PhD Alumni Networking Event- 9/20/2016

We held our first event associated with the AHA (American Historical Association) Career Diversity Departmental Grant on Tuesday night, and it was a big success. We are combining the efforts associated with AHA and NEH grants to expand the relevance and influence of our sponsored events. We recorded the entire discussion; the video will be available on this website soon.


Last night’s session began at 6:00, after a light meal served at 5:30. (People who work outside of academia are not available before 5:00!) Four humanities PhDs who have built careers outside of academia shared their experiences and perspectives in a two-hour roundtable conversation. They discussed how they chose to follow this path, what they have learned about marketing themselves and their skills for industry positions, and what they wished they had learned or done while still in graduate school to prepare themselves for their chosen careers. It was an illuminating discussion. Among the items they wish they had been able to do: take more classes outside their discipline (in economics, marketing, etc.) and internships. These are among the goals we are working toward as we discuss broader departmental, curricular, and institutional changes.

About fifty people attended the event, a mixture of graduate students and faculty, mostly from History and English but with other departments represented as well. We are asking the students in attendance to complete an on-line survey about their attitudes toward nonacademic careers in general and to tell us what they thought of this specific event.

Denise Davidson


Dr. Denise Davidson is a professor and the director of graduate studies in the History Department at Georgia State University.  She is a project co-director for GSU’s Next Generation Humanities PhD grant. Her first book, France After Revolution, was published by Harvard University Press in 2007. In 2011 she published a co-authored book in French titled Le Roman Conjugal. Her graduate students have worked on a wide range of topics including Anglo-American representations of Islamic Spain, immigration in post-war France, and French and Francophone African perceptions of the American Civil Rights Movement.