#Alt-Ac: Alternative Academic Careers for Humanities Scholars

kfitz's picture

MediaCommons — a community-driven digital scholarly network developed with support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, New York University Libraries, and the Institute for the Future of the Book — is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of “#alt-ac: Alternative Academic Careers for Humanities Scholars,” edited by Bethany Nowviskie of the University of Virginia Library Scholars’ Lab. “#Alt-ac” will be published online, in open-access format, in the model of MediaCommons’ successful project, “The New Everyday.”

This “middle state” publication will feature contributions by and for people with deep training and experience in the humanities, who are working or are seeking employment — off the tenure track — within universities and colleges, or in allied knowledge and cultural heritage institutions such as museums, libraries, academic presses, historical societies, and governmental humanities organizations. Contributions run the gamut from personal narratives, positioned within certain academic disciplines and institutions, to staged dialogues (in text and audio) on issues and opportunities off the tenure track, to reflective essays on the state of the academy and the (problematic? disruptive? salutary?) position of “alternate academics” within it. Some essays also represent retrograde career paths and critiques of the #alt-ac concept.

The collection will appear online in the new year at MediaCommons with contributions by the 34 people listed at:


and will be open to public comment and extension (including future calls for submission) by MediaCommons members.


Rachel Lee's picture


I’m really looking forward to this collection — and very glad that it will be openly/publicly reviewed through MediaCommons. I can’t wait to see the variety of perspectives #alt-ac trajectories and the conversations that will emerge via public response.

Frank Smith's picture

I always wonder if this

I always wonder if this career is for others professional also. I always mentioned such things in my essays to give the importance of alternative academic careers.

To be honest, I would really

To be honest, I would really like for my child to chose one of the great careers, as an alternative, since I’m a doctor, and I know how the healthcare system works. I know, no need for complaining, but, this is how the system works, and of course, I dream of anything better! Therefore, I am expecting new publications from those schools.