Bethany Nowviskie

  • Published: Jan 3rd, 2010
  • Category: higher ed
  • Comments: 70

#alt-ac: alternate academic careers for humanities scholars

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[Update and disclaimer, 2013: This post was the seed of #Alt-Academy, an edited collection and grassroots publishing platform at MediaCommons. In its initial iteration, in the summer of 2011, the project featured two dozen contributions by 33 fantastic authors. New editors have joined #Alt-Academy and fresh content is forthcoming. Because people continue to link to this post as shorthand for the emergence and naming of the #altac “movement” (so called–not by me!), I want to preface it with a link to something else I’ve written, in an attempt to explain the term: “Two and a Half Cheers for the Lunaticks.” If you are writing one of the many articles critiquing current uses of the term, I hope that you will pause to read that contextualizing post, and what I say here. In brief: in 2009, when we started using it, “alternative academic careers” was a pointed push-back against the predominant (and in fact only) phrase, “non-academic careers.” “Non-academic” was the label for anything off the straight and narrow path to tenure — even if that position were, say, in an academic library, a writing center, a university-affiliated research group or cultural heritage organization. I felt it diminished humanities scholars who continued to use their skills in and around the academy, and I was concerned that it discouraged grad students from contemplating new paths. “Non-academic” is also, frankly, most of the world. At a moment when Twitter was emerging as a tool for academic community and labor organizing, it was helpful to have a more specific hashtag through which a relevant group could share info, become visible, and begin to agitate for better working conditions. It’s in fact a terrific accomplishment for the alt-ac community that today we hear the opposite refrain: the term “alternative” is not expansive enough, and it suggests we play second fiddle. “This shouldn’t be ‘alt’-anything,” the complaint goes. “This work is central. It’s obviously valid. In fact, it’s the mainstream.” I agree that the term may have outlived its usefulness (and am certainly disappointed that it has been co-opted by people selling “coaching” services to under-employed academics, or reading it without reference to our early work as a reification of class difference and a brain-dead brand of jobs-crisis “solutionism”). But I will observe that “alt-ac” in its early years was extremely valuable in community-building, in jump-starting conversations about authentic graduate education reform and the more subtly exploitative aspects of academic labor (that extend beyond and function in tandem with adjunctification), and in legitimizing the decisions so many humanities scholars have made, to contribute to the larger mission of the academy in ways oblique to their formal training and complementary to the professoriate. The “alt” in “alt-ac” was never meant to evoke an “oops! Plan B” moment for grad students, or suggest escape hatches be built on the backs of other professions — but rather to gesture at the alternative academy that we must construct together, from the margins to the center and back again.]

About six weeks ago, I left a swanky DC hotel feeling pretty good. The Scholarly Communication Institute, an 8-year old Mellon-funded project for which I serve as associate director, had just concluded a two-day summit with a some of the most interesting institutional thinkers and do-ers in the humanities: leaders from CHCI, the international consortium for humanities centers and institutes, and from centerNet, its energetic digital counterpart. For SCI, this gathering culminated a process that had begun in the summer of 2008, when we hosted an event on humanities centers as sites for innovation in digital scholarship. After a January meeting in Tucson (where grapefruit were ripe in the hotel courtyard) and a series of less paradisiacal conference calls and proposal drafts, the two groups were now poised for meaningful collaborative action. There was a palpable sense in the room that the plans we were hatching could change the way business is done in the humanities, digital and otherwise. In fact, something like a five-year program was emerging, and the two groups had outlined a series of co-sponsored ventures, joint meetings, and big-picture goals.

Happiness makes me obnoxious on Twitter. Before I packed up my laptop, I tapped out two messages:

“SCI-sponsored CHCI/centerNet meeting is winding down. Stay tuned for announcements from the two groups working jointly in the new year.” [X]

“& struck again by dues-paying crap I skipped in deciding against tenure-track jobs. How many junior faculty sit in on discussions like this?” [X]

I held no illusions about my role in the process SCI had facilitated. SCI (from the insider’s point of view) is about listening, helping, and nudging. In the conference room at the Hotel Palomar, I was Note-taker-in-Chief, pausing only a few times to add my own perspective — as a recent humanities PhD, a person who had held one of those rare digital post-docs we were discussing, as a member of the research faculty at an R-1 institution, and (now) as someone who had exercised the “expanded employment options” that are often brought up in conversations about improving methodological training in graduate education. My day job is as Director of Digital Research & Scholarship for the University of Virginia Library. This is a department that includes the Scholars’ Lab, a growing digital center which offers fellowships to grad students, runs a vibrant speaker series, undertakes its own research-and-development work, and partners with humanities and social-science faculty on projects in text-based digital humanities and geospatial and statistical computing.

