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Realities on the Ground

1. Sean Coughlan, “Italian University Switches to English,” BBC News, May 16, 2012, Jonathan Cole considers increased global competition a global good in itself. See “Can Graduate Education Survive as We Know It?” (presentation, Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan, April 5, 2012).

2. See John Aubrey Douglass, “The Cold War, Technology and the American University” (Research and Occasional Paper Series CSHE.2.99, Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California, Berkeley, July 1999), accessed June 16, 2015,

3. University of Michigan Public Relations Office, “Understanding Tuition,” accessed December 26, 2014,

4. As Seth Godin observed: “College has gotten expensive far faster than wages have gone up.” Seth Godin, “The Coming Meltdown in Higher Education (as Seen by a Marketer),” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 3, 2010,

5. Sara Goldrick-Rab, “The Proposed New Badger Partnership: Implications for Equity and Diversity,” Sifting and Winnowing (blog), March 14, 2011, Goldrick-Rab parses the upward trend in income in this way: “This will stem from sticker shock . . . , decreases in the purchasing power of financial aid, and the perception of an elitist culture that would feel a ‘poor fit’ for children from working-class families.”

6. Halah Touryalai, “$1 Trillion Student Loan Problem Keeps Getting Worse,” Forbes, February 21, 2014,

7. In 2012 Janet Lorin of Bloomberg News wrote of “indentured students” in a series on the history, politics, lived experiences, and legacies of high student loans. “Indentured Students Rise as Loans Corrode College Ticket,” Bloomberg, July 9, 2012,

8. William H. Frey, “New Projections Point to a Majority Minority Nation in 2044,” December 12, 2014, The Avenue: Rethinking Metropolitan America (blog), Brookings Institution,

9. Kathleen Woodward, “We Are All Non-traditional Learners Now: Community Colleges, Long-Life Learning, and Problem-Solving Humanities for the Public Good,” in A New Deal for the Humanities: Liberal Arts and the Future of Public Higher Education, ed. Gordon Hutner and Feisal Mohamed (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, forthcoming).

10. National Research Council, Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2012), 3,

11. Ibid.

12. “Background Facts on Contingent Faculty,” American Association of University Professors, accessed August 12, 2015,

13. Paul Basken and Paul Voosen, “Strapped Scientists Abandon Research and Students,” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 24, 2014,

14. Gary Carnivale, “Making the Case for the Humanities” (paper presented at the National Humanities Alliance Conference, George Washington University, Washington, DC, March 10, 2009).

15. Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, observed of anthropology majors in a radio interview in 2011: “It’s a great degree if people want to get it. But we don’t need them here.” Michael C. Bender, “Scott: Florida Doesn’t Need More Anthropology Majors,” The Buzz (blog), Tampa Bay Times, October 10, 2011, For McCrory’s statement, see Tyler Kingkade, “Pat McCrory Lashes Out Against ‘Educational Elite’ and Liberal Arts College Courses.” The Huffington Post, February 2, 2013, updated February 3, 2013.

16. Lance Lambert, “States Are Eager to Collect Graduates’ Job Data: Here’s Where That Effort Stands,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 25, 2015,

17. This situation prompted the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages of the Modern Language Association to develop its “Tool Kit for Department Advocacy,” which provides links to documents and rhetoric for arguments in support of robust language programs and units. See “Resources for Departments,” Association of Departments of Foreign Languages, accessed August 12, 2015,

18. Coalition on the Academic Workforce, A Portrait of Part-Time Faculty Members, June 2012,

19. “Trends in the Demographics of Humanities Faculty: Key Indicators from the 2012–2013 Humanities Departmental Survey,” Humanities Indicators, accessed May 25, 2015,

20. See Kay Steiger, “The Pink Collar Workforce of Academia,” Nation, July 11, 2013,

21. Lynn Hunt, “Democratization and Decline? The Consequences of Demographic Change in the Humanities,” in What’s Happened to the Humanities?, ed. Alvin B. Kernan (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014), 28. See also the other essays in What’s Happened to the Humanities?

22. Derek Bok, Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004); Jennifer Washburn, University, Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education (New York: Basic Books, 2006); Ellen Schrecker, The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on Academic Freedom, and the End of the American University (New York: New Press, 2010); Cary Nelson, No University Is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom (New York: New York University Press, 2010); Gayle Tuchman, Wannabe U: Inside the Corporate University (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011); Christopher Newfield, Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011); Benjamin Ginsberg, The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). For books on the humanities, see Frank Donoghue, The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities (New York: Fordham University Press, 2008), Martha Nussbaum, Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010), and Louis Menand, The Marketplace of Ideas: Reform and Reaction in the American University (New York: Norton, 2010).

What Is to Be Done?

1. Jacques Barzun, The American University: How It Runs, Where It Is Going (New York: HarperCollins, 1968), 240–41.

2. Ibid., 235.

3. I am indebted to Cass Adair, Tiffany Ball, and Jina Kim for their generous conversation about the ways in which humanities departments are alienating environments.

4. Marc Bousquet, “Condemned to Repeat: On the Racism and Sexism of Failing to Address Structure,” Pedagogy 15, no. 1 (2015): 162.

5. See Mary Ann Mason, “What You Need to Know If You’re an Academic and Want to Be a Mom,” Room for Debate (blog), New York Times, July 16, 2013, Previewing the book she cowrote with Marc Goulden and Nicolas H. Wolfinger entitled Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower, Mason writes: “For men, having children is a career advantage; and for women it is a career killer. And women who do advance through the faculty ranks do so at a high price. They are far less likely to be married with children.” See Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2013).

6. Paul Courant, “Demographics of Faculty in Tenure Track Appointments,” June 24, 2015.

7. Lee Siegel, “Who Ruined the Humanities?” Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2013, C1,

8. Mark Bauerlein, “What Dido Did, Satan Saw & O’Keeffe Painted,” New Criterion, November 2013, 3.

9. And yes, this is a purposeful, jarring nod to the impact of what the Chicago Lab Text at the University of Chicago describes as “computational approaches to the study of culture.” Hoyt Long, “Announcing ‘Cultural Analytics’—a Major Conference on Computational Approaches to the Study of Culture,” Chicago Text Lab (blog), November 13, 2014,

10. Paul Jay, The Humanities “Crisis” and the Future of Literary Studies (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

11. Michael Bérubé, “The Humanities, Declining? Not According to the Numbers,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 1, 2013,

12. Russell A. Berman, “Response to New York Times,” n.d., unpublished.

13. “Humanities Indicators: A Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,” Humanities Indicators, accessed June 30, 2014,

14. Linguistics Society of America, The State of Linguistics in Higher Education: Annual Report 2014, 2nd ed. (March 2015),, 5.

