On Graduate School in the Humanities

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“(W)e must think of graduate school as more like choosing to go to New York to become a painter or deciding to travel to Hollywood to become an actor. Those arts-based careers have always married hope and desperation into a tense relationship. We must admit that the humanities, now, is that way, too…For those students who seek to go to graduate school, presenting the choice as an artistic career means that we must accept that persistent professional disappointment is a central part of the life.”

James Mulholland at the Chronicle responds to Thomas Benton’s article calling graduate school in the humanities a “trap” and a “lie” (via)


Seth Fischer’s writing has twice been listed as notable in The Best American Essays and has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize by several publications, including Guernica. He was the founding Sunday editor at The Rumpus and is the current nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. He is a Dornsife PhD Fellow at USC and been awarded fellowships and residencies by Ucross, Lambda Literary, Jentel, Ragdale, and elsewhere, and he teaches at the UCLA-Extension Writer’s Program and Antioch University, where he received his MFA. More from this author →