This Mellon PhD Interventions Project is a response to the 2016 Mellon-commissioned report Reforming Doctoral Education, 1990 to 2015: Recent Initiatives and Future Prospects by Robert Weisbuch and Leonard CassutoAmong other things, the report addresses current doctoral training, professional identity and career aims, particularly in light of the fact that many humanities graduates will not, intentionally or unintentionally, go on to tenure-track positions.

Interventions at Emory

With the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project will integrate new elements and experiences into the standard humanities doctoral training and will prepare students to address contemporary problems through humanistic lenses in forms accessible to the broader public. 

Because we know that sustainable change must come from program faculty and students rather than solely by administrative or philanthropic direction, LGS will not be overly prescriptive. Instead, we will provide a framework and incentives for change by using Mellon Foundation funds to promote intervention

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The project is ambitious. Within five years, we expect that significantly more humanities students will have opportunities, within the existing structure of their programs and beginning early in their training, to do the following:

  1. Produce different forms of intellectual work. Examples might include curating a web-based exhibit; writing op-ed pieces for specific news outlets; developing infographics or other examples of data visualization; producing podcasts; writing book, film or media reviews; assembling lesson plans for non-college settings.
  2. Gain additional professional competencies, which include but are not limited to: data visualization, budgeting, writing for a broad audience, strategic messaging and communication, crafting and curating an online identity, digital publishing, and project management.
  3. Increase engagement with the public sphere through public scholarship programming and opportunities. 
  4. Participate in teaching experiences that infuse generative public humanities perspectives into undergraduate seminars at Emory’s Atlanta and Oxford campuses or in the professional schools.