15. “Humanities Indicators: A Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,” Humanities Indicators, accessed June 30, 2014,

16. “The State of the Humanities: Higher Education 2015,” Humanities Indicators, accessed April 22, 2015,

17. Ibid., 17.

18. Christopher Newfield, “The Future of the Public University” (presented at “Humanities, Publics, and the State,” Annual Meeting of the Consortium for Humanities Centers and Institutes, University of Kansas, Lawrence, 2013),

19. Robert N. Watson, “The Humanities Really Do Produce a Profit,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 21, 2010,

20. “One-Third of College-Educated Workers Do Not Work in Occupations Related to Their College Major,” Careerbuilder, November 14, 2013,

21. Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz, “Do Big Cities Help College Graduates Find Better Jobs?” Liberty Street Economics, May 20, 2013, accessed October 13, 2015,

22. Alan Liu, “The Meaning of Digital Humanities,” PMLA 128, no. 2 (2013): 420.

23. “Academic Workforce Advocacy Kit,” Modern Language Association, accessed August 12, 2015,

24. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democratic Staff, The Just-In-Time Professor: A Staff Report Summarizing eForum Responses on the Working Conditions of Contingent Faculty in Higher Education, January 2014,

25. “The Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success,” Pullias Center for Higher Education, University of Southern California, accessed August 12, 2015,

26. “The Adjunct Project,” accessed April 23, 2015,

27. “Humanities Indicators: A Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,” Humanities Indicators, accessed June 30, 2014,

28. “American Alliance of Museums,” accessed May 26, 2015,

29. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, Connected Academics expands “mentoring and networking activities at the MLA Annual Convention and at regional MLA meetings, where job seekers can meet with mentors in a variety of occupations.” “Connected Academics,” Modern Language Association of America, accessed June 23, 2015,

30. Bousquet, “Condemned to Repeat,” 161.

31. David Colander and Daisy Zhuo, “Where Do PhDs in English Get Jobs? An Economist’s View of the English PhD Market,” Pedagogy 15, no. 1 (2015): 143.

The Distributed University

1. Michael M. Crow and William B. Dabars, Designing the New American University (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015).

2. University of the People, accessed June 18, 2013,

3. “Our Students,” University of the People, accessed June 18, 2013,

4. “Catalog: University of the People: September 1, 2013–August 31, 2014,” University of the People, accessed June 18, 2013,

5. William Lawton and Alex Katsomitros, International Branch Campuses: Data and Developments, Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, December 1, 2012,; Tamar Lewin, “Colleges Slower to Branch Out Abroad,” New York Times, January 12, 2012, sec. Education,

6. Lewin, “Colleges Slower,” A6.

7. Nigel Thrift, “The World Needs Global Research Cooperation Urgently, and Now,” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 19, 2010,

8. “What Is the Bologna Process?,” European University Association, accessed August 6, 2014,

9. Salzburg II Recommendations: European Universities’ Achievements since 2005 in Implementing the Salzburg Principles (European University Association, 2010),

10. With the increase in the number of cross-border institutions, programs, and initiatives, the ACE (American Council on Education), AUCC (Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada), and CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation), issued a joint statement of principles and good practices in cross-border education. See ACE, AUCC, and CHEA, “Sharing Higher Education across Borders: A Statement on Behalf of Higher Education Institutions Worldwide,” January 2005,

11. National Research Council, Research Universities.

12. James J. Duderstadt, “A Master Plan for Higher Education in the Midwest: A Roadmap to the Future of the Nation’s Heartland” (Heartland Papers No. 3, Heartland Papers by the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, 2011), 47, Duderstadt directs his call, most particularly, to enhancing work in STEM fields; for the most part his call for collaboration is not encompassing of cultural institutions and humanities fields.

13. Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes, accessed August 7, 2014,

14. “CHCI Receives Second Major A. W. Mellon Foundation Grant,” Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes, accessed August 7, 2014,

15. Ibid.

16. “About CenterNet,” CenterNet, accessed August 12, 2015,

17. HASTAC, accessed August 8, 2014,

18. Humanities Without Walls, accessed July 25, 2012,

19. “The First Public-Private Joint Venture in German Graduate Education in the Nation,” Graduate Program in German Studies, University of North Carolina and Duke University, accessed August 12, 2015,

20. CHCI, “CHCI Receives Second Major.”

21. See chapters 5 and 7 of Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg, The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010),,6_Future_of_Thinking.pdf.

22. Rosi Braidotti, The Posthuman (Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2013), 179.

23. Daniel E. Atkins, “Cyberinfrastructure: Technical+Social=Transformation If You Help” (presented at the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, December 2, 2011), presentation slides available at

Knowledge Environments

1. HathiTrust’s content is predominantly Google Books derivatives.

2. Carolyn Fox, “Review of the New Digital Public Library of America,”, May 21, 2013, According to its website, the Digital Library of America serves as “a non-commercial alternative to Google’s proposed digital library.”

3. Margaret Hedstrom and John Leslie King, “Epistemic Infrastructure in the Rise of the Knowledge Economy,” in Advancing Knowledge and the Knowledge Economy, ed. Brian Kahin and Foray Dominique (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006), 113–34,

4. Lisbet Rausing, “Toward a New Alexandria,” New Republic, March 12, 2010,; Duderstadt, “Master Plan,” 89.

5. Hedstrom and King, “Epistemic Infrastructure,” 13–15.

6. Ibid., 10–11.

7. Jerome McGann, “A Note on the Current State of Humanities Scholarship,” Critical Inquiry 30, no. 2 (2004): 410.

8. Bethany Nowviskie, “Toward a New Deal,” Bethany Nowviskie (blog), September 25, 2013,

9. See Daniel H. Pink, A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age (New York: Riverhead Books, 2005). See also “How 21st Century Thinking Is Different . . . and What That Means for Kids and Creativity,” iPad Art Room, accessed August 28, 2014,

10. Liu, “Meaning of Digital Humanities,” 416.

11. Paul Conway, “Re-making Books in the Digital Archive.” Paper delivered at “Books/Texts/Fonts/Archives in a Brave New Digital World.” Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan, April 9, 2013.

12. Franco Moretti, Distant Reading (New York: Verso, 2013).

13. Donald J. Waters, “An Overview of the Digital Humanities,” Research Library Issues: A Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, RLI no. 284 (2013), 5–6.

14. Ibid., 8.

15. William G. Thomas III, “Trends in Digital Humanities: Remarks at the CIC Humanities Summit (‘The Keynote in the Dark’),” William G. Thomas III (blog), April 28, 2012,

16. Christa Williford and Charles Henry, One Culture. Computationally Intensive Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences: A Report on the Experiences of First Respondents to the Digging into Data Challenge (Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources, June 2012), 8.

17. McGann, “Note on Current State,” 412.

18. Josh Greenberg, “Data, Code, and Research at Scale” (presented at the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory 2011, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, December 3, 2011),

19. Sydney J. Shep, “Digital Lives: Digital History/Biography” (presented at the International Auto/Biography Association Biennial Meeting, Canberra, Australia, July 18, 2012).

20. Trevor Owens, “Defining Data for Humanists: Text, Artifact, Information or Evidence?,” Journal of Digital Humanities, March 16, 2012,

21. Franco Moretti, “Operationalizing”: Or the Function of Measurement in Modern Literary Theory, Stanford Literary Lab Pamphlet 6 (December 2013), 2,

22. Stephen Ramsay, “The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around; or, What You Do with a Million Books,” in Pastplay: Teaching and Learning History with Technology, ed. Kevin Kee (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2014), 118.

23. Seth Denbo, “Diggable Data, Scalable Reading, and New Humanities Scholarship,” Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities Blog, October 18, 2011,

24. Liu, “Meaning of Digital Humanities,” 411.

25. Ibid., 416.

26. Ibid., 411.

27. Christian Sandvig, Kevin Hamilton, Karrie Karahalios, and Cedric Langbort. “Auditing Algorithms: Research Methods for Detecting Discrimination on Internet Platforms” (presented at “Data and Discrimination: Converting Critical Concerns into Productive Inquiry,” preconference at the 64th Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, Seattle, May 24, 2014).