I have a pretty sweet gig.

But, as will have been obvious to anybody who heard my recent MLA convention talk on matters of intellectual property and institutional status in collaborative scholarship (or who found it through the Chronicle), that whole grad-school detox/deprogramming phase that the #alt-ac crowd must work through takes a while to leave one’s system. I can personally attest that this is true even if you’re one of the people who opted out of the tenure-track teleology very early on. (I never undertook an academic job search, and I politely declined the campus visits I was offered as an ABD grad student. Friends, the market was better then.)

#Alt-ac is our Twitter-hashtag neologism for “alternate academic careers” — particularly for positions within or around the academy but outside of the ranks of the tenure-track teaching faculty. These positions are nonetheless taken up by capable humanities scholars who maintain a research and publication profile, or who bring their (often doctoral-level) methodological and theoretical training to bear on problem sets in the orbit of the academy. Keeping our talents within (or around) the academy is often more psychologically difficult than examining the color of our parachutes and gliding off to fabulous private-sector careers. Class divisions among faculty and staff in the academy are profound, and the suspicion and (worse) condescension with which “failed academics” are sometimes met can be disheartening. As “Natalie Henderson,” an administrator who writes pseudonymously for the Chronicle of Higher Education, asks:

“In an arena where people spend so much time trying to think in nuanced ways and where we ostensibly celebrate the wide dispersal of sophisticated ideas, why is so much energy expended in maintaining fixed categories and squelching the intellectual contributions of those on the wrong side of the fence?

In an environment dominated by research agendas that often seek to right historic wrongs, question power, undermine hierarchy, and give voice to the voiceless, why are intellectual status and respect given so grudgingly to smart and engaged people who have jumped off the tenure track?”
(“A ‘Non-Academic’ Career in Academe,” 20 June 2005)

For all that, we love our work. Many of us on the #alt-ac track will tell you about the satisfaction of making teams (and systems, and programs) work, of solving problems and personally making or enabling breakthroughs in research and scholarship in our disciplines, and of contributing to and experiencing the life of the mind in ways we did not imagine when we entered grad school. Among us are: administrators with varied levels of responsibility for supporting the academic enterprise; instructional technologists and software developers who collaborate on scholarly projects; journalists, editors, and publishers; cultural heritage workers in a variety of roles and institutions; librarians, archivists, and other information professionals; entrepreneurs who partner on projects of value to scholars, program officers for funding agencies and humanities centers, and many more.

My flippant, self-satisfied tweet (“how many junior faculty sit in on discussions like this?”) brought representatives from all of these groups flocking. Clearly, I hit a nerve, and before I knew it I was editing a book. This is largely thanks to the encouragement of the first respondents, including CHNM‘s Tom Scheinfeldt (of the “third way”), and other valued colleagues — as well as Brian Croxall, who, frustrated with the adjunct lifestyle in which so many humanities scholars feel trapped, demanded “signposts” for following the kind of path we’ve taken. I offered to oblige. Within two hours, ten amazing contributors had volunteered to share their perspectives. The number (without my making any kind of formal call) is now at 18 — and this does not include a set of CLIR post-doctoral fellows who will be contributing a dialogue about their shared and divergent experiences in academic research libraries. I do plan to issue special invitations to a few more people who could help round out the discussion, and am open to further ideas and expressions of interest.

We are adopting #alt-ac as the rubric for our open-access collection of essays, which will be written from the points of view of well-educated, non-tenure-track humanities professionals, here to tell you that their work in the academy is satisfying, delightful, reasonably stable, deeply intellectually engaging, and — occasionally — a damned hard row to hoe.

Contributions to this Web-accessible publication are due July 1st, 2010. I am currently in conversation with interested University presses about print and print-on-demand options for the book, and will continue to accept proposals from potential contributors by email (accompanied by a one-page abstract, please!) through April 1st. All essays will be licensed, with attribution, under Creative Commons by their authors, and will be made freely available online.

