2019 Past Events
Women in Public Life: Transforming a Culture
Date: November 12, 2019
Julia Gillard, former prime minister of Australia, gave a lecture on the cultural transformation illustrated through women’s changing roles in public life. She then engaged in a roundtable discussion with Baroness Mary Goudie and Baroness Margaret Prosser, chaired by Professor Evelyn Welch.
Julia Gillard served as the twenty-seventh prime minister of Australia from 2010 to 2013, the first women to ever do so. Under her leadership, she delivered nation-changing policies including reforming Australian education at every level, from early childhood to university education; creating an emissions trading scheme; improving the provision and sustainability of health care, aged care, and dental care; and commencing the nation’s first ever national scheme to care for people with disabilities.
The roundtable was joined by Baroness Mary Goudie, member of the British House of Lords, global advocate for the rights of women and children and advisor to the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and to the London School of Economics – Centre for Women, Peace and Security; Baroness Margaret Prosser, member of the British House of Lords; Dr. Evelyn Welch, provost and senior vice president (arts & sciences) at King’s College, London, where she is also a professor of Renaissance studies.
This event was co-sponsored by Las Casas Institute at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, and Georgetown University’s Future of the Humanities Project.
Shakespeare’s Interdisciplinary Humanities
Date: October 28, 2019
Who was Shakespeare? Businessman, self-promoter, or a brilliant writer who fully understood the relationship between the humanities and lived experience? This panel discussion focused on Shakespeare’s role in the world of fame and money.
This panel discussion featured Dr. Lena Orlin, professor of English at Georgetown University, specialist in the literature, history, and art history of early modern England and author of The Private Life of William Shakespeare (2021); Dr. Michael Scott, Senior Dean, Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, college adviser for postgraduate students, Member of the Las Casas Institute, and senior adviser to the president at Georgetown University; and was moderated by Dr. Michael Collins.
Orlin’s work brings Shakespeare to life through examining little-known archives and public records, and discusses the debates around his funerary monument and what they have to tell us about Shakespeare’s life and his death. Dr. Scott’s work on Shakespeare’s currencies considers how Shakespeare presents the bartering of human emotions and aspirations while remaining fully aware of the ways we may barter for our lives or barter our lives away.
The event was co-sponsored by the Future of the Humanities Project and the Georgetown Humanities Initiative.
Graduate Certificate in Engaged & Public Humanities
Date: June 5-8, 2019
The Graduate Certificate in Engaged & Public Humanities was a non-credit program offered by Georgetown’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Washington, DC from June 5–8, 2019.
Through collaborative workshops with humanities faculty and professionals, the participants explored the meanings of “engagement”, “public”, and “humanities”, as they relate to the changing ecosystems of academia and the public sphere. They learned how to communicate the value of advanced humanities training to the public and to potential employers.
The career showcase was an opportunity to network with a broad array of employers and humanities professionals and explore career pathways both traditional and non-traditional in academia, federal government, private agencies, and the corporate world.
The program ended with a celebratory reception where participants received their certificates.
The seminar included:
- Site visits to prominent local humanities organizations: Library of Congress, The Folger Shakespeare Library.
- A career showcase for humanities scholars.
- “Professionalization 2.0,” a keynote address by Leonard Cassuto, Fordham University, author of The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It (2015). Leonard Cassuto is the author or editor of eight books of American literature and culture, and writes a monthly column for the Chronicle of Higher Education titled “The Graduate Adviser”. He is also an award-winning journalist who writes on subjects ranging from science to sports, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times.
- Presentations on “Audience Matters: the Public Humanities from a Rhetorical Perspective,” by Matthew Pavesich, Georgetown University; “What Do We Have to Offer the World? Humanities Skills and Habits of Mind,” by Kathryn Temple, Georgetown University; and an optional workshop titled “Finish that Dissertation or Thesis NOW”, by Kathryn Temple.
- Career preparation workshops including LinkedIn, resume and cover letter writing, and interview preparation, with Annie Maxfield.