28. Kevin Ashton, “That ‘Internet of Things’ Thing,” RFID Journal, June 22, 2009, 4.

29. Harbor Research, “The Internet of Things Meets the Internet of People,” accessed August 12, 2015,, 3–4.

30. Ibid., 7.

31. Jentery Sayers, “On Data Representations and the Humanities” (presented at “Data, Social Justice, and the Humanities,” University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, October 3, 2014).

32. “Linked Data,” W3C, accessed August 12, 2015,

33. Tim Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor (New York: HarperCollins, 1999), 169–70.

34. Pochoda, “The Big One: The Epistemic System Break in Scholarly Monograph Publishing,” New Media & Society 15, no. 3 (May 1, 2013): 359–78, 368.

35. It will also tax the academy to respond adequately to new kinds of humanities projects. In the words of the executive summary of the One Culture report:

To realize the benefits of data-intensive social sciences and humanities, institutions and scholarly societies must expand their notions of what kinds of activities constitute research and reconsider how these activities are supported, assessed, and rewarded. Computationally intensive research projects rely upon four diverse kinds of expertise, each described in detail in section two of this report: domain (or subject) expertise, analytical expertise, data expertise, and project management expertise. The active engagement of each of these kinds of experts in the research enterprise is essential. A re-evaluation of hiring practices, job requirements, and tenets of promotion is requisite. (Williford and Henry, One Culture, 2)

36. Ibid., 2.

37. “About—Critical Commons,” Critical Commons, accessed August 11, 2014,

38. Tara McPherson, “After the Archive: Scholarship in the Digital Era” (presented at the Digital Humanities Brown Bag Lecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, November 29, 2011).

39. Johanna Drucker, “Blind Spots: Humanists Must Plan Their Digital Future,” Chronicle Review, April 3, 2009, B6–B8,

40. Liu, “Meaning of Digital Humanities,” 412.

41. See Bethany Nowviskie’s blog on acknowledging power differentials in parties to collaboration related to their status in the institution. She writes:

“Consciously ignoring disparities in the institutional status of your collaborators is just as bad as being unthinkingly complicit in the problems these disparities create. This is because of the careless way your disregard reads to the people it damages. These people are: your junior colleagues; your graduate students; academics on the “general,” “administrative,” or “research faculty;” the lost souls euphemistically referred to as academic “contingent labor;” and the least privileged among us, members of your institution’s staff: those of your collaborators who are classified as service personnel. This latter group includes programmers, sysadmins, instructional technologists, and credentialed librarians and cultural heritage workers.”

“Monopolies of Invention,” Bethany Nowviskie (blog), December 30, 2009,

42. Davidson and Goldberg, The Future of Thinking, 138.

43. Nowviskie, “Toward a New Deal.”

The New Media and Modes of Scholarly Communication

1. Philip Pochoda, “Digital, Scholarly Publishing: A Systems View” (University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities Brown Bag Lecture, October 25, 2011), abstract at

2. Ibid. See also Pochoda, “The Big One.”

3. For an important discussion of the move of libraries into publishing, see Monica McCormick, “Are You a Press or Are You a Library? An Interview with NYU’s Monica McCormick,” interview by Adeline Koh, Chronicle of Higher Education Blogs: ProfHacker, March 27, 2012,

4. Jennifer Howard, “Humanities Journals Confront Identity Crisis,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 27, 2009,

5. Tara McPherson, “Scaling Vectors: Thoughts on the Future of Scholarly Communication,” Journal of Electronic Publishing 13, no. 2 (Fall 2010), 3,;rgn=main.

6. The SCI8 report provides an illuminating visual schema for thinking about process—authoring, publishing, stewardship, and use—and the actors involved—producers, disseminators, stewards, and audiences. Abby Smith Rumsey, SCI8: Emerging Genres in Scholarly Communication (University of Virginia Library: Scholarly Communication Institute, n.d.), 5.

7. Claire Bond Potter, “Is Digital Publishing Killing Books?” Perspectives on History 153, no. 4 (2015): 22–23.

8. Andrew Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010).

9. Alan Liu, This Is Not a Book: Long Forms of Shared Attention in the Digital Age, Vimeo, 2011,; see also Alan Liu, “The End of the End of the Book: Dead Books, Lively Margins, and Social Computing,” Michigan Quarterly Review 48 (2009): 499–520.

10. Ibid.

11. Craig Mod, “The Digital Physical,” @craigMod, March 2012,

12. Ibid.

13. Ibid.

14. Paul Conway, “The Fetishization of the Long Form Book,” October 2, 2014.

15. McPherson, “Scaling Vectors,” 3.

16. DIRT: Digital Research Tools, accessed August 13, 2014,

17. Zotero, accessed August 8, 205,; Scribd, accessed August 13, 2014,

18. PressForward, accessed August 13, 2014,

19. “Introducing PressForward,” Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, June 24, 2011,

20. Scalar’s beta version was launched in spring 2013. Writing for PC World, William Fenton announces of Scalar that “despite its embryonic status (open beta), Scalar delivers an exciting new Web-publishing platform that will scale to and perhaps expand the boundaries of your book, chapter, or online project.” William Fenton, “Scalar,” PC, accessed August 13, 2014,,2817,2419697,00.asp.,2817,2419697,00.asp.

21. “WVU Receives $1 Million Grant from Mellon Foundation for First-of-Its-Kind Digital Publishing System,” WVUtoday, February 3, 2015.

22. Pochoda, “The Big One,” 367.

23. “TRIOS,” University of Chicago Press,” accessed March 2, 2015,

24. “Palgrave Pivot Breaking Boundaries,” Palgrave Macmillan, accessed June 26, 2015,

25. Paul Conway, “Fixing the Long Form,” October 2, 2014.

26. Dan Cohen, remarks made on the panel “The Future of Digital Publishing” (presented at the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, December 2, 2011),

27. Cohen also asked, “Can you ‘almost’ publish your scholarly work?” In other words, can there be “partial” communication, “sort of” publishing of bits of work? Ibid.

28. As theorists of graphic narratives emphasize, in graphic narrative the visual is textualized and the textual is visualized; and the words may narrate one story and the visuals tell another; while the syncopation of frames and gutters projects yet other stories and meanings.

29. McPherson, “Scaling Vectors,” 5.

30. Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, “Done: Finishing Projects in the Digital Humanities.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 3, no. 2 (2009), par. 6,

31. Rumsey, SCI8, 9.

32. Ibid., 12.

33. Jentery Sayers, “Writing with Sound: Composing Multimodal, Long-Form Scholarship” (presented at the Digital Humanities 2012 conference, University of Hamburg, July 16, 2012),

34. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (New York: New York University Press, 2011), Part 1.

35. See “Open Review: A Study of Contexts and Practices,” MediaCommons Press, accessed July 10, 2015,

36. Jennifer Howard, “Hot Type: No Reviews of Digital Scholarship = No Respect,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 23, 2010,

37. Howard quotes an e-mail she received from Brett Bobley. “Hot Type.”

38. Ibid.

39. Howard quotes from a phone conversation between Julia Flanders and herself; ibid., 3.

40. “Guidelines for Evaluating Work in Digital Humanities and Digital Media,” Modern Language Association, n.d.,

41. “The New Rigor,” Five College Digital Humanities, accessed June 26, 2015,

42. In the words of the SCI8 report, scholars, technicians, and librarians will collaborate in an environment in which scholarship is “born archival” (Rumsey, SCI8, 9).