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70 Responses to “#alt-ac: alternate academic careers for humanities scholars”

  1. William Patrick Wend
    on Jan 10th, 2010
    @ 4:13pm

    Bethany, this is a wonderful idea. I am looking forward to what comes out of it. Given the current economic/job situation, I am also trying to move to some sort of “alternate” career path. I worked for a really long time and bled (literally…), sweated, and poured myself into school. Now that I am teaching but also finding scraps I am ready to consider something else for sure.

  2. on compensation « Bethany Nowviskie
    on Mar 13th, 2010
    @ 1:24pm

    […] disciplines and incorporate more fully a broader range of highly-educated professionals employed in alternative academic roles. Part of this expansion has been to draw in established scholars who were not active in the […]

  3. Day of Bethany Nowviskie » further with the sporting stuff, & #alt-ac emails
    on Mar 18th, 2010
    @ 10:15am

    […] then response to a couple of emails related to an open-access book I’m editing, on non-typical (non-tenure-track, “alternate academic”) paths for […]

  4. Welcome! « Digital Humanities in Boston and Beyond
    on Mar 25th, 2010
    @ 2:40pm

    […] welcome guest posts or other contributions from advanced undergrads, graduate students and alternative-academics as well as faculty, in a variety of genres: project overviews, opinion pieces, calls for papers. […]

  5. “Soft” [money] is not a four-letter word : Found History
    on Mar 26th, 2010
    @ 1:49pm

    […] [Note: This post is part of a draft of a longer article that will appear in a forthcoming collection to be edited by Bethany Nowviskie on alternative careers for humanities sch….] […]

  6. uninvited guests: regarding twitter at invitation-only academic events « Bethany Nowviskie
    on Apr 25th, 2010
    @ 6:24pm

    […] the academic Twitter demographic — mostly consisting of tech-savvy, early-career scholars or #alt-ac professionals — and the expectations and longstanding traditions that inhere in private events. […]

  7. THATCamp 2010 » Blog Archive
    on May 21st, 2010
    @ 9:06am

    […] of these interviews have been for positions that Bethany Nowviskie and others have taken to calling #alt-ac: alternative academic careers. (See also Tom Scheinfeldt’s 2008 post on “A Third […]

  8. New Wine in Old Skins: Why the CV needs hacking
    on May 27th, 2010
    @ 12:16pm

    […] as newly forked code—can be seen in the job descriptions and contract arrangements of many in the alt-ac […]

  9. Bloviate - The Path to Blogs@Baruch
    on Jul 13th, 2010
    @ 11:42am

    […] a big one, and it spurred me to reflect on the roots of my work as an educational technologist, an #alt-ac that emerged for me rather incidentally out of the work I was doing while training to become a […]

  10. An Open Letter to New Graduate Students « Aubrey Shick's Notebook
    on Aug 29th, 2010
    @ 1:59pm

    […] Such positions could include what Bethany Nowviskie and others have taken to calling “alt-ac,” alternative academic careers that include, as Bethany puts it, “administrators with […]

  11. Opening Up Digital Humanities Education | Digital Scholarship in the Humanities
    on Sep 8th, 2010
    @ 6:02am

    […] Digital in English Studies, edited by Laura McGrath; and “What Is She Doing Here?” for #alt-ac: alternate academic careers for humanities scholars, edited by Bethany Nowviskie. Now I’m working on an essay for Brett Hirsch’s Teaching […]

  12. A Open Letter to New Graduate Students | NYU Grads in Residence
    on Sep 10th, 2010
    @ 11:24am

    […] Such positions could include what Bethany Nowviskie and others have taken to calling “alt-ac,” alternative academic careers that include, as Bethany puts it, “administrators with […]

  13. #alt-ac: Alternative Academic Careers
    on Sep 19th, 2010
    @ 8:32pm

    […] stumbled across Bethany Nowviskie’s blog post on alternative academic (“alt-ac”) careers in the humanities: Many of us on […]

  14. the #alt-ac track: negotiating your “alternative academic” appointment « Bethany Nowviskie
    on Oct 14th, 2010
    @ 9:57pm

    […] the cipher “#alt-ac:” a neologism and Twitter hashtag that marks conversations about “alternate academic” careers for humanities scholars. Here, “alternate” typically denotes neither adjunct teaching […]

