Assistant Professor, English
Assistant Director, McNair Scholars Program
UC Santa Barbara
Professor, Ethnic Studies
UC San Diego
Professor, Literature and American Studies
UC Santa Barbara
Candid Conversations is an opportunity for faculty, graduate students, and university staff to engage in dialogue around the issue of debt, a topic that is inadequately addressed in conversations on career pathways and professionalization. We would like the conversation to focus especially on developing communal networks of support and activism among graduate students and creating conditions where debt can increasingly be spoken of, written about, theorized, and understood as an essential feature of contemporary university life. Breaking the wall of silence around our own indebtedness is perhaps the first step to imagining alternative futures where the conversation about debt is no longer isolating but an integral part to building communities.
Here’s how it works: The first participant records a five-minute video discussing faculty-student mentorships. Humanists@Work then sends this video to the next participant 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. These videos are posted on this page and we will use them to guide a live discussion between students and faculty at our May workshop in Silicon Valley.
To start this Candid Conversation series, we ask:
- How and why is it important to think about debt in relation to PhD student training, professionalization, and post-dissertation careers?
- How do you think humanities scholarship might speak to debt not only as a financial issue but also one that is related to broader questions of community and knowledge sharing? Since being in debt is an intensely collective experience, how can humanities scholarship help conceptualize new kinds of graduate student communities that, even as they share knowledge and expertise, also help articulate indebtedness as a social rather than individual issue?