43. Pochoda, “The Big One,” 370-71.

44. Dan Cohen, “Open Access Publishing and Scholarly Values,” Dan Cohen (blog), May 27, 2010,, 2.

Going Open

1. Definitions of the two modes diverge, and understandings remain imprecise and confusing; but I am not taking this imprecision and confusion up here. See Simon Huggard, “Green v Gold Open Access Publishing SlideShare” (presented at the International Open Access Week: Library Research Forum, La Trobe University, October 25, 2013), On confusion about the distinctions between green and gold open access, see Dan Cohen, “A Conversation with Richard Stallman about Open Access,” Dan Cohen (blog), November 23, 2010,

2. See Siva Vaidhyanathan, “The Technocultural Imagination” (presented to the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, December 3, 2011),

3. Tom Cochrane, “Open Access,” interview by Radio National and Robyn Williams, Ockham’s Razor, June 15, 2014,

4. Term used by Michel Bauwens in Richard Poynder, “Open and Shut? Working for a Phase Transition to an Open Commons-Based Knowledge Society: Interview with Michel Bauwens,” Open and Shut? (blog), May 27, 2014,

5. Paul Conway, “History of OA and Scholarly Publishing,” October 2, 2014.

6. Ibid.

7. For an overview of the history, documents, and initiatives in open access, see Open Access Directory, accessed August 12, 2015,

8. Leslie Chan et al., “Read the Budapest Open Access Initiative,” Budapest Open Access Initiative, February 14, 2002,

9. Ibid.

10. Conway, “History of OA and Scholarly Publishing.”

11. “Public Access Policy: When and How to Comply,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, accessed August 17, 2014,

12. 11 Research University Provosts, “Values and Scholarship,” Inside Higher Ed, February 23, 2012,

13. Ibid.

14. “UCSF Implements Open Access Policy Office of Scholarly Communication,” University of California Office of Scholarly Communication, May 24, 2012,

15. John P. Holdren, director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research,” Memorandum for the Heads of Departments and Agencies, February 22, 2013,

16. Scott Aaronson et al., “The Cost of Knowledge,” February 2012,, 1. For a review of the boycott after its first year, see the mathematics blog Gowers’s Weblog: Doug Arnold et al., “The Elsevier Boycott One Year On,” January 28, 2013, The comment section is particularly interesting for a take on how researchers in mathematics fields debate issues of open access.

17. The Guardian, editorial “Academic Journals: An Open and Shut Case,” April 10, 2012, accessed July 31,2012.

18. In Arnold et al., “Elsevier Boycott,” a group of mathematicians recommitted to sustaining the boycott, calling on libraries to cancel subscriptions, bundled by Elsevier into “Big Deals,” recognizing that “this continues to do real damage, such as forcing [libraries] to cancel subscriptions to more independent journals and to reduce their spending on books.”

19. Peter Suber, “Promoting Open Access in the Humanities,” Syllecta Classica 16 (2005): 231–46.

20. Ibid., 232.

21. Dan Cohen, “Open Access Publishing and Scholarly Values,” Dan Cohen blog, May 27, 2010, accessed June 20, 2014, http://www.dancohen,org/2010/05/27/open-access-publishing-and-scholarly-values/.

22. Martin Paul Eve, Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014),

23. MLA Commons, accessed June 22, 2014,

24. Digital Humanities Now, accessed March 3, 2015,

25. PressForward, accessed August 13, 2014,

26. See Directory of Open Access Journals, accessed August 12, 2015, The work of the education scholar John Willinsky and his Public Knowledge Project is particularly important to the rise of the number of open-access journals worldwide. He developed and makes available free the widely used online journal-publishing software; see also Peter Schmidt, “New Journals, Free Online, Let Scholars Speak Out,” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 14, 2010.

27. I am indebted here to Rebecca Welzenbach, journals coordinator at MPublishing, for her seminar: Rebecca Welzenbach, “Publishing Practice Series: Starting and Sustaining a Journal” (University of Michigan, October 22, 2013),

28. Medieval Review, accessed June 30, 2014,; Southern Spaces, accessed August 12, 2015,; Networks and Neighbours, accessed August 12, 2015,

29. Postmedieval Forum, accessed June 30, 2014,

30. In the sciences, it is important to note, issues have arisen about bogus journals run by companies or individuals eager to make profit off the APCs exacted for publication in open-access journals in STEM and medicine and public health. In October 2013, Science ran an article by John Bohannon in which he reports on sending a bogus science paper on a potential anticancer substance out to 304 open-access journals. Bohannon reports the results:

By the time Science went to press, 157 of the journals had accepted the paper and 98 had rejected it. Of the remaining 49 journals, 29 seem to be derelict: websites abandoned by their creators. Editors from the other 20 had e-mailed the fictitious corresponding authors stating that the paper was still under review; those, too, are excluded from this analysis. Acceptance took 40 days on average, compared to 24 days to elicit a rejection.

For his analysis, and for letters challenging his methodology and conclusions, see John Bohannon, “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?,” Science 342, no. 6154 (October 4, 2013): 60–65,; Elizabeth Marincola, “Science Communication: Power of Community,” Science 342, no. 6163 (December 6, 2013): 1168–69,

While issues of the integrity of peer review processes are equally of concern to humanities faculty, the paucity of grant funding in the humanities means there is little expectation of profit from fraudulent humanities open-access journals.

31. Chris Wickham, “Open Access in the Humanities and Social Sciences: An Interview with Chris Wickham,” interview by David Crotty, Scholarly Kitchen, accessed June 18, 2014, The second pressure Wickham, cites is “usage half-life,” that is, the length of time it takes for reads of scholarly work to drop off substantially. She observes:

Usage half-life is a different issue: it is the analysis of when it is that half of the downloads of each article, averaged across each journal and then each discipline, have been made. So one is a political/moral/financial battleground; the other is simply an observed set of data. They are not fully commensurable, and you can’t read one off into the other without considerable nuancing. Half-lives are about double these embargo figures, in fact, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that embargoes should be longer; that depends on many other factors.

32. See Medieval Academy of America, “Statement on Online Dissertation Embargoes,” accessed June 20, 2014,

33. Wickham.

34. “Can’t Find It, Can’t Sign It: On Dissertation Embargoes,” Harvard University Press Blog, July 26, 2013,

35. “Open Humanities Press Principles and Goals,” Open Humanities Press, accessed June 22, 2014,

36. Gary Hall, “Radical Open Access in the Humanities” (presented at the Scholarly Communication Program, Columbia University, October 18, 2010),

37. “Spontaneous Acts of Scholarly Combustion,” Punctum Books, accessed August 18, 2014,

38. “About,” Punctum Books, accessed August 18, 2014,

39. danah boyd, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014),

40. “MediaCommons Press Welcome,” MediaCommons Press, accessed August 18, 2014,

41. “The Piracy Crusade,” MediaCommons Press, accessed June 18, 2014,

42. Ibid.

43. Ibid.

44. “About Debates in the Digital Humanities,” Debates in the Digital Humanities, accessed June 20, 2014,

45. Ibid.

46. Ibid.

47. Suber, “Promoting Open Access.”

48. “How It Works—Knowledge Unlatched,” Knowledge Unlatched, accessed July 2, 2014,

49. Lucy Montgomery et al., Pilot Proof of Concept Progress Summary (Knowledge Unlatched, May 2014),

50. “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video,” Center for Media & Social Impact, February 22, 2010,