  15. eternal september of the digital humanities « Bethany Nowviskie
    on Oct 15th, 2010
    @ 10:04am

    […] that makes the faculty, on the whole, value us so little. Service as servile. The staffer, the alternate academic, the librarian, the non-tenure-track digital humanist, as intellectual partner? Not so long as we […]

  16. Bloviate - On EdTech and the Digital Humanities
    on Oct 19th, 2010
    @ 10:59am

    […] might ask, “well, what about #alt-ac?” I appreciate the extent to which that phrase articulates, illuminates and validates the […]

  17. Timing the Transition « alternative phd
    on Nov 8th, 2010
    @ 10:03am

    […] an ABD graduate student with #alt-ac aspirations often feels refreshingly rebellious, but also (very) scary. For many of us, being an […]

  18. 20/30 Vision: Scenarios for the Humanities in 2030 | Digital Scholarship in the Humanities
    on Nov 20th, 2010
    @ 9:38am

    […] and promotion; this should change. Likewise, recognition and support should be given to those in “alternative academic careers”—librarians, technologists, administrators, researchers, and others who are key players in […]

  19. Trzy scenariusze dla humanistyki « Historia i Media
    on Nov 23rd, 2010
    @ 7:55pm

    […] oceny pracowników naukowych i systemie awansu zawodowego. Wsparcie powinno dotyczy? tak?e alternatywnych ?cie?ek rozwoju zawodowego osób dzia?aj?cych w sferze cyfrowej […]

  20. digital humanities down under (state of play; why you care) « Bethany Nowviskie
    on Dec 14th, 2010
    @ 6:47am

    […] administrators, and developers in Australia and New Zealand. Concepts I presented about #alt-ac, or alternate and hybrid career paths for computing humanists and about smarter policy-making around intellectual property, open source, and data management […]

  21. links for 2010-12-18 | Stéphane Thibault
    on Dec 19th, 2010
    @ 12:20am

    […] #alt-ac: alternate academic careers for humanities scholars « Bethany Nowviskie #Alt-ac is our Twitter-hashtag neologism for “alternate academic careers” — particularly for positions within or around the academy but outside of the ranks of the tenure-track teaching faculty. These positions are nonetheless taken up by capable humanities scholars who maintain a research and publication profile, or who bring their (often doctoral-level) methodological and theoretical training to bear on problem sets in the orbit of the academy. (tags: DigitalHumanities Academic Career Scholars Research Profile Education) […]

  22. The MLA and “Alternate Academics” » Defiant Musings
    on Jan 5th, 2011
    @ 9:02am

    […] Well and good, BUT what Feal neglects here is that those teaching jobs are also disappearing fast, replaced by cheap adjunct labor. For too many graduate students, the idea of a tenure-track job, be it research- or teaching-focused, is just not a realistic possibility. Many of them are living lives of near-poverty, cobbling together adjunct gigs or leaving the academy all together. What Feal and others often do not mention, however, is that there is a third possibility — what Bethany Nowviskie calls the “alternate academic” track, which she defines as “positions within or around the academy but outside of the ranks of the tenure-track teaching faculty” (“#alt-ac: alternate academic careers for humanities scholars“). […]

  23. Blog Archive Announcing the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool | Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative
    on Jan 12th, 2011
    @ 11:18am

    […] information science, informatics, user centered design, user experience design, etc. (the #alt-ac crowd – as it has come to be […]

  24. Academics and Social Media: #mla11, Free WiFi, and the Question of Inclusion - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education
    on Jan 14th, 2011
    @ 12:50pm

    […] an opener to conversation about the relation of methodological training in DH to new, much-needed #alt-ac career paths for humanities grad students — but if it provoked conversation, that was […]

  25. What I Do All Day | Academitron
    on Jan 18th, 2011
    @ 9:05am

    […] of my family and friends, as well as for other grad students and academics who might be considering alternate academic careers, I thought I’d talk a little about what it’s like to be doing what I […]

  26. HackLibSchool and My Future. « The Infornado
    on Feb 15th, 2011
    @ 10:10pm

    […] education, and building foundations for change in our profession. I was incredibly inspired by the Alt-Ac folks, Profhacker and Hacking The Academy, and figured if they could do it, we should […]

  27. Gabriel Hankins
    on Feb 19th, 2011
    @ 10:51am

    This is really great, Bethany, I’ll forward to my library and editing friends as well. Look forward to reading it.

