New Program Helps Humanities Grad Students Consider Work in the Public Sphere
By Scott Rappaport
From a Holocaust study center in Norway and a small environmental center in northern Alaska, to the Japanese American Museum in San Jose and the Santa Cruz County jail, humanities Ph.D. students expanded their horizons this year thanks to a new program started by the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Humanities Research (IHR).
The new IHR Public Fellows program provides an opportunity for humanities doctoral students to participate in research, programming, communications, and fundraising at a wide variety of non-profit organizations, cultural institutions, and companies.
The aim of the fellowships is to enable these students to apply and expand their skills in a non-academic setting while engaged in graduate study.
“Humanities Ph.D. programs have been set up to prepare students primarily for tenure-track positions at colleges and universities,” noted IHR Managing Director Irena Polić. “Increasingly, our students are pursuing careers in different professions, inside and outside academia, and we wanted to create a program that would allow them to work in different environments.”
“Most of our public fellows credit this program with allowing them to imagine themselves doing humanities in the public sphere, re-imagining what it means to be a humanities scholar in the world,” Polić added.