The authors call for more flexible dissertation projects but also argue that problems with graduate education range far wider than the doctoral dissertation. Many faculty resist the idea that the humanities can train students in skills that are useful, even marketable, outside of higher education. Graduate programs must find ways to stress these transferable skills and do better at preparing students for nonprofessorial jobs within and outside academia—including taking new approaches to the dissertation requirement. Humanists who take refuge in the seemingly high-minded idea that the humanities are only valuable for their own sake, or because they lack utility, make it harder to address these issues.

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