  28. Weaving Knowledge | Carlingfordleap
    on Feb 23rd, 2011
    @ 1:48pm

    […] #alt-ac (alternative academic careers) […]

  29. Wendy Hsu | » Shivers. Glows. Bows.: Reflexive Performance as Public Scholarship
    on Mar 9th, 2011
    @ 10:57pm

    […] of Ethnomusicology) annual meeting in November 2011. I see this paper as the beginning of my #alt-ac or #indie-ac career as a scholar-performer and performer-scholar. Feedback is […]

  30. A Conversation with Shana Kimball | FSU Digital Scholars
    on Mar 10th, 2011
    @ 4:53pm

    […] humanities and scholarly communication fields. Bethany Nowviskie has dubbed this #alt-ac; see GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  31. Day of Bethany Nowviskie » Hello, world — and good night.
    on Mar 18th, 2011
    @ 9:10pm

    […] our grad students at UVa, and to graduate methodological training in general, in the context of #alt-ac — that is, the promising role of “alternative academic” or hybrid careers for […]

  32. Day of Stewart Varner » Coffee Break!
    on Mar 20th, 2011
    @ 9:02pm

    […] my work world, there are librarians, technologists, professors, graduate students and so called #altacs such as myself.  Whenever we are able to get together and talk about ideas I invariably walk away […]

  33. Readings on “The Future of Librarianship: IT and DH PhDs” » THATCamp CHNM 2011
    on May 19th, 2011
    @ 5:03pm

    […] from the perspective of digital humanities, lauding the multi-skilled, scholar-technologist in an alt-ac professional track, this seems to be far from inflammatory. In fact, this seems like something the […]

  34. #alt-ac Support Group » THATCamp CHNM 2011
    on May 27th, 2011
    @ 2:58pm

    […] that can have a great impact on the course of study for students and research for faculty. In a great blog post, Bethany Nowviskie talks about the challenges, but also value, of this #alt-ac  lifestyle and the […]

  35. Reporting from the Digital Humanities 2010 Conference - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education
    on Jun 22nd, 2011
    @ 4:22pm

    […] a wide range of countries, institutions, and positions—the tenured and tenure-track, the #alt-ac, grad students, extra-academic professionals, and more […]

  36. why, oh why, CC-BY? « Bethany Nowviskie
    on Jun 28th, 2011
    @ 9:00am

    […] thing I write and work on, for the paths and audiences I imagine for that work, and for the kind of #alt-ac scholar I want personally to be — read like progressive degrees of arrogance. This goes […]

  37. Working Classes | jsench
    on Jul 28th, 2011
    @ 4:22pm

    […] And faculty who advise graduate students, please don’t be afraid to ask a student how they feel they are developing professionally. I think we also need to have very frank conversations when it becomes apparent that a graduate student ought to think about something beside an academic career. If you’re advising a student who you really feel does not have what it takes, and you’ve tried putting them on the right track to no avail, then say so early enough in their program that they can move along without drifting any longer. I mean this only for those rare cases where it is clear that the person is not cut out for any form of teaching or research based position. Also, inform yourself about “alternate academic careers,” or jobs in academia that use many of the research and teaching and writing skills your Ph.D. student has developed, but which are not on the faculty formally or are not on the tenure track. Follow Bethany Nowviske’s work for more. […]

  38. Wasted opportunity by the AMS in Career Guide « Academic Ronin
    on Oct 12th, 2011
    @ 11:50am

    […] the way, Bethany Nowviskie lists a few alt careers for humanities MA/MM/PhDs: “administrators with varied levels of responsibility for supporting the academic […]

  39. ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education
    on Oct 24th, 2011
    @ 8:02am

    […] these questions were wide and varying. Campers had different opinions about the efficacy of using #alt-ac positions to leverage digital technology in classrooms and Universities. We learned that many […]

  40. On Autoethnography and Acafandom « Revenge of the Fans
    on Nov 15th, 2011
    @ 2:27pm

    […] and Participatory Culture at Occidental College, and generally getting settled in my new corner of #alt-ac in the Center for Digital Learning + Research.  I’ve returned with some interesting tales […]

