Early on in the blog, wayyyyyyyyy back almost ten years ago, I posted this awesome youtube video from Leslie Allison:
But somehow I missed William Pannapaker’s bitingly accurate follow up the following year.
I give you ““So You Want to Get a Ph.D. in the Humanities, 9 years later.”
As accurate now as ever. More so, really, with covid and the bottom dropping out of academia. Please send this to anyone considering a PhD in the Humanities.
The silver lining: 10 years ago this critical take on academia was an outlier position. In 2022, the critique has become normative. I hope and believe The Professor Is In played some role in that, although the mass defunding of higher ed and intensifying dependence on adjunct positions for 20+ years, and wholesale right wing assault on academic freedom and campus safety has certainly done its part to break through the mystifications and denial.
This is why I begin ALL my talks and webinars with: “Do not martyr yourself for the academia career.” It’s a system of external validation, and that’s just a structural reality. But you as an individual can reclaim autonomy from that system and make the choices that protect your mental, emotional, physical, and FINANCIAL health and well being.
There are still tenure track academic jobs and you can still apply for them. But please, only as long as the effort doesn’t harm you.
(BTW, if you’re not sure how to navigate this, comment below or get in touch for resources. Good luck!)