Alt-Ac: Alternative Academic Careers Workshop
WHO: Any graduate student, or recent graduate
WHAT: Get career advice and meet like-minded people before the conference begins!
WHERE: North Quad, SPACE 2435
WHEN: The night before the conference—Thursday, December 1, 7:00-9:00pm
- Brian Croxall, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow and Emerging Technologies Librarian in the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University
- Shana Kimball, MPublishing – Head of Publishing Services, Outreach & Strategic Development at the University of Michigan
- Aaron McCollough, Subject Librarian for English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan
- Elizabeth Werbe, Manager, Arts of Citizenship Program at the University of Michigan
Alt-Ac (shorthand for “Alternative Academic”) has been gaining traction as a useful way to describe a variety of academic jobs that are not part of the tenure-track market. While these positions have always existed to some degree within the academy, they are increasing in both number and prominence. In particular, the growth sector of Alt-Ac seems to be at the intersection of digital technology and more traditional institutional work.
The Alt-Ac job market is incredibly interdisciplinary and encompasses a wide variety of positions within a diverse set of institutions and organizations. These include: libraries, museums, research institutes, academic presses, media/technology labs, and other humanities organizations.
All of this growth has led to increasing interest in understanding how Alt-Ac positions connect to more traditional academic jobs (professors, adjuncts, postdocs, librarians, deans and administrators, etc.) and how to navigate the career track that this new hybrid community opens up.
While many of us working at the intersection of technology and culture will be considering this career path after grad school, most of our departments aren’t prepared to help us navigate this market, nor are they equipped to help us understand the variety of jobs under the Alt-Ac umbrella.
This HASTAC workshop will provide a general introduction to the Alt-Ac concept and offer some more practical advice as you consider applying for these jobs. We will focus especially on how to translate your academic experience and craft an effective application. The first part of the session will offer a chance to listen to the experiences and wisdom of people already in or connected to the Alt-Ac sector. Then, as a group, we’ll go through a case study of a sample job announcement, C.V. and cover letter. Finally, we’d like to break out into smaller groups to briefly discuss our own application materials as well as any additional questions about the process.
Given the limited time frame, we won’t be able to offer personalized career development advice, but we hope that participants can continue to meet over the course of the conference weekend, and that this event will establish a point of connection for junior scholars to move the Alt-Ac conversation forward.
Take a look at the recent HASTAC announcement about the workshop here. And find updates to our detailed schedule here. If you’d like to discuss specific questions feel free to post them to our public Google doc.
- Registration: You can register by checking “Yes” for the Pre-Conference Workshop on the registration form. If you will not be attending HASTAC V but would still like to come to the workshop, please RSVP by contacting Korey Jackson at email@example.com. Simply include “Alt-Ac RSVP” in the subject line. (But hurry! Space is limited.)
- Please read the following articles from the recent MediaCommons #Alt-Ac publication (edited by Bethany Nowviskie):
- Bethany Nowviskie’s ”Introduction: Two Tramps in Mud Time“
- Tom Scheinfeldt’s “Toward a Third Way: Rethinking Academic Employment“
- Brian Croxall’s ”Playing for Both Teams, Winning on One“
- Bring multiple copies of your CV and cover letter!