In the ImaginePHD webinar, participants were introduced to career paths and opportunities for PhDs in the humanities using ImaginePhD – a free and confidential career exploration and planning tool designed specifically for humanities PhDs. During this session, they were able to identify starting points for career exploration, inventory their skill sets, evaluate how it aligns with particular career paths, and identify aspects that are most important in a future career.
This interactive resume workshop allowed graduate students in the humanities to articulate skills and experiences gained through the PhD to specific positions of interest. The session required prior preparation, consisting of identifying 3 jobs each participant was interested in, and highlighting the common skills needed. They used the job descriptions and the ImaginePhD skills assessment results as a starting point for creating a resume.
In “The Art of the Informational Interview”, participants learned about the informational interview as a powerful tool for networking and gaining an insider perspective on careers and organizations. During this session, they broke down the process of informational interviewing, highlighting strategies for making the most of their time with professionals in fields that spark their curiosity.
PhDs in the World: A Crash Course in Beyond-Academia Careers
Date: April 5, 2019
The event, sponsored by the Georgetown University, Modern Language Association (MLA) and Connected Academics’ ReinveintPhD project, provided students in the humanities with practical tools to explore a variety of careers and prepare their applications materials to land their dream jobs.
The event had two sessions:
- Writing our Tickets Workshop: John Paulas, President of PhD Matters, provided guidance to students in the humanities in honing their individual profiles, and in tailoring their résumés, and application materials for non-academic positions. Students were asked to bring résumés and examples of industries, companies, organizations, or job descriptions of interest to them.
- DC Humanities PhD Lives and Livelihoods: 5 DC-area humanities PhD alums working in a variety of public-facing positions in public, private and non-profit sectors came to campus to connect with graduate students in a fast-paced “speed dating” format introduced and facilitated by John Paulas.
The humanities professionals who attended the event included: Kalisa Hendrickson, PhD, Director of Executive Leadership Seminars at the Aspen Institute; Evan Rhodes, PhD, Manager at Deloitte; Lauren Onkey, PhD, Senior Director at NPR Music; Alexandra Habershon, PhD, Senior Governance Specialist of Governance Global Practice at the World Bank; and Jennifer Wellman-Andryuk, PhD, LEED Green Associate Program Manager for Community Advancement at the U.S. Green Building Council.
2019 George P. Lacay Endowed Lecture with Professor Caleb Smith (Yale)
Date: April 4, 2019
Caleb Smith gave the 2019 George P. Lacay Endowed Lecture, with the title “Worldly Devotion: Histories of Distraction and the Arts of Attention”.
“The degree of attention we pay,” one minister preached in 1850, “depends upon our own disposition to attend. This shows us that the matter, after all, is very largely one of discipline.” Distraction, the wandering of the mind, is an ancient problem, but it took a new form in the nineteenth century, with the rise of industrial capitalism, mass media, and secular institutions of social control. Distraction came to be understood as a symptom of history—of modernity itself. In response, writers around the Atlantic world sought to repair the psychic damage by designing new disciplines of sustained attentiveness. This talk examined attention as one of the spiritual exercises of a secular age, from Thoreau’s Walden to some contemporary defenses of the humanities.
Caleb Smith is Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University, and the author of The Oracle and the Curse (2013) and The Prison and the American Imagination (2009). His edition of Austin Reed’s 1858 prison memoir, The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict, the earliest known prison memoir by an African American writer, appeared from Random House in 2016.
The event was co-sponsored by the English Department, the Mortara Center for International Studies and the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice.
Lunchtime Discussion with Professor Caleb Smith
Date: April 4, 2019
Caleb Smith led a lunchtime discussion of his work focused on his edition of Austin Reed’s 1858 The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict, the earliest known prison memoir by an African American writer.
