Humanities Without Walls Summer Workshop Course Description

Week 1 (7/16–7/20)

In Week One, you will begin to expand your imagination about what is possible with a PhD in the humanities and explore career paths outside of the traditional tenure-track university system, such as administrative careers within the university, alternative education, and publishing. You will also practice identifying and using your values to guide your job search and preparing and conducting informational interviews.

7/16: Welcome

You have spent many years thinking about yourselves and your work in the context of academia. Today is all about shaking that up. Through a series of creative exercises you will begin to understand yourself and the rest of the group in ways that extend beyond your academic profiles and scholarly pursuits.

  1. Introduction by CHF/HWW staff (Alison, Dr. Antoinette Burton)
  2. Re-assessing Identity w/Megan Stielstra
  3. Lunch at Gratz
  4. Re-assessing Work w/Megan Stielstra
  5. Housekeeping
  6. Welcome Dinner at Francesca’s

7/17: Alternatives Within Academia

Today's full-day field trip focuses on intellectual careers that still have at least one foot in the university system. You will also participate in your first "Breaking Down Walls" session around the issue of literacy.

  1. Meet at Gratz to travel to UIC
  2. “Alternatives Within Academia” Panel w/Rosa Cabrera, Director of the Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center at UIC; Liz Trubey, Assistant Dean for Academic Advising, Northwestern University; Hilary Strang, Director of the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago)
  3. Break
  4. Mural and Heritage Garden Tour at the Latino Cultural Center
  5. Lunch
  6. Travel to Open Books
  7. Breaking Down Walls: “Literacy Unbound”, a conversation with Open Books Founder Stacy Ratner and Managing Director Ryan Jackson about building sustainable social enterprises.
  8. Housekeeping
  9. Travel back to Gratz

7/18: Values-driven Career Decisions

You know how a PhD in the humanities works towards a tenuretrack position. But, how do you start to think about its value beyond the academy? Today starts with some concrete steps and resources for aligning the values that drew you to an academic path with other possible careers. Then, learn about and practice informational interviews.

  1. Values-driven Career Decisions w/ Mearah Quinn Brauner
  2. Break
  3. Introduction to Informational Interviews w/ Mearah Quinn Brauner
  4. Lunch
  5. Informational Interview Practice w/ Mearah Quinn Brauner
  6. Break
  7. Reflective Session: “Values and Organizational Culture”
  8. Housekeeping

7/19: Humanities in Design

The morning is reserved for informational interviews. In the afternoon, you will hear from two educators who have applied their teaching and critical thinking skills to make education accessible in different contexts.

  1. Informational Interviews
  2. The Odyssey Project w/Chris Guzaitis, Director of Education, Illinois Humanities
  3. Break
  4. The Bard Prison Initiative w/Jessica Neptune, Associate Director of National Programs
  5. Housekeeping

7/20: The Literary World

Today is all about professionalizing your love for texts. In the morning, you will visit The Newberry, Chicago’s world-renowned independent library. Then, hear about the business of books from experiences professionals in the publishing industry. We will spend the afternoon at Third World Press, the largest, independent black-owned press in the US.

  1. The Newberry Library tour and library card registration
  2. Walk back to Gratz
  3. “The Business of Bookselling” Panel w/ Mandy Medley, Publicist at Coffee House Press; Mike Levine, Independent Editor, formerly at Northwestern University Press; Bridget Piekarz, Territory Manager, Penguin Random House
  4. Lunch at Gratz
  5. “I like, I wish, I wonder” feedback session
  6. Travel to Third World Press
  7. Conversation about alternative presses and community building with Haki Madhubuti, founder of Third World Press
  8. Travel back to Gratz

Week 2 (7/23–7/27)

In Week Two, you will continue to explore careers in a variety of industries, including the museum sector, the government, and digital media. You will also learn practical skills to help you target and pursue a variety of career opportunities, such as resume-building. On Friday, we welcome the consortium members and HWW alums to Chicago.

7/23: Resume and Cover Letter Workshop

Sally Schmall will give you practical, hands-on guidance for crafting a compelling, persuasive resume and cover letter.

  1. Resume and Cover Letter Workshop w/Sally Schmall
  2. Lunch
  3. Resume and Cover Letter Workshop w/Sally Schmall
  4. Housekeeping

7/24: Interpretation and Inclusion in Museums

In the morning, you will learn about interpretation practices and community engagement in museums and tour the galleries at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The afternoon is reserved for informational interviews.

  1. Conversation and gallery tour focused on interpretation and inclusion w/Rosie May, Associate Director of Interpretation and Visitor Research, Museum of Contemporary Art
  2. Informational Interviews

7/25: Humanities in the Public Sector

There are many ways to transition from academia into the public sphere and today you will learn about some of them. Presenters will share how to land a job with the federal government job and what it is like to do public programming for the State of Illinois. Plus, an introduction to the ACLS, a program designed to help you transition out of academia.

