Katina L. Rogers, "Putting the Humanities PhD to Work: Thriving in and Beyond the Classroom" (Duke UP, 2020)


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In Putting the Humanities PhD to Work: Thriving in and Beyond the Classroom (Duke University Press, 2020), Katina L. Rogers tackles three major issues in academia – post-PhD careers, academic labor practices, and inclusivity and equity. Rogers demonstrates how scholarly reward practices hide the realities of faculty work, value normative rather than innovative outcomes, drive admissions practices for graduate programs, and narrow the definition of post-PhD success. Yet Rogers does not accept that the university of the past – or even the present – must be the university of the future.

Rogers begins from the basis that higher education, humanities graduate study and scholarly research are public goods. She calls for a more expansive view of humanities graduate training that is generative rather than replicative. Rogers argues against reducing humanities PhD cohorts and programs, instead laying out a framework for faculty and advisors to initiate institutional change. She provides graduate students with context and analysis to inform the ways they discern their own graduate training. Perhaps most importantly, she highlights that multiple careers pathways can offer engaging, fulfilling, and even unexpected pathways for students who seek them out.

Amanda Jeanne Swain, PhD. Historian. Humanities Center executive director. Navigating academic systems with faculty and grad students.

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