Austin Reed was a free black man born in the 1820s who spent most of his early life ricocheting between forced labor in prison and forced labor as an indentured servant. Lost for more than one hundred and fifty years, his memoir sheds light on the longstanding connection between race and incarceration, slavery and the penal system in America. Discovered and authenticated by a team of Yale scholars, the handwritten document is the first known prison memoir written by an African American. Corroborated by prison records and other documentary sources, Reed’s text gives a gripping first-person account of an antebellum Northern life lived outside of the institution of slavery that bore, in its day-to-day details, unsettling resemblances to that very institution.
The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict is a work of uncommon beauty that tells a story of nineteenth-century racism, violence, labor, and captivity in a proud, defiant voice. Reed’s memoir illuminates his own life and times—as well as ours today.
Caleb Smith is Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University, author of The Oracle and the Curse (2013) and editor of The Prison and the American Imagination (2009) and editor of The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict (2016).
The event was co-sponsored by the English Department and the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice.
Becoming a Radical Public Intellectual: Finding Ways to Communicate Better to Everyone
Date: April 3, 2019
In this event, Karsonya Wise Whitehead discussed how the humanities must intersect with real-world issues to counteract irrelevancy; how we can leverage our humanities education for change; and, how we can all learn to communicate better across social, economic, racial, and gender lines.
Karsonya Wise Whitehead is a professor at Loyola University Maryland, award-winning author, three-time New York Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker, OpEd columnist, and host of the daily drive time talk radio show “Today With Dr. Kaye.” Her most recent book is RaceBrave (2016). The event was sponsored by the Georgetown University, Modern Language Association (MLA) and Connected Academics’ ReinveintPhD project.
The 11th Annual Michael Jurist Memorial Lecture: Chris Hedges
Date: March 20, 2019
In this event, Chris Hedges, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author, discussed his latest book America: The Farewell Tour. “America,” he says, “is convulsed by an array of pathologies that have arisen out of profound hopelessness, a bitter despair and a civil society that has ceased to function. The opioid crisis, the retreat into gambling to cope with economic distress, the pornification of culture, the rise of magical thinking, the celebration of sadism, hate and plagues of suicides are the physical manifestations of a society that is being ravaged by corporate pillage and a failed democracy. The book has been described as a compelling and dark indictment of global capitalism and social decline in the United States.
Chris Hedges is the author of 11 books, including the New York Times best-seller Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012). Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, and has reported from more than 50 countries. Hedges was part of a New York Times team of reports awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for coverage of global terrorism.
The Annual Michael Jurist Memorial Lecture honors the work and life of Michael Jurist, the 2006-2007 Chair of the Georgetown University Lecture Fund who had a deep understanding of the organization’s commitment to dialogue, and passed away shortly after his graduation.
The event was co-sponsored by the Georgetown University Lecture Fund, the English Department, The Caravel and The Corp.
An Evening with Hanif Abdurraqib
Date: March 20, 2019
This event featured best-selling essayist, poet, and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib for a reading and discussion of his latest book, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest.
How does one pay homage to A Tribe Called Quest? Poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib digs into the group’s history and draws from his own experience to reflect on how its distinctive sound resonated among fans like himself. The result is as ambitious and genre-bending as the rap group itself.
Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. His books include the poetry collection The Crown Ain’t Worth Much (2016), the limited edition chapbook Vintage Sadness (2017), the collection of essays They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us (2017). Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest (2019) is a New York Times Bestseller, was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, and was longlisted for the National Book Award.
The event was co-sponsored by the Georgetown University Lecture Fund, the English Department, the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice, the Georgetown University Collective of Creative Individuals and Georgetown Radio – WGTB.
Discussion on Diverse Careers
Date: January 25, 2019
This Discussion on Diverse Careers featured Professor Kathryn Temple, J.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of the English Department, Daniel Fisher, Project Director of Humanities for All at the National Humanities Alliance, and Rob Yates, an MA in English Alum (2017), currently working as a Writing Coach for Distinctive College Consulting and pursuing his Ph.D. at CUNY.
The event was hosted by Georgetown’s English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) and sponsored by the Georgetown University, Modern Language Association (MLA) and Connected Academics’ ReinveintPhD project.