Thoughts on life after the PhD
I started this blog in 2009 as a place to write and reflect on the day-to-day realities of getting a PhD in literature.
I managed to finish my dissertation and my PhD in 2012, but my academic job prospects were bleak. From 2011-2014 I was happily employed by a Japanese company that made educational products for children and adults, and though I tried to remain connected to the academic world through blogging, doing guest lectures, and keeping up with the latest research in my field, I generally considered myself post-ac.
Then in mid-2014 a university position became available, I applied, and I got it. I’m now happily employed at a university in Tokyo teaching a variety of classes and catching up on neglected research.
These days I hope this blog can just be a window into the life of someone who got a PhD but hasn’t exactly followed a traditional academic path. I try my best to keep up with the current (really, long-running) “crisis in higher education” and frequently post links and commentary related to that subject. You can also find my work on Academia.edu, Midnight Eye, the Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies, and Eiga Files, a Japanese film website that I co-founded.
If you are considering applying to a humanities grad program, I recommend clicking on the “Good Reasons to Go” and “Bad Reasons to Go” links in the “Pages” section. I do my best to give it to you straight–something that isn’t often true of humanities grad program recruiters.
If you’re a grad student who’s stressed about about finding a job or just trying to figure out what your options are beyond academia, check out the “Grad Life” category, in particular a series of posts entitled “Alternative Academic Careers.” “Postacademic” is also one of my favorite blogs, sadly discontinued now, but a great archive of information for PhD’s employed inside and outside of academia. The Versatile PhD is also a great resource.
Comments and questions are more than welcome. You can also find me on Twitter (@NewsfromNihon).
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