HF7 Humanities Beyond the Academy


This Working Group centers on the future of humanities training. Residencies for prominent advocates of public humanities and graduate education reform will provide a forum for sharing opportunities and best practices surrounding diverse paths for humanists.


Active since: 2020

  • Syracuse University
  • University of Rochester
  • Cornell University

Collaborative Goals

This working group comprises students, faculty and administrators working in the fields of public engagement and the public humanities, or working to support graduate students pursuing careers outside of tenure-track academia. Members of the group will range from across the humanities and affiliated disciples. Humanities graduate students continue to face a bleak job market within academia, while many humanities students seek to use their humanistic training in non-academic venues. However, awareness of public engagement opportunities can be limited, and institutionalizing access to them within curricula can be challenging to sustain. The working group aims to bring practitioners in public engagement together for workshops and discussions involving notable public humanists or champions of graduate education reform, particularly those with a recent project aligned with the WG’s aims. The working group will sponsor 3 “mini-residencies” comprising a series of events or activities (e.g., a public talk, a guest blog or podcast, a “coffee hour” with graduate students). These events will serve to connect stakeholders in non-academic career development at the Corridor’s PhD-granting institutions and allow sharing of practices, ideas, and opportunities. The working group will also provide a venue to keep PhD alumni in careers outside tenure-track academia connected to their universities, and to connect current students with PhD-holders in the Central New York region whose work speaks to their interests and concerns.

Therefore, the goals of this WG include:

1) Host mini-residencies for prominent public humanists, with events/activities designed to bring together graduate students, faculty, administrators, alumni and public humanities practitioners in the CNY region.

2) Create a community of practice among administrators at doctorate-granting institutions whose role encompasses public engagement or diverse career preparation for humanities PhDs.

3) Create a network among humanities PhD students at Syracuse University, the University of Rochester and Cornell University with an interest in publicly engaged work, public humanities, and non-academic career paths.

4) Forge connections between these humanities PhD students and sympathetic faculty who can act as mentors and advocates (especially with a view to facilitating “safe space” conversations around diverse career pathways).

Group Organizers

Alissa Clark

Graduate Student Program Director

Denise DiRienzo

Experiential Program Director

Glenn Wright

Director of Programs