Pages of open book

The first volume of #Alt-Academy is now available for download! This e-book, edited by Bethany Nowviskie, contains all 24 essays published by the 32 authors who contributed to #Alt-Academy's initial collection.

As Nowviskie described at the time of the 2011 launch,

#Alt-Academy was created by and for people with deep training and experience in the humanities, working or seeking employment — generally off the tenure track, but within the academic orbit — in universities and colleges, or allied knowledge and cultural heritage institutions such as museums, libraries, academic presses, historical societies, and governmental humanities organizations.

The work of such institutions is enriched and enabled by capable “alternative academics.” Although they are rarely conventionally-employed as faculty members, the people contributing to #Alt-Academy maintain a research and publication profile and bring their methodological and theoretical training to bear every day on problem-sets of great importance to higher education. For some, keeping their considerable talents within the academy can feel more difficult than making a switch to private-sector careers. Class divisions among faculty and staff are profound, and the suspicion or (worse) condescension with which so-called “failed academics” are met can be disheartening. For all that, these authors love their work. Many on the #alt-ac track describe the satisfaction of making teams (and systems, and programs) work, of solving problems and making or enabling breakthroughs in research and scholarship in their disciplines, and of contributing to and experiencing the life of the mind in ways they did not imagine when they entered grad school.

The #Alt-Academy site is for them, for their academic partners and institutional leaders, and for the next generation of hybrid humanities scholars — people who are building skills and experience in precisely those areas of the academy that are most in flux, and most in need of guidance and attention by sensitive, capable, imaginative, and well-informed scholar-practitioners.

We hope you enjoy revisiting this first set of #Alt-Academy contributions, as the project moves forward under new editorship and new voices add to the discussion.

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