Why BtB?

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Often, humanities departments, faculty, and graduate students focus on single-author publication – of books and journal articles – as the primary output of humanities research. This approach to research is rapidly becoming less effective for scholars in the humanities due to both reductions in line funding or grants for publication (publishing, subventions, image rights, or indexing) as well as fellowships and funding for course buyouts. Simultaneously, the landscape of humanities research is changing due to funding priorities from research sponsors and a groundswell of graduate students seeking to develop alternate, mixed methods, or non-standard dissertations and research projects. In addition to these changes, interest in new research areas such as digital humanities, innovation development, and public humanities as well as varied research methods including collaborative, engaged, or community-based are growing as the humanities work to express their value in the funding world. Graduate students want to engage in these types of projects and incorporate these methodologies, but may struggle as such projects are often ineligible for tenure and thus discouraged. In concert with these funding and research trends broadly in academe, graduate students may struggle to connect with faculty who have been able to successfully navigate these changes in order to receive effective mentoring for their own career and research planning. How do young scholars navigate the changing dictums of tenure, funding, alternative pathways, and their desires to generate new, often unique frameworks for research? This speaker series offers a two part answer: 1) information about alternate styles and methods of research which have been successful for humanities researchers in order to develop and implement our research visions and 2) a reorientation to research and project design that bridges what sponsors see as high value (read fundable) research outcomes and our disciplinary dictums for publishing as the primary research outcome.