Candid Conversations Video Dialogue

Meg Sparling
English PhD Candidate
UC Davis

Sarita Echavez See
Media and Cultural Studies Associate Professor
UC Riverside

Darren Arquero
ethnic studies PHD CANDIDATE
UC berkeley

Glen Mimura
UC irvine


Candid Conversations is a video dialogue between humanities faculty members and graduate students throughout the UC system. These conversations and the subsequent panel discussion at Humanists@Work Los Angeles provide opportunities to engage in open dialogue about the faculty-graduate student mentorship model, particularly as it relates to career training for diverse professions. At the heart of these discussions is the question of agency: to what extent are faculty responsible for graduate student development, and what role do students play in seeking out experiences that go beyond traditional PhD training?

Here’s how it works: The first participant, a UC graduate student, records a five-minute video discussing faculty-student mentorships. Humanists@Work then sends this video to the next participant, a faculty member, who records a response. As each participant contributes, Humanists@Work will forward the full video collection to the next participant, who will have the opportunity to build on each idea and deepen the discussion. Once they are completed, we will post all of the videos on this page and use them to guide a live discussion between students and faculty at our May workshop in Los Angeles.

In addition to responding to themes emerging from previous video recordings, participants were asked to consider the following questions:

  • What does an ideal faculty-graduate student mentorship look like given the challenges that humanities graduate students currently face, particularly with regard to career prospects and adapting their work to non-academic publics?
  • Given this ideal mentorship model and your position within the university, to what extent are you responsible for developing diverse skillsets, experiences, and opportunities that go beyond traditional conceptions of doctoral work?


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