Futures in the Humanities Series

This series will explore a number of the key challenges and opportunities facing the humanities and humanities scholarship, research and education today.   Some of these challenges and opportunities are unique to the humanities while others are a product of broader developments that confront nearly everyone.  We, therefore, feel that it is important to recognize both what is distinctive about the humanities as well as what they have in common with other fields of inquiry.  Consequently, this series incorporates ideas and perspectives from other disciplines, especially the social sciences.  Our main aim is to provide an initial forum for tough-minded reflection and balanced, inclusive conversation on a range of complicated issues that, it is hoped, will carry on across campus and beyond the parameters of this series.


The Environmental Humanities:
What are They and Why do They Matter?

A Roundtable Discussion.  All welcome.
15 February, 409 Tier Building

Defying all the talk of decline and irrelevance surrounding the humanities, the “environmental humanities” is a rapidly developing research field that has surged in many parts of the world. A self-consciously global intellectual movement, the environmental humanities have fostered a creative cooperation between the scientific and technical disciplines and the humanities. Their collaborative approach and innovative interpretations have been so successful that the value of the environmental humanities is increasingly recognized by the sciences, governments, and even industry. Indeed, it is believed that in ten years environmental humanities programs will be found in most universities.

Still, it is a ranging and dynamic field that is difficult to pin down. Certainly, the environmental humanities represent a call to action. But what else might they be, and how do they change how we understand humanity and our place in the world? What do they mean for the future of the humanities?  Our panel will discuss these and other questions.

Panel: Bruce Erickson (Dept of Environment and Geography), Jocelyn Thorpe (Women's and Gender Studies; Dept of History), Melanie Unrau (PhD candidate, ETFM), Jeremy Strong (PhD candidate, ETFM).


FALL 2017

"PhDs that Work: Finding Success in an Uncertain Job Market"
L. Maren Wood and Jennifer Polk,
founders of Beyond the Professoriate

Does it seem that every other week a new story appears in your social media feed that laments the current state of the job market for PhDs? Often short on statistics but long on scary anecdotes of impoverished adjuncts and exploited post-docs, these news stories do little to provide graduate students with guidance on how to manage their job search. In this keynote presentation, Maren & Jen will:

  • Provide an overview of the history of the academic job market crisis, starting in 1969, bringing a nuanced understanding of how we arrived at our current jobs crisis.
  • Provide the most recent data on the academic job market, and career pathways for PhDs who leave the academy.
  • Success stories of PhDs who now work beyond the professoriate.
  • An overview of the non-faculty job search process, and how it differs from the faculty search and hiring process.


Interpreting & ApplyingResearch Metrics:
Reflections from a Humanist at a STEM-heavy University
Tim Kenyon (University of Waterloo)

Characterizing Research Impacts in & Around the Humanities
Tim Kenyon (University of Waterloo)

Dr. Kenyon is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Associate Dean Arts, Research at the University of Waterloo, as well as a member of the Impacts Advisory Group at the Federation for the Humanities & Social Sciences.  His visit was made possible thanks to generous support from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Arts, and the Federation for the Humanities & Social Sciences.

Careers Outside Academia: A Roundtable Discussion

Kenton Storey, Ph.D.:
A recent postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History at the U of M, Dr. Storey has been a research associate for Public History Inc. and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission for Indian Residential Schools, and is now an independent research contractor for a number of law firms.

Kendra Magnus-Johnston, M.A.: Formerly a Ph.D. candidate at the U of M, after four years of doctoral studies, Ms Magnus-Johnston elected to pursue other interests, and is now co-owner of Fools & Horses Coffee Company, and also works as a marketing consultant, arts coordinator, and research collaborator.

Paul Jenkins, Ph.D.: Before coming to the U of M, Dr. Jenkins put his graduate education to use as a research associate for the William F. Vilas Trust, a philanthropic foundation, and as a consultant/researcher on a television documentary series produced by IWC Media and the BBC.

Kris Gies, Ph.D.: Dr. Gies has transferred his graduate experience to academic publishing, working in the Higher Education Division at the University of Toronto Press.  He has contributed to University Affairs on the subject of non-academic careers and has given talks to graduate programs in Canada and the United States.

FALL 2016

Public Humanities: A Panel Discussion
Susan Prentice (Sociology), Karin James (German),
Niigaan Sinclair (Native Studies), & Neil McArthur (Philosophy).



More events coming soon

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