the workshops.

We send a heartfelt welcome to second class of pre-doctoral Fellows, and we look forward to spending a few weeks together this summer!


Reflections from Around the Web

Below is a list of articles by the 2015 alt ac pre-doctoral summer workshop fellows and participants about the workshops that have been published elsewhere on the web.

Brian Sarnacki’s Website
Fellow Brian Sarnacki wrote multiple posts about the workshop on his own blog.

“Majeed Cares: On Giving a Damn” by Meghan Forbes for the Michigan Quarterly Review
Fellow Meghan Forbes writes a monthly piece about museums for the Michigan Quarterly Review. In August she wrote about Faheem Majeed’s solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which she visited with the rest of the Alt Ac workshop fellows.

“Chicago’s Alternative Academic Career Summer Workshop for Pre-Doctoral Students in the Humanities” by Jonathan Elmer for Connected Academics. 
Jonathan Elmer, Marilynn Thoma Artistic Director of the Chicago Humanities Festival, wrote a piece about the workshops for the MLA Commons blog.