  41. Tinker Toy Story II - Posted on November 21st, 2011 by Barbara Fister
    on Nov 21st, 2011
    @ 3:47pm

    […] conflict has been introduced as PhDs are hired to do professional work in libraries. Before we had a hashtag for this kind of #alt-ac worker, James Neal called them “feral librarians.” More recently, Jeff […]

  42. Humanities Graduate Education and “Nonacademic” Careers » Defiant Musings
    on Nov 22nd, 2011
    @ 8:03am

    […] as academic (e.g. faculty) vs. nonacademic (e.g. outside the academy). There is some discussion of “alt-ac” careers, but with an almost exclusive focus on postions in digital humanities or libraries. This […]

  43. MLA 2012: A Nonteaching Academic Job Search Resources » Defiant Musings
    on Dec 30th, 2011
    @ 5:39pm

    […] #alt-ac: alternate academic careers for humanities scholars « Bethany Nowviskie Tags: #alt-ac, collaboration, digital-humanities [Update! The #Alt-Academy project that had its seed in this post is now available from M… Nowviskie […]

  44. two & a half cheers for the Lunaticks « Bethany Nowviskie
    on Jan 8th, 2012
    @ 5:21am

    […] of professional societies – all of which certainly felt to me like academic employment. So, a couple of years ago, I began to see a clear need for a banner (a temporary one, I’ll emphasize) under which to […]

  45. Current Citation Practices in Academia « Fair Cite
    on Feb 15th, 2012
    @ 9:58am

    […] academic position was resistant to the idea of extending authorship credit to technical and Alt-ac members of the project team, opting instead for a “no-names” approach to citation. The project […]

  46. THATCamp CHNM 2010 » Blog Archive
    on Mar 28th, 2012
    @ 4:41pm

    […] of these interviews have been for positions that Bethany Nowviskie and others have taken to calling #alt-ac: alternative academic careers. (See also Tom Scheinfeldt‘s 2008 post on “A Third […]

  47. Bibliography – Digital Humanities « dhbibliography
    on Apr 2nd, 2012
    @ 6:48am

    […] […]

  48. For a Boost, Count Your Assets | GradHacker
    on Apr 23rd, 2012
    @ 6:02am

    […] with a story or a unique quality, you’ll be a stronger candidate for all kinds of jobs (academic, alt-ac, and nonacademic alike). Knowing your assets is the first step of this […]

  49. Alt-Ac, a Lost Generation, and the University - David J. DrysdaleDavid J. Drysdale
    on May 30th, 2012
    @ 1:15pm

    […] is in part due to the recent surge in dialogue surrounding the so-called alternative academy (“alt-ac,” or “altac”) […]

  50. » Those who can’t teach do? the dpod blog
    on Jun 8th, 2012
    @ 11:58am

    […] cohort) were employed outside education, and only 4% seem to have been employed in what we now call alt-ac positions, or “positions within or around the academy but outside of the ranks of the […]

  51. Daniel Jiménez Sánchez
    on Jun 22nd, 2012
    @ 2:45pm

    […] #alt-ac: alternate academic careers for humanities scholars « Bethany Nowviskie This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged investigación conocimiento universidad. Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Previous Post Next Post » […]

  52. Alt-Ac? How are post grads living and working in a new world? Take the Survey « tressiemc
    on Jul 18th, 2012
    @ 8:53pm

    […] have explored this idea of what it means to be “Alt-Ac” (alternative to academic track, for the uninitiated)  on this space and others […]

  53. Opportunity and accountability in the ‘eResearch push’,Digital Humanities, 2012, Hamburg, Germany |
    on Aug 7th, 2012
    @ 7:54pm

    […] Bethany #alt-ac ‘Alternative academic careers for humanities scholars’, <; (accessed, 30 October, […]

  54. The Early Modernist’s DH | Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture
    on Oct 8th, 2012
    @ 2:01pm

    […] job market to differentiate it from #alt-ac jobs–“alternate academic careers,” as defined by Bethany Nowviskie–the visibility of which has grown in recent years. As a subject specialist I gravitate toward […]

  55. too small to fail « Bethany Nowviskie
    on Oct 13th, 2012
    @ 5:42pm

    […] this level of internal DH leadership was the rationale for a set of conversations I started with some colleagues a couple of years ago, which—to my surprise—has taken on a life of its own and the quarrelsome […]

  56. Exploring Alternate-Academics | UC Humanities Forum
    on Oct 18th, 2012
    @ 7:09pm

    […] […]