  1. Careers in the Federal Government w/Laurel Voloder, Communications Analyst at US Government Accountability Office
  2. Break
  3. Introduction to the ACLS/Mellon Public Fellows Program w/John Paul Christy, Director of Public Programs, American Council of Learned Societies
  4. Lunch
  5. Travel to Illinois Humanities
  6. “Programming for the Public” w/Paul Durica, Director of Programs and Programs Team at Illinois Humanities
  7. Housekeeping
  8. Travel back to Gratz

7/26: Digital Humanities Beyond the Academy

Today is all about exploring careers that engage with digital content – in cultural organizations, online education, and public history. In the morning, you will hear about digital strategy at Chicago Humanities Festival. Then, learn about careers in Curriculum Design. In the afternoon, you have the opportunity to explore Chicago history through an Augmented Reality experience.

  1. Digital Strategy in Cultural Organizations w/Kristen Fallica, ACLS Mellon Public Fellow, Chicago Humanities Festival
  2. Break
  3. Curriculum Design Panel w/Heather Brown, Learning Designer, John Wiley and Sons; Ryan Freeburn, Quality Systems Training Specialist, Merz North America
  4. Lunch at Gratz
  5. Conversation about The Chicago 00 Project w/John Russick, Vice-President of Interpretation and Education, Chicago History Museum
  6. Travel to Clark and LaSalle to begin tour
  7. “Chicago00: The Eastland Disaster”, an on-site augmented reality tour using over 70 historical photographs and newsreel films to tell the disaster w/John Russick
  8. Travel back to Gratz

7/27: Humanities Without Walls Family Day

A panel of HWW alumni will talk with HWW students, consortium members, and Gene Tobin and Diane Harris from the Mellon Foundation about what the workshop meant to them and where they are now. Then HWW alum and students hold a private reflection session about transitioning to the non-academic job market. In the afternoon, meet another HWW alum while learning about community development at the National Public Housing Museum. We will finish the day at a reception with the HWW consortium.

  1. Breakfast at Gratz
  2. Alumni Panel w/Sara B.T. Thiel (HWW’16), Public Humanities Manager at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Linda Garcia Merchant (HWW’16), PhD, English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Meghan Forbes (HWW’15), C-MAP Fellow for Central and Eastern European Art at MoMa
  3. Break
  4. Reflective Session: “The Transition” with alumni
  5. “I like, I wish, I wonder” feedback session
  6. Lunch
  7. Travel to National Public Housing Museum
  8. Breaking Down Walls: “Building Communities”, a conversation with Robert Smith III (HWW ‘15), Associate Director about building sustainable and equitable communities
  9. Travel to Jake Melnick’s for reception with Consortium
  10. Consortium Reception

Week 3 (7/30–8/3)

7/30: Digital Presence and Networking Workshop

  1. Digital Presence Workshop w/Jody Ahlm
  2. Break
  3. Digital Presence Workshop w/Jody Ahlm
  4. Lunch
  5. Mapping Your Network w/Jason Saldanha, Director of Marketing, Chicago Humanities Festival
  6. Break
  7. Networking Practice w/Jason Saldanha, Director of Marketing, Chicago Humanities Festival
  8. Housekeeping

7/31: Imagining Identities

The morning is an introduction to the is an introduction to the DIY way of life. Starting a business or working as a freelancer can be a compelling way to structure your career. But there are also risks. Today, you will hear from a number of presenters about how they go it alone while balancing creative integrity with financial security. In the afternoon, we visit an advertising agency to learn about applying research skills to client-based work.

  1. Freelancing Panel w/Britt Julious, writer; Kristen Kaza, cultural programmer
  2. Break
  3. “Building a Brand” w/Anna Felicity Friedman, Tattoo Historian and founder of the Center for Tattoo History and Culture
  4. Lunch
  5. Travel to FCB Chicago
  6. Conversation about research and client-based work in advertising with John Kenny, Chief Strategy Officer, FCB
  7. Travel back to Gratz

8/1: Humanities in the Nonprofit Sector

You will gain valuable insights from a humanist at a social justice nonprofit. In the afternoon, learn about opportunities to take leadership positions in the cultural sector and network with members of junior boards.

  1. Informational Interviews
  2. Conversation about working at a nonprofit w/Kurt Sampsel, Government Services Project Manager, Center for Technology and Civic Life
  3. “Leadership in Chicago’s Cultural Sector” - a round robin with young professionals on junior boards.

8/2: Humanists in Consulting

In the morning, learn about careers in management and philanthropic consulting. Then, hear about the mission and day-to-day operations of several foundations in Chicago. In the afternoon, an introduction to a platform for academics to get their research to public media and a workshop on how to “go public” with your expertise.

  1. Consulting Panel w/Megan Collier, Project Manager, GG&A; Brittany Hayden, Consultant, Boston Consulting Group
  2. Break
  3. Foundations Panel w/Angela Schlater, Program Officer, MacArthur Foundation; Sarah Marcus, Director of Grants Management, Crown Family Philanthropies
  4. Lunch
  5. Breaking Down Walls: ‘Going Public” with The Conversation

8/3: Wrap-Up and What’s Next?

Our final day of the seminar! You’ll reflect on your experience and forge your next steps toward innovative paths within and beyond academia.

  1. “Building a Sustainable Young Professionals Network” w/Raheela Anwar, BPI Group
  2. Lunch at Gratz
  3. “I like, I wish, I wonder” feedback session and time for survey
  4. Reflective Session: “What’s Next?”
  5. Walk to Tanta
  6. Farewell Dinner at Tanta

Download schedules from past workshops