Crisis and Elitism in Graduate Education

When I started this blog, late last March, I was just wrapping up a three-year term as Graduate Program Director in a middling-to-smallish history department at a large, urban, public university in Canada. Many of the problems associated with that kind of job, and with graduate training more generally, were fresh in my mind. Joining … Continue reading Crisis and Elitism in Graduate Education

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Back to School: Teaching, Research, and Regret

Our academic year begins in a couple of weeks, which means that this is the time for finishing, revising or at the very least updating course syllabi with the relevant dates. My teaching load is on the light side: two courses per semester, plus a moderate number of graduate and honours supervisions. (For the sake of comparison, a large, … Continue reading Back to School: Teaching, Research, and Regret

Academic publishing and graduate students: Thought for the day

My grandfather was born in 1909: not old enough for the First World War and too old for the Second, he served in the US Navy between the two. He had, I think, about three or four years of elementary school before leaving to work; though I remember him as prone to quoting Scripture and Shakespeare and singing lines of … Continue reading Academic publishing and graduate students: Thought for the day

Not that kind of doctor: questions about the history PhD from near-ground level

One reason that I feel free to try my hand at blogging all of a sudden after all these years on Earth is that a great weight is about to be lifted from my shoulders: the weight of being my department’s graduate program director. When I agreed to take on the job just over three years … Continue reading Not that kind of doctor: questions about the history PhD from near-ground level