51. Pamela Samuelson and David R. Hansen, “Brief of Amicus Curiae Authors Alliance in Support of Defendant-Appellees and Affirmance (The Authors Guild, Inc., et Al. v. Google, Inc., et Al.) (Second Circuit),” SSRN Scholarly Paper, Social Science Research Network, Rochester, NY, July 10, 2014,

52. The Authors Guild (blog), accessed August 12, 2015,

53. Truth in advertising. I serve on the Author’s Alliance Advisory Board; “About Us,” Authors Alliance, accessed June 27, 2014,

54. Denny Chin, “Opinion of the United States District Court Southern District of New York, The Authors Guild, Inc., and Betty Miles, Joseph Goulden, and Jim Bouton, on Behalf of Themselves and Other Similarly Situated, Plaintiffs, against GOOGLE INC., Defendant,” November 14, 2013. Here is Judge Denny Chin’s finding:

In my view, Google Books provides significant public benefits. It advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders. It has become an invaluable research tool that permits students, teachers, librarians, and others to more efficiently identify and locate books. It has given scholars the ability, for the first time, to conduct full-text searches of tens of millions of books. It preserves books, in particular out-of-print and old books that have been forgotten in the bowels of libraries, and it gives them new life. It facilitates access to books for print-disabled and remote or underserved populations. It generates new audiences and creates new sources of income for authors and publishers. Indeed, all society benefits. (26)

55. See “About the Licenses,” Creative Commons, accessed August 12, 2015,

Here is the description of creative commons licensing on this website.

All Creative Commons licenses have many important features in common. Every license helps creators—we call them licensors if they use our tools—retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work—at least non-commercially. Every Creative Commons license also ensures licensors get the credit for their work they deserve. Every Creative Commons license works around the world and lasts as long as applicable copyright lasts (because they are built on copyright).

56. A constantly updated list of OAJs and information about their review policies are available at the Simmons website, under the tab for the directory of open-access journals (Directory of Open Access Journals, accessed August 12, 2015,

57. Daniel Atkins made the point that “one of the big challenges we face regarding sharing data, has to get people past the idea that if I share my data I give up my value to the institution.” Atkins, “Cyberinfrastructure.”

58. Cohen, “Open Access Publishing and Scholarly Values,” Dan Cohen blog, May 27, 2010. Cohen, Ramsay, and Fitzpatrick, “Open Access Publishing.”

Learning, Pedagogy, and Curricular Environments; or, How We Teach Now

1. The Condition of Education 2010, U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics (2010); qtd in Louis Soares, “Post-traditional Learners and the Transformation of Postsecondary Education: A Manifesto for College Leaders,” American Council on Education (January 2013), Accessed August 26, 2015.

2. Brian Rotman, Becoming Beside Ourselves: The Alphabet, Ghosts, and Distributed Human Being (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008).

3. N. Katherine Hayles, “What Are New Media and Why Are They in English Departments?” (presented at the 2010 ADE Summer Seminar East, University of Maryland, June 5, 2010),

4. N. Katherine Hayles, “Hyper and Deep Attention: The Generational Divide in Cognitive Modes,” Profession 2007: 187–99.

5. Ibid., 197.

6. Naomi S. Baron, “How E-Reading Threatens Learning in the Humanities,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2014,

7. Neil Butcher, A Guide to Quality in Post-traditional Online Higher Education (Dallas, TX: Academic Partnerships, n.d.),

8. Peter K. Bol, Benjamin G. Lewis, and Weihe Wendy Guan, “Extending WorldMap to Make It Easier for Humanists and Others to Find, Use, and Publish Geospatial Information” (presented at the Second International Conference on DuberGIS and Geodesign, Redlands, California, August 19, 2014),

9. 2012 World Open Educational Resources (OER) Congress, “2012 Paris OER Declaration,” June 22, 2012, UNESCO.

10. James J. Duderstadt, “The Impact of Technology on Discovery and Learning in Research Universities” (presented at the Ninth Glion Colloquium, June 5–9, 2013), 10,

11. “About,” Coursera, accessed July 25, 2012,

12. edX, accessed July 3, 2014,

13. “About,” Coursera.

14. Tamar Lewin, “‘Mechanical MOOC’ to Rely on Free Learning Sites,” New York Times, August 21, 2012, sec. Education,

15. Thomas L. Friedman, “Revolution Hits the Universities,” New York Times, January 26, 2013, sec. Opinion / Sunday Review,

16. Jonah Newman and Soo Oh, “8 Things You Should Know about MOOCs,” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 13, 2014,; Davidson and Goldberg, The Future of Thinking; Steve Kolowich, “5 Things Researchers Have Discovered about MOOCs,” Chronicle of Higher Education Blogs: Wired Campus, June 27, 2014,

17. Steve Kolowich, “MIT Will Offer MOOC Curricula, Not Just Single Courses, on edX,” Chronicle of Higher Education Blogs: Wired Campus, September 18, 2013,

18. Nina Augustsson, “Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS): Challenging Traditional Learning,” Agenda: Suramérica (Foro Nacional Internacional) 10 (2014): 5.

19. Leland Carver and Laura M. Harrison, “MOOCs and Democratic Education,” Liberal Education 99, no. 4 (Fall 2013),

20. Augustsson, “Massive Open Online Courses,” 5.

21. Laura Perna et al., “The Life Cycle of a Million MOOC Users” (presented at the MOOC Research Initiative Conference, December 5, 2013),

22. Newman and Oh, “8 Things.”

23. Butcher, Guide to Quality, 9.

24. Steve Kolowich, “The Professors behind the MOOC Hype,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 18, 2013,

25. Newman and Oh, “8 Things.”

26. Augustsson, “Massive Open Online Courses,” 5.

27. In fall 2012, for instance, the following humanities courses were offered through Coursera: Jeremy Adelman’s A History of the World since 1300, an Introduction to Philosophy offered by seven faculty at the University of Edinburgh, Peter Struck’s Greek and Roman Mythology, and Philip Zelikow’s The Modern World: Global History since 1760. In spring 2014, edX offered a modest range of humanities-based courses, among them Laura Thatcher Ulrich’s Tangible Things: Discovering History Through Artworks, Artifacts, Scientific Specimens, and the Stuff around You; Robert Pinsky’s The Art of Poetry; and Maggie Sokolik’s Principles of Written English, Part 3.

28. The Innovative University: What College Presidents Think about Change in American Higher Education (research report for the Chronicle of Higher Education, 2014),

29. Aaron Bady, “The MOOC Moment and the End of Reform,” Liberal Education 99, no. 4 (Fall 2013),

30. Butcher, Guide to Quality, 9; L. Johnson et al., NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition (Austin, TX: New Media Consortium, 2013),

31. Bady, “MOOC Moment.”

32. Jonathan Haber, MOOC (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2014).

33. Cathy N. Davidson, “History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education,” Coursera,; Cathy N. Davidson, “Clearing Up Some Myths about MOOCs,” HASTAC blog, June 11, 2013,

34. FemTechNet Commons, accessed August 30, 2014,

35. “DOCC 2013 Video Dialogues | Forum | Feminism, Technology, and Wiki Storming | FemTechNet,” FemTechNet Commons, 2013,

36. See the Ithaka S+R report entitled Interactive Online Learning on Campus: Testing MOOCS and Other Platforms in Hybrid Formats in the University System of Maryland. The report presents its findings that “online learning technologies show promise for educating more people in innovative ways that can lower costs for universities and colleges.” The report also reveals issues related to time of adaptation, incompatible platforms, and prohibitive licensing fees for MOOCS. But it did register that students could succeed in courses that were in hybrid form. Rebecca Griffiths, Matthew Chingos, Christine Mulhern, and Richard Spies, Interactive Online Learning on Campus: Testing MOOCS and Other Platforms in Hybrid Formats in the University System of Maryland (Ithaka S+R, July 11, 2014),

37. “Online Courses,” LAS Online, accessed August 13, 2015,

38. Kolowich, “Professors behind the MOOC.”

39. Derek Curtis Bok, Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008), 318.

40. Nancy Cantor, Tri-Campus Provosts’ Seminar Keynote Address. October 22, 2013, University of Michigan. Seminar Title: Engaged Learning, Community Based Research and the Community Engagement Corridor Presented by University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University.

