(Irvine, CA) — Humanists@Work, a University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) initiative, has received a $347,000 grant from the Modern Language Association’s “Connected Academics: Preparing Doctoral Students of Language and Literature for a Variety of Careers.” Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation, the initiative creates and supports programming for humanities and humanistic social science MAs and PhDs across the University of California who are interested in careers outside and alongside the academy.
In addition to activities that the MLA will direct in New York, the grant funds pilot programs at Arizona State University, Georgetown University, and UCHRI, which is based at UC Irvine. The project will run through August 2019 and support initiatives aimed at demonstrating how doctoral education can develop students’ capacities in advanced humanistic study to enable a wide range of fulfilling, secure, and well-compensated professional careers.
UCHRI has been funded to conduct six workshops over the next three years. The institute will work closely with language and literature departments across the University of California system to ensure:
1 — that their graduate students will attend and benefit from the training and engagement; and
2 — that departments will take the lead in tracking the career prospects and job placements of their respective graduates.
“A range of humanities and social science graduate students across the University of California has made it known to us they are keen to expand the career opportunities available to them,” said UCHRI Director David Theo Goldberg. “The initiative is especially important in enabling us to respond to these needs especially in an environment of a challenging academic job market for graduate students.”
UCHRI’s first statewide career workshop, held in Berkeley last spring, and part of another Mellon multicampus research program — Humanities and Changing Conceptions of Work Initiative — was devoted to exploring and assessing the critical historical and contemporary transformations in the meaning and experience of work.
“There was significant graduate student interest in the workshop,” said Kelly Anne Brown, UCHRI’s Assistant Director. “For so many years, any career other than tenure-tracking teaching position has been a taboo subject, and we see these workshops — in addition to providing access to humanities-specific career professionalization advice and skills — as a critical intervention in creating systemwide culture change around pursuing a variety of fulfilling careers.”
In addition to the statewide workshops, UCHRI will create a graduate student advisory committee to assist in planning the workshops and creating content for the website.
More information about Humanists@Work and UCHRI is available online.
Kelly Anne Brown, PhD
Research Programs Manager
UC Humanities Research Institute
About the UC Humanities Research Institute
The University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) was founded as a multicampus research unit of the UC Office of the President under the UC Humanities Initiative, established by former UC President David P. Gardner in 1987. Based on the UC Irvine campus, UCHRI serves all 10 campuses in the UC system, interacting with UC campus humanities centers, other campus research centers, and with individual faculty to promote collaborative, interdisciplinary humanities research and pedagogy throughout the University of California system and within the larger communities they inhabit. Stressing interdisciplinary research, UCHRI bridges gaps between disciplines across the humanities and human sciences and seeks to overcome the intellectual and institutional barriers that can separate the humanities from other fields. Recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership, UCHRI also directs its own robust program of intellectual collaborations and public events focused on crucial issues for the future of higher education and the humanities: global perspectives and partnerships; the past, present and future of critical theory; California studies for the 21st century; and digital innovation for learning and research.
About the Modern Language Association
Founded in 1883, the Modern Language Association of America provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy. MLA members host an annual convention and other meetings, work with related organizations, and sustain one of the finest publishing programs in the humanities. For more than a century, members have worked to strengthen the study and teaching of language and literature.
About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies. To this end, it supports exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. The Foundation awards grants in five core program areas: Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities; Arts and Cultural Heritage; Diversity; Scholarly Communications; and International Higher Education and Strategic Projects.