Points for Honesty and Candor…?

This morning I caught a tweet that struck me as just as curious as the responses from some on Twitter.

First off, the tweet:

It’s curious to me because, unless the person in question earned their Ph.D. in the early 1960s, the job market in the Humanities has not been good for decades, though sure, due to even more declines in public support it continues to degrade in ways that make the market 30 years ago look “good” when compared to today. But, speaking from my own experience, it was not “super easy” to get a job when I first stepped onto the market (early 1990s) — either for myself or most of my peers at the time.

So, lesson #1 is easy to draw: beware how you generalize from your own experience. Continue reading

The CV: This is Your Life

Since Prof. McCutcheon has offered a couple of posts with advice about the job market, one on campus interviews and one on the process more broadly, I thought I would add a post about another piece of the job market process: the CV.

The topic of the CV came up the other day in our REL 502: Public Humanities Foundations course when we were looking at professional websites the students had built. Every student had included some sort of CV on their site but as we talked it became clear that why that CV was there and what it was doing needed to be thought out more clearly. Continue reading

Notes on Surviving and/or Flourishing in Graduate School

Mark Ortiz (far left) graduated from the University of Alabama in May 2015 with degrees in Religious and Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Geography at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he studies the connections between global climate politics and ethics.

Survival…, what a dreary thought. As a climate change researcher, the concept of survival calls to mind dystopian images of underground bunkers, moribund ecosystems, and tough political trade-offs. Graduate school, while taxing, is (or should be) considerably less miserable and trying than these apocalyptic scenarios.

That said, graduate school is difficult. I’ve found it helpful during my short tenure to mine the wisdom of people who have been through it before – professors and colleagues further along in my program especially. Here, I offer a couple of the lessons I’ve learned during my first three semesters of graduate school which will hopefully have resonance beyond the walls of the academy: Continue reading

Writing Well: An Incomplete Set of Guidelines

Frustration

It’s that time of the semester: final essays. But before you mash the
print button or send that paper to your professor, you should take a
quick look at this writing advice from Prof. Matthew Bagger. Prof.
Bagger gave these tips to his REL 360 course but they are helpful for any papers you may have coming due this semester.

“If there’s anything [God] hates, it is… oozy writing.”

–William James (1905)

A good persuasive essay presents a cogent and compelling argument with clarity, elegance, and verve.  The following guidelines should help you craft an effective essay.

Continue reading