Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chowkwanyun and Tani, "Training Historians and the Dual Degree"

The Chronicle of Higher Education has just posted an op-ed on "Training Historians and the Dual Degree." My friend and colleague Merlin Chowkwanyun approached me about writing this piece together after many conversations about the value of our dual degrees (my other degree, of course, is a JD; his is a Masters in Public Health). Like many historians, we have also eagerly followed recent debates about the health of our discipline and the prospects for history PhD students, and we have been surprised by the lack of attention to the dual degree. Here's an excerpt from the introduction to the piece:
When historians gathered for their annual meeting in January, the future of the discipline itself was on the agenda. Amid the talk about the relevance of historical scholarship and the precarious employment prospects for history Ph.D.’s were promising proposals aimed at broadening the graduate curriculum and rewarding nonacademic career paths. But one potential solution seemed to be largely overlooked: the dual-degree program.
 . . . .
Some readers may instinctively recoil from any proposal that involves “more school,” but at their best, dual-degree programs can offer a solution to two key problems now confronting the history profession: relevancy and employment prospects.
The rest is here.