41. Randy Bass, “Disrupting Ourselves: The Problem of Learning in Higher Education,” Educause Review, April 2012, 32.

42. Ibid., 24. See also Davidson and Goldberg, Future, 21–48.

43. John Seely Brown and Richard P. Adler, “Minds on Fire: Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0,” Educause Review 43, no. 1 (February 2008): 16–32; Bass, “Disrupting Ourselves.”

44. Eric Rabkin, “Real Work Is Better Than Homework,” presented at University of Michigan, November 19, 2008.

45. David Damrosch, “National Literatures in an Age of Globalization,” presented at the ADE Seminar West, Flamingo, Las Vegas, June 22, 2009.

46. “William Pannapacker to Direct GLCA Digital Liberal Arts Initiative,” Hope College: Hope Today News, October 1, 2013,

47. Richard E. Miller, “Reading in Slow Motion,” presented at the session “The New Dissertation: Thinking Outside the (Proto)-Book,” Annual Convention of the Modern Language Association, Seattle, January 5, 2012.

48. Scott L. Newstok, “A Plea for ‘Close Learning,’” Liberal Education 99, no. 4 (Fall 2013),; The Innovative University, 18.

49. Butcher, Guide to Quality, 12.

50. Davidson and Goldberg, The Future of Thinking, 7.

The Possibly Posthuman Humanities Scholar

1. This discussion of Mitchell is adapted from my essay entitled “Reading the Posthuman Backward: Mary Rowlandson’s Doubled Witnessing,” Biography 35, no. 1 (Winter 2012): 137–52.

2. William J. Mitchell, Me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003), 62. The double plus here evokes the double plus in the coding language C++

3. Ibid.

4. The quantified self is constituted of people who digitally self-monitor their bodily processes. One might think of the self in this context as a site of time-stamped data. But the thing that interests me about the quantified self is the capacity of people to become contributors to Big Data, databases that will be the source of research in the biomedical sciences. In her piece on the quantified self, Emily Singer observes that “the most interesting consequences of the self-tracking movement will come when its adherents merge their findings into databases. The Zeo, for example, gives its users the option of making anonymized data available for research; the result is a database orders of magnitude larger than any other repository of information on sleep stages” (41). She also notes that “patient groups formed around specific diseases have been among the first to recognize the benefits to be derived from aggregating such information and sharing it” (43). Emily Singer, “The Measured Life,” MIT Technology Review, August 2011,

5. Siva Vaidhyanathan, “Apple Demystified,” Chronicle Review, October 11, 2011,

6. David Weinberger, Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room (New York: Basic Books, 2011).

7. Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009), viii.

8. Ibid., 37, ix.

9. Cited in Williford and Henry, One Culture, 18.

10. Donna Jeanne Haraway, How Like a Leaf: An Interview with Thyrza Nichols Goodeve (New York: Routledge, 2000), 160.

11. Rosi Braidotti, “Posthuman, All Too Human: Towards a New Process Ontology,” Theory Culture Society 23, nos. 7–8 (2006): 206.

12. Leela Fernandes, Transnational Feminism in the United States: Knowledge, Ethics, and Power (New York: New York University Press, 2013), 122.

Manifesto for a Sustainable Humanities

1. In “Vectors of Change,” in Envisioning the Future of Doctoral Education: Preparing Stewards of the Discipline, ed. Chris M. Golde and George E. Walker (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006), 34–45, a piece written for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, David Damrosch eloquently insists that all university communities have their contribution to make in changing higher education in the humanities.

A Time of Troubles, a Time of Opportunity

1. I am indebted to the analyses regularly provided by David Laurence, director of research and ADE (Association of Departments of English), and Doug Steward, associate director of programs and ADE for the MLA.

2. Mark Fiegener, Survey of Earned Doctorates (National Science Foundation, last updated June 17, 2015),

3. Doug Steward, Report on the Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2010–11 and 2011–12 (Modern Language Association, June 2014), 23.

4. “Advanced Degrees in the Humanities,” Humanities Indicators, January 2015,

5. Ibid.

6. Fiegener, Survey of Earned Doctorates; Steward, Report on Survey.

7. “Attrition in Humanities Doctorate Programs,” Humanities Indicators, accessed July 8, 2015,

8. “Quantitative Data,” Ph.D. Completion Project, Council of Graduate Schools, accessed July 26, 2012, A cautionary note on statistics is needed. David Laurence, director of research for the MLA, clarified for me that “the finding that the humanities have a 49% completion rate, and that the completion rate in the humanities is the lowest of all disciplinary branches, are in part artifacts of this 10-year wall” (personal correspondence). David Laurence, “Humanities Completion Rate,” n.d.

9. This quote comes from “How to Help Graduate Students Reach Their Destination,” by Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Harriet Zuckerman, Jeffrey A. Groen, and Sharon M. Brucker. It is a teaser piece by the authors of Educating Scholars to present summary findings to a large audience. Ronald G. Ehrenberg et al., “How to Help Graduate Students Reach Their Destination,” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 12, 2009,

10. Ibid.

11. Carlos J. Alonso et al., Report of the MLA Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature (Modern Language Association, May 2014), 4,

12. Cited by David Laurence, “From the Editor: What’s Next for Graduate Education,” ADE Bulletin 149 (2010): 3–7; David Orr, “The Job Market in English and Foreign Languages,” PMLA 85, no. 6 (1970): 1185–98.

13. Colleen Flaherty, “Report Reveals Divergent Trends in Modern Language Job Market,” Inside Higher Ed, December 21, 2012, http://www.inside

14. MLA Office of Research, Report on the MLA Job Information List, 2013–14 (Fall 2014),, 1.

15. Laurence, “From the Editor: What’s Next for Graduate Education,” 3.

16. Ibid.

17. Steward, Report on Survey.

18. “Paying for Graduate School,” Humanities Indicators, accessed June 28, 2014,

19. Steward, Report on Survey.

20. “Paying for Graduate School,” Humanities Indicators, accessed June 28, 2014,

21. Katherine Kidd, “Chapter 1 Notes,” May 29, 2014.

22. Fiegener, Survey of Earned Doctorates.

23. Ronald G. Ehrenberg et al., Educating Scholars: Doctoral Education in the Humanities (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010), 250–52.

For a summary of the findings of the report on GEI, see David Laurence, “From the Editor: The Job Market and Graduate Education,” ADE Bulletin 149 (2010): 3–7.

