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Graduate Study for the Twenty-First Century: How to Build an Academic Career in the Humanities Paperback – March 2, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0230100336 ISBN-10: 0230100333 Edition: Second Edition, Revised

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; Second Edition, Revised edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230100333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230100336
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Gregory Semenza's Graduate Study for the Twenty-first Century is a tough-minded, witty, generous discussion of how to enter the profession of scholarship and teaching. The appendices alone are worth the price of the book; Semenza provides samples of everything from course syllabi and job letters to materials on the teaching portfolio, book prospectus, conference participation - everything a serious graduate student needs to succeed. The book should be required reading for graduate students and their professors."--Barry V. Qualls, Dean of Humanities, Rutgers University

From the Author

Five characteristics distinguish Graduate Study for the 21st Century. First, this is a book designed solely for graduate students who wish to become professors on the tenure track; it does not spend time on alternative career paths for terminal M.A.s or Ph.D.s. Second, the unique focus on building a professorial career means that this book dedicates a significant amount of attention to professional development issues, including publishing, attending conferences, and job searching. In a straightforward and non-condescending manner, it emphasizes how a smart and informed "streamlining" approach to graduate study and teaching can lead to both a meaningful (and relatively short) graduate career and the sort of professional accomplishments that will make you a standout on the job market. Third, Graduate Study for the 21st Century is the only guide that recognizes the specific needs of students in the humanities. It does not assume that the concerns of a history student (or professor) are the same as those of an individual specializing in chemistry or engineering. Fourth, this book deliberately counters the tendency of the aforementioned guides to present an image of graduate school as unrelated to and unaffected by the brutal realities of late 20th-century and 21st-century politics and corporate economics. One gets the impression from previous graduate school guides that academe is no different today from what it was fifty or seventy-five years ago. Finally, this book operates at a level of detail simply not found in any of the aforementioned works. Focusing in depth on such important practical matters as selecting the right seminars, making the most of exams, and constructing effective CV’s, teaching portfolios, and job applications, the emphasis of this book is very much on how to succeed in graduate school. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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This book is very pointed and clear.
Laura Roche
Nothing annoys me more than a scholar who tries to unload his entire lexicon in one page of information.
Fitzgerald Fan
This book should be required reading for any undergraduate considering going on to graduate study.
Michael D. Hattem

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By BooksFreak on October 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
I just learned about this book from Michael Berube's blog. Berube--the brilliant iconoclast who fought so hard for graduate students in the wake of the Yale scandal--writes the foreword for the book, which he calls the 'most reliable book about academe and its inhabitants' he has ever read. I would have to agree with him. Semenza (UConnecticut) takes the approach that previous graduate survival guides miss the point by focusing on 'survival' instead of professional development, which all PhDs need in order to get a job. The book features highly detailed chapters on such things as publishing, attending conferences, and going on the market. The best chapter is on 'The Seminar Paper'. Here Semenza outlines the entire research process from conception to printing (if only I had this 3 years ago!). Written for PhDs or PhDs-to-be, the book doesn't pull any punches, I should tell you. At times, the directness and bluntness is intimidating, but when it comes to this profession, the truth sometimes hurts. Semenza's book is probably the best 'class' you'll ever take in grad school.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mike on October 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm only 2/3rds of the way through this book, but Wow. Basically Semenza lets everyone else "in" on what faculty members know about academia. This book is filled with every thing you need to know about every aspect of professing in the humanities: from organizing filing cabinets to publication and graduate student unionization. A few warnings: first, as a history PhD student, I feel that Semenza focuses a bit too much on English and literature examples (though this is expected since his field is in English Lit); second, the book isn't for undergrads still thinking about where to go to grad school so you won't find answers here on that subject. Otherwise, this is the perfect book for humanities students who want to profess on the college level.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Vidhyha1 on December 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Reading this book gives one the sense that Semenza might have violated some unofficial rule of academic writing here, in that his honesty--or at least his willingness to share his thoughts on everything from grading undergraduate papers to interviewing job candidates--seems to know no bounds. Some of the wisecracks about nameless colleagues, and a few of them about named colleagues, are downright hilarious. As a former PhD student and current assistant prof., I can say that I wish I had read this 5 years ago and that I will encourage all of my own advisees read it immediately.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Fitzgerald Fan VINE VOICE on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me by a well respected professor at my university. Because I am a fairly new graduate student who plans on getting a PhD in literature and teaching as a university professor, I figured it could only be helpful to give this book a serious perusal.
It is perhaps one of the smartest things I have done in informing myself about what lies ahead. There is a plethora of information offered to those who are automatically expected to know how to go about pursuing a tenure-track position in the humanities, but ultimately, do not.
This book covers everything from CVs to what, exactly, is expected from you in the way of teaching, research, and service. There is an extensive amount of material covering the importance of conferences etc. as well as a realistic lay out of what you can expect to be doing over the next decade of your life. The book can be intimidating, and downright scary, but serious scholars must understand that reality should always be preferable to a generous "sugar coating."
Perhaps what is most refreshing about this book is that it is laid out very simply...no bombastic and/or pedantic language! Nothing annoys me more than a scholar who tries to unload his entire lexicon in one page of information.
This book has proved to be invaluable to me and has given me a number of tools to help me further my career more quickly and efficiently.
Perhaps Semenza's best advice is this: "Do not pursue a PhD unless you are absolutely OBSESSED with your field"---with all that a person is expected to endure in his/her graduate program, this statement couldn't be more true.
So, if you have any questions concerning the proper path to take in beginning your career in academics/humanities, buy this book! It is worth every penny!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christina on October 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
In addition to the contents mentioned by other readers, the book also contains appendices with things like complete book prospecti, cv's, job market cover letters, etc. I found this to be the most useful part of the book (along with the job market chapter.

This guy is one of my advisor's friends, and he recommended the book as the most "honest" one on the market. At times, the honesty is intimidating, but there's no questioning the value of the book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Jackson on May 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am a tenured professor of English (coicidentally, my specialty is Semenza's -- early modern drama -- I should say, however, I don't know him). For several years now I have been running workshops on the job market, serving as my department's "placement director. This is easily the best book on the topic out there, an essential work for any graduate student in the humanities. When I read it I immediately disposed of stacks of photocopies (sample letters, etc.) and stopped preparing a rather lame powerpoint presentation. Now, I simply recommend (read:insist) students take a look at this book.
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