I just had my first THATCamp experience at CUNY Graduate Center – Kimon Keramidas and the staff at the Martin E. Segal Theater Center organized a fantastic two-day event. Campers were mostly archivists/librarians and academics, with some practitioners in attendance(everyone’s hoping for more practitioners next time it’s held). The environment was invigorating – these are the kinds of academic exchanges I look for: informal, fast-paced, tons of ideas/tools being thrown out, projects dressed up (and down), all in a collaborative atmosphere. For those that have never attended a THATCamp, it is truly an “(un)conference.” Participants post ideas for sessions, and during the opening scheduling session folks proposed further ideas, expanded on initial proposals to create broader discussions, haggled for time slots to accommodate overlapping interests, and generally made order out of chaos. … Read more
Of late, there have been several reminders for those of us on or about to go on the market that the fields of theatre studies and the humanities more broadly are in crisis. In early January, an anonymous writer proposed in the Chronicle that theatre PhD programs be dismantled; I am, apparently, one of those “seeking the folly of an academic career.” Established scholars William J. Doan, Heather S. Nathans, Patrick Anderson, and Henry Bial wrote a rebuttal to the piece, claiming that it is time for a conversation about the career trajectories of graduate students in theatre/performance studies:
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As representatives of disciplinary societies, and as faculty members who regularly advise graduate students and serve on search committees at our home institutions, we welcome the opportunity to engage in a public discussion about the many possible career options for students who have completed an M.F.A.