24. Delay of personal life has always been an issue for women in the academy. Yet job satisfaction and career development in the profession, as the MLA report on the associate professor rank observes, is related to the satisfactory balancing of work/life desires and obligations. Sara S. Poor, Rosemarie Scullion, and Kathleen Woodward, Standing Still: The Associate Professor Survey (MLA Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession, April 27, 2009),

25. Robert Barsky et al., White Paper on the Future of the PhD in the Humanities (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, December 2013), 7,

26. “Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Programs,” SSRC, accessed August 13, 2015,; “Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate,” Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, accessed August 13, 2015,; Ph.D. Completion Project, Council of Graduate Schools, accessed August 13, 2015,

27. Russell A. Berman et al., “The Future of the Humanities PhD at Stanford,” Humanities Education Focal Group, 2012, 24. In his Presidential Address at the 2012 MLA Convention, Berman challenged his colleagues to reconceptualize doctoral programs so that they can be completed in five years. See Berman, “2012 Presidential Address.”

28. “Mellon Foundation Grants $2.7 Million to School of the Humanities Graduate Programs,” UCI News, June 23, 2015,

29. Cathy Wendler et al., The Path Forward: The Future of Graduate Education in the United States (Princeton, NJ: Council of Graduate Schools and Educational Testing Services, 2010), 29,

30. Anthony T. Grafton and James Grossman, “No More Plan B: A Very Modest Proposal for Graduate Programs in History,” Perspectives on History, October 2011,

31. Ibid.

32. Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, “The Responsive PhD: Innovations in U.S. Doctoral Education,” accessed July 18, 2014,

33. “About ACLS,” American Council of Learned Societies, accessed August 13, 2015,

34. Imagining America, accessed March 6, 2015,

35. Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities, accessed March 6, 2015,

36. Barsky et al., Future of the PhD.

37. See ibid.

38. Alonso et al., Report on Doctoral Study.

39. Leonard Cassuto, The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015); Julie R. Posselt, Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015), I am indebted to Leonard Cassuto for making the page proofs of his book available to me.

40. Barsky et al., Future of the PhD, 1. National reports on the state of doctoral education also make the case. In 2012 the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council published a white paper, Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security. The report makes the case for robust doctoral programs in the humanities “because of the increasing breadth of academic and professional disciplines necessary to address the challenges facing our changing world” (15). And in 2013 the Commission on Humanities and the Social Sciences, American Academy of Arts & Sciences report The Heart of the Matter: The Humanities and Social Sciences for a Vibrant, Competitive, and Secure Nation, made the case eloquently: “Advanced training is essential to the renewal of the professoriate”; and it “can also develop skills of enormous potential value to government agencies, nonprofit organizations, museums and other cultural institutions, libraries and archives, and diverse segments of the public sector” (43).

41. Scott Jaschik, “Top Ph.D. Programs, Shrinking,” Inside Higher Ed, May 13, 2009,; Robin Wilson, “Cutbacks in Enrollment Redefine Graduate Education and Faculty Jobs,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 11, 2012,

42. Russell A. Berman, “Essay Defending the MLA Report on Doctoral Education,” Inside Higher Ed, July 21, 2014,

43. Dolan Hubbard, “Education without Representation,” Black Issues in Higher Education 19, no. 17 (2002): 97.

Breathing Life into the Dissertation

1. Alonso et al., Report on Doctoral Study; Barsky et al., Future of the PhD.

2. Council of Graduate Schools, Ph.D. Completion and Attrition: Policies and Practices to Promote Student Success (Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools, March 2010).

3. David Damrosch, We Scholars: Changing the Culture of the University (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995); William James, “The Ph.D. Octopus,” Education Review 55 (1918): 149–57. Reprint of original edition published in The Harvard Monthly in March 1903.

4. Domna Stanton et al., Report of the MLA Task Force on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion (New York: Modern Language Association, December 2006), 12.

5. “The practice of credit sharing,” writes Chang, “applied to all fields of knowledge taught at the university” (349). Ku-ming (Kevin) Chang, “Collaborative Production and Experimental Labor: Two Models of Dissertation Authorship in the Eighteenth Century,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (2010): 349.

6. Ibid.

7. Barbara Crossouard, “The Doctoral Viva Voce as a Cultural Practice: The Gendered Production of Academic Subjects,” Gender and Education 23, no. 3 (May 2011): 314.

8. Chang, “Collaborative Production,” 348.

9. See Cecile M. Jagodzinski, “The University Press in North America: A Brief History,” Journal of Scholarly Publishing 40, no. 1 (October 2008): 3.

10. Cassuto, The Graduate School Mess, 29.

11. Ibid., 4.

12. Gary A. Olson and Julie Drew, “(Re)Reenvisioning the Dissertation in English Studies,” College English 61, no. 1 (September 1998): 57.

13. Ibid., 59.

14. Pochoda, “The Big One,” 362.

15. Pochoda observes that “the idea of applying scholarly standards to monographs was not an innovation of course: many press editors and many post-publication reviewers had long invoked them on a somewhat haphazard basis. What changed were the uniformity, rigor, and consistency of the application of such standards—and the immediate and significant negative consequences of failure to conform (the negative feedback loop). Post-publication administration accreditation, when layered upon the pre-publication peer review, authorization, provided strong likelihood that monographs published within the university press system could be relied upon to meet at least a minimum scholarly standard. Manuscripts that failed to achieve such authorization would (in principle, at least) not be published; faculty who produced insufficient vetted publications would (again, in principle) not be retained or promoted (accredited).” Ibid., 363.

16. Stanton et al., Report on Evaluating Scholarship.

17. Ibid., 30–31.

18. Ibid., 31.

19. Olson and Drew, “(Re)envisioning the Dissertation,” 59.

20. Lindsay Waters, “The Tyranny of the Monograph and the Plight of the Publisher,” Publishing Research Quarterly 17, no. 3 (Fall 2001): 19–25.

21. Leslie Monkman, “Confronting Change,” ESC: English Studies in Canada 32, no. 2 (2006): 22.

22. Stanton et al., Report on Evaluating Scholarship, 11.

23. Ibid., 60.

24. Damrosch, We Scholars, 148. Damrosch writes: “Rather than varying our program requirements to suit different emerging scholarly personalities, we present a single norm, forcing the students either to adapt or to fall away” (151).

25. Cassuto, The Graduate School Mess, 29.

26. Bulbul Tiwari, “Shift(s)in(g) the Humanities: Hanging Roots, Hyperlinks, and Other Networks of Schizoanalysis in Maha Multipedia” (presented at the CIC Summit on Digital Humanities, Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan, December 8, 2009). To view Tiwari’s revised digital dissertation, see Bulbul Tiwari, “MahaMultipedia Welcome,” MahaMultipedia, accessed August 26, 2014,

27. William Germano, “Do We Dare Write for Readers?,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 26, 2013, B7.

28. Ibid.

29. Ibid., B8.

30. Rebecca A. Bryant and Megan Pincus Kajitani, “A Ph.D. and a Failure,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 24, 2005,

31. Grafton and Grossman, “No More Plan B.”

32. Damrosch, We Scholars, 162.

33. Some data reported in Ehrenberg et al., Educating Scholars, suggest that job applicants with publications fare somewhat better on the job market for tenure-track positions than those without publications.

34. Thanks to Jesse Lander, Director of Graduate Studies in English at Notre Dame, for this clarification offered me at the Michigan State University Symposium “Futures of the English PhD.”

