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Religious Studies Beyond the Discipline

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Given the continued challenges that face the higher education job market in the Humanities in North America, this multi-authored volume offers (i) a critical assessment of the current situation of Humanities doctoral students, early career scholars, and those now working in doctoral degree-granting institutions in the U.S. along with (ii) concrete proposals for a way forward which. In turn, these proposals (iii) are the starting point for constructive reflections by faculty now working in leading American doctoral programs. The aim for the volume is therefore to initiate and then move forward a conversation among future, current, and recent graduate students as well as those who train them concerning the content, process, and purpose of acquiring advanced research skills in the early twenty-first century university. For this is a time when most everyone in higher ed. knows that a decreasing few who earn these degrees will ever attain work as tenured faculty members while an ever increasing number will, instead, end up either in perpetually insecure contingent faculty positions or, for a variety of reasons, will opt to seek careers outside academia, where the explicit relevance of their training is, at least at present, uncertain and uncharted. The volume asks what the role of these students’ faculty, supervisors, degree programs, and Departments ought to be in helping them—and thereby helping these doctoral programs themselves, along with their affiliated faculty—to excel in an economic, and sometimes political, environment that is often not kind to scholarship in the Humanities.

Published: Oct 1, 2024