What do a stand-up comedian, a museum curator, an essayist, a public engagement manager, an online publisher, a journalist, an IT consultant, and a high school teacher have in common? After studying Classics at university, they are channeling their degrees into work outside academia. Professor Barbara Graziosi and graduate student Jermaine Bryant interviewed these Classicists to produce videos for 'Beyond the Academy,' a Rapid Response Magic Project from the Princeton University Humanities Council.
'Beyond the Academy' aims to showcase the exciting range of career paths that build on higher degrees in Classics, or related disciplines. Bryant and Graziosi focused on Classics because they saw it as the discipline within the Humanities that is most persistently perceived as belonging exclusively within the academy. Consequently, they said, Classics can serve as a test case for the reach of Humanities more generally.
The project developed in response to challenges and concerns experienced with particular intensity by graduate students and early-career scholars right now. “Giving voice to the many classicists who have forged their own creative paths in a wide variety of contexts, and have made important contributions to the field of classics on the basis of their work beyond the academy, seems more urgent now than ever,” Graziosi wrote.
Graziosi noted that students enrolled in or considering higher degrees worry about weak demand for professors in the Humanities, as well as a lack of diverse people and opportunities in Classics. She expressed hope that this series of videos will provide inspiration along with practical career advice to Classicists, as they enjoy linking the ancient past to the present and future.