35. Julie Ellison and Timothy K. Eatman, Scholarship in Public: Knowledge Creation and the Tenure Policy in the Engaged University (Artists and Scholars in Public Life Tenure Team Initiative on Public Scholarship, Imagining America, 2008), 1,

36. Kathleen Woodward, “The Future of the Humanities in the Present and in Public,” Daedalus 138, no. 1 (Winter 2009): 120,

37. Ibid.

38. For excerpts from Nick Sousanis’s dissertation, see Nick Sousanis, “Nick Sousanis Dissertation Excerpts,” Academia, accessed August 13, 2015,

39. Visconti’s three-minute video can be viewed to get a sense of the project’s dynamic dissertation mode. Amanda Visconti. Infinite Ulysses, accessed July 8, 2015,

40. “HASTAC 2015 Schedule,” HASTAC 2015, accessed August 13, 2015,

41. Futures Initiative: Advancing Equity and Innovation in Higher Education, accessed July 8, 2015,

42. For a chronicle of the current difficulties students face in realizing an alternative dissertation vision, see Melanie Lee, “The Melancholy Odyssey of a Dissertation with Pictures,” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 15, no. 1 (2015): 93–101.

43. Andrea Abernethy Lunsford, “Rethinking the Ph.D. in English,” in Envisioning the Future of Doctoral Education: Preparing Stewards of the Discipline, ed. Chris M. Golde and George E. Walker (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006), 357–69.

44. Barsky et al., Future of the PhD, 11–12.

45. Ibid., 14.

46. Ibid., 19.

47. I am indebted to Nancy Linthicum, 2014–2015 graduate student fellow at the Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan, for her observation about the prospectus. “Sorry We Couldn’t Talk Yesterday,” e-mail to the author, March 27, 2015.

48. Damrosch, We Scholars, 163.

Responding to Counterarguments

1. Grafton and Grossman, “No More Plan B,” 2.

2. William Germano, From Dissertation to Book, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013).

3. Ibid., 1.

4. Ehrenberg et al., Educating Scholars.

5. Stanton et al., Report on Evaluating Scholarship.

6. Indeed, doctoral programs at universities not considered among the elite (whether private or public flagship) may already have made changes in dissertation options that make sense for their mission and for the kinds of institutions that hire their graduates.

7. “University Policy 102.12, Tenure Policies, Regulations, and Procedures of the University of North Carolina and Charlotte,” UNC Charlotte Office of Legal Affairs, accessed August 13, 2015,

8. Former Economics department chair Linda Tesar informed me that economics as a discipline shifted to an essay-based dissertation format from the monograph form some years ago. Her observation was that students benefited in their job search from having a very tight and polished essay off of which to give their job talk.

9. “Academic Requirements for Hispanic Studies,” Spanish and Portuguese Studies, University of Washington,” accessed August 13, 2015,

A 21st-Century Doctoral Education

1. Dwight MacDonald, “Real Talk about Graduate Education in the Liberal Arts and Sciences” (presented at “Liberal Arts and Sciences in the Research University Today: Histories, Challenges, Futures,” University of Michigan, March 22, 2013).

2. Catharine R. Stimpson, “General Education for Graduate Education: A Theory Waiting for Practitioners,” Peer Review: Emerging Trends and Key Debates in Undergraduate Education 6, no. 3 (Spring 2004): 13–15.

3. Rumsey, SCI8; Lisa Quinn, “Some Observations,” presented at the International Association for Biography and Autobiography Graduate Student and New Scholar Workshop, Banff, Canada, May 29, 2014.

4. Peter H. Klost, Debra Rudder Lohe, and Chuck Sweetman, “Rethinking and Unthinking the Graduate Seminar,” Pedagogy 15, no. 1 (2015): 23, 26.

5. Praxis Network, accessed August 2, 2014,

6. “GTC+: Digital Currents at the University of Michigan,” Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan, accessed August 13, 2015,

7. John Wittman and Mariana Abuan, “Socializing Future Professionals: Exploring the Matrix of Assessment,” Pedagogy 15, no. 1 (2015): 63.

8. “Interdivisional Media Arts + Practice (iMAP),” School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California, accessed August 13, 2015,

9. “Certificate in Public Scholarship,” Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington, accessed August 28, 2014,

10. Alonso et al., Report on Doctoral Study, 2, 17.

11. Barsky et al., Future of the PhD.

12. Damrosch, “Vectors of Change,” 43.

13. Bethany Nowviskie, “The #alt-Ac Track: Negotiating Your ‘Alternative Academic’ Appointment,” Chronicle of Higher Education Blogs: ProfHacker, August 31, 2010,

14. Paula Krebs, “A New Humanities Ph.D.,” Inside Higher Ed, May 24, 2010,

15. The Versatile PhD, accessed July 30, 2012,

16. Bethany Nowviskie, #Alt-Academy: Alternative Academic Careers for Humanities Scholars,

17. Katina Rogers, Humanities Unbound: Supporting Careers and Scholarship Beyond the Tenure Track (Scholarly Communication Institute, University of Virginia Library, August 2013),

18. David M. Ball, William Gleason, and Nancy J. Peterson, “From All Sides: Rethinking Professionalization in a Changing Job Market,” Pedagogy 15, no. 1 (2015): 104.

The Upside of Change

1. Evan Watkins, “Recruiting Prestige” (keynote presentation to “Futures of the English PhD,” Michigan State University, May 15, 2010),

2. Posselt, Inside Graduate Admissions.

3. I am indebted to Cass Adair, Tiffany Ball, and Jina Kim for bringing to life this portrait of humanities graduate students.

4. Alexis Lothian and Amanda Phillips, “Can Digital Humanities Mean Transformative Critique?,” Journal of E-Media Studies 3, no. 1 (2013),

5. Ibid.

6. National Science Foundation and National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities 2012 (National Science Foundation, January 2014),

7. Tara McPherson, “Why Are the Digital Humanities So White? Or Thinking the Histories of Race and Computation,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities, ed. Matthew K. Gold (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012), 143.

8. Ibid., 150. McPherson is adapting Gerald Graff’s discussion of the new criticism and its Cold War logics. See Gerald Graff, Professing Literature: An Institutional History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989).

9. Nowviskie, “Toward a New Deal.”

10. “Background Facts on Contingent Faculty,” American Association of University Professors, accessed August 5, 2014,

11. Bousquet, “Condemned to Repeat.”

12. Colander, and Zhuo, “PhDs in English,” 143.

13. New Faculty Majority, “The New Faculty Majority,” Salsa Labs, August 5, 2014,; “New Faculty Majority,” New Faculty Majority, accessed August 28, 2014,

14. Coalition on the Academic Workforce, Portrait of Part-Time Faculty, 104. The MLA, a member of CAW, offers on its website the “Academic Workforce Advocacy Kit,” a collection of briefs, reports, and information, including the “Professional Employment Practices for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Members: Recommendations and Evaluative Questions (2011) and the “MLA Issue Brief: The Academic Workforce” (2009). “Academic Workforce Advocacy Kit,” Modern Language Association, accessed August 12, 2015, The theme of the 2013 MLA convention, organized by 2012 president Michael Bérubé, was “Avenues of Access,” a rubric under which were gathered many sessions exploring issues of access to tenure-track careers and issues of alternative careers.

15. Ball, Gleason, and Peterson, “From All Sides,” 104.


1. Elizabeth Grosz, Becoming Undone: Darwinian Reflections on Life, Politics, and Art (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011), 11.

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