  57. A few thoughts on #alt-ac | Katina Rogers
    on Feb 6th, 2013
    @ 9:02am

    […] term itself has both expanded in meaning and proven useful beyond what Bethany Nowviskie initially imagined, there’s also a certain degree of discomfort with the phrase. Some find that it perpetuates […]

  58. Alt-Ac: Breathing Life into Libraries or Eroding the Profession? | Eduhacker
    on Feb 19th, 2013
    @ 12:56pm

    […] Alt-Ac movement is a response to the dismal academic job market and the toxicity of graduate school. If […]

  59. » Blog Archive » Humanities Unraveled – The Chronicle
    on Feb 21st, 2013
    @ 1:42pm

    […] think the time has come to stop talking about Alt-Ac careers as only an alternative and start seriously designing graduate programmes for Alt-Ac first. […]

  60. Fulbright Scholar Program Also Serves Learning Technologists | fulbrightscholarblog
    on Mar 18th, 2013
    @ 3:16pm

    […] education institutional types, I never held a full-time teaching position. I consider myself an alternative academic. I have participated in or managed assorted and interesting teaching-related technology […]

  61. » “Digital humanities in higher education” @ ITHAKA Sustainable Scholarship conference 2013,
    on Oct 22nd, 2013
    @ 7:14pm

    […] an alt-ac professional. In 1995 I jumped from the PhD program in NYU’s French Department to a paraprofessional position […]

  62. Responsivity and Versatility | Laura Tetreault
    on Nov 17th, 2013
    @ 4:51pm

    […] of some day securing a full-time academic position. Instead, Dr. Cassuto urged students to consider alternative academic careers and called upon faculty and administrators to offer more support to students interested in seeking […]

  63. Going GLAM: A Historian in a Digital Library | History Lab Plus
    on Dec 4th, 2013
    @ 3:29am

    […] liberating about looking at higher education from the outside, of performing a non-academic, or alt-ac, role that supports a variety and breadth of research, and of being an independent scholar, of […]

  64. Alt-Ac Careers and a Lost Generation of PhDs | Post-Academic Job Resources
    on Feb 1st, 2014
    @ 10:16pm

    […] is in part due to the recent surge in dialogue surrounding the so-called alternative academy (“alt-ac,” or “altac”) movement. Spurred […]

  65. What Is Digital Humanities and What's it Doing in the Library?
    on Mar 18th, 2014
    @ 4:53pm

    […] Nowviskie, Bethany. “#alt-ac: Alternative Academic Careers for Humanities Scholars.” […]

  66. Alternative Academix-ing | NginguThembi
    on Mar 19th, 2014
    @ 9:28am

    […] “#alt-ac: alternative academic careers for humanities scholars,” Bethany Nowviskie defined “alt-ac” as “alternative academic careers—particularly for […]

  67. What About the Alternative-Alternative-Academic Path? | NginguThembi
    on Mar 19th, 2014
    @ 9:31am

    […] definitions for alternative academix.  Bethany Nowviskie‘s definition, spelled out in “#alt-ac: alternative academic careers for humanities scholars,” is probably the most commonly cited.  Alt-ac careers are, by Nowviskie’s definition, […]

  68. From Day One: Advice for new Graduate Students | grad launch
    on Jul 29th, 2014
    @ 6:29am

    […] positions could include what others have taken to calling “alt-ac” careers,” as well as other careers entirely outside the academy – you need to realize that […]

  69. Article: Defining Terms | Inside Higher Ed | Post-Ac Futures
    on Dec 1st, 2014
    @ 9:29pm

    […] was shorthand for “alternative academic” careers. At the time the term was, in Nowviskie’s words, “a pointed push-back against the predominant phrase, ‘nonacademic careers.’ […]

  70. Crowdsourcing and the “Discourse Network 2000” | lily beauvilliers
    on Apr 14th, 2015
    @ 10:38am

    […] is a branch of DH which shares this service-based ethos—the alt-ac movement, particularly as represented by the library, but including many of the alternative […]

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Creative Commons License This site uses a heavily modified version of Bryan Helmig's Magatheme. Work at by Bethany Nowviskie is always CC-BY. Want to know why? The falling letters are by Wayne Graham. He kindly made them to replace a set I designed in Flash in the late 1990s and had in place for more than 17 years. Not a bad run! Ave atque vale.