Stories from the Field is an interview series that asks recent UC Humanities PhDs employed in a variety of careers outside/alongside the academy to talk about their current positions and reflect upon their paths from the PhD to employment.

It was created, in part, to break the silence around pursuing “non academic” or “alternative” careers. Although PhDs pursuing careers other than R1 faculty positions is nothing new, a glance at online placement pages for many departments might make you think so. Although we believe that tracking these individuals is critical, we want to know more than just where they went and what they’re doing post graduation. We want to hear from them. About how they made the transition from the academy to government or a non-profit, including the culture change that comes with entering a new profession. What served them well in graduate school? What would they do differently? How are they continuing, or not, their careers as scholars, even if they no longer work within the walls of the university?

Stories from the Field also seeks to introduce current and future Humanities PhDs to the range of careers currently pursued by peers who have similar education and training.

We’re beginning to plot, drawing lines around experiences and through various career paths in the hopes to discover what the field of humanists at work actually looks like. This is a project that will unfold over the next three years, with new interviews appearing on the site every month or two. We look forward to unearthing the field, and invite your thoughts and questions.

And coming soon: a directory of UC Humanities PhDs at work in interesting careers. We are reaching out, UC wide, to UC humanists@work to ask if they’d like to be featured on our site and hope to share details soon.

 Are you a humanist@work? If you are a UC Humanities PhD in a hybrid or non-faculty career and would like to participate in Stories from the Field, please email us at humwork@hri.uci.edu!