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文科博士:不自由,且无用的灵魂?

文科博士:不自由,且无用的灵魂?



我们翻译这篇文章的理由


曾几何时,硕士生毕业留校任教还是司空见惯,但如今本校的博士生往往难以留在本校,只有更高层次或是海外博士学历,以及丰硕的学术成果才能在学术圈内立足。理工科博士尚且还有更多出路,而文科博士无疑面临更残酷的就业环境,不仅教职竞争趋于白热化,而一路苦读之后的文科博士们发现自己也尚不具备走出“象牙塔”的就业能力。面对这一现状,英美许多大学设置了专业的博士就业辅导,并设置了跨学科、跨组织、校企合作的培养体系。在持续变动的社会里,越来越多的文科博士将走出学术圈,他们必须学会调整心态,迎接就业市场的挑战,而各大高校也理应转变“万般皆下品,唯有学术高”的价值观念,推动博士培养制度向多样化转变,如此我们才能在这个理工至上的时代,更好发挥人文科学在公共空间的作用。

                                                                              ——朱小钊


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文科博士到底能干啥?


作者:Elizabeth Segran

译者:罗玉池

校对:朱小钊

推荐:王雅婧

策划:朱小钊 & 刘小康


What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway?
文科博士到底能干啥?
The choice to leave academia does not have to mean life as a barista.
离开学术界不一定就意味着只能做咖啡师。


There is a widespread belief that humanities Ph.D.s have limited job prospects. The story goes that since tenure-track professorships are increasingly being replaced by contingent faculty, the vast majority of English and history Ph.D.s now roam the earth as poorly-paid adjuncts or, if they leave academia, as baristas and bookstore cashiers. As English professor William Pannapacker put it in Slate a few years back, “a humanities Ph.D. will place you at a disadvantage competing against 22-year-olds for entry-level jobs that barely require a high-school diploma.” His advice to would-be graduate students was simple: Recognize that a humanities Ph.D is now a worthless degree and avoid getting one at all cost.

人们普遍认为文科博士就业面狭窄,由于临时教职岗位正逐渐取代终身教职,放眼全球,许多英语或历史学博士不得不屈身于薪资低廉的助教岗位,而离开学术界的博士则成为了咖啡师或是书店的收银员。数年前,英语文学教授威廉·潘纳帕科尔在Slate杂志中撰文写道,“当你要与一个22岁的年轻人竞争一个仅需高中文凭的入门级岗位时,文科博士的学位甚至会让你处于劣势。”他给有意读博的硕士们提出的建议很简单:文科博士毫无价值,千万不要读。


Since most doctoral programs have never systematically tracked the employment outcomes of their Ph.D.s, it was hard to argue with Pannapacker when his article came out. Indeed, all anecdotal evidence bade ill for humanities doctorates. In 2012, the Chronicle of Higher Education profiled several humanities Ph.D.s who were subsisting on food stamps. Last year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette eulogized Margaret Mary Vojtko, an 83-year-old French adjunct who died in abject poverty after teaching for more than two decades at Dusquesne University, scraping by on $25,000 a year before being unceremoniously fired without severance or retirement pay.

鉴于大多数博士项目从未系统追踪过博士生的就业情况,因此当潘纳帕科尔的文章刊出后,人们很难跟他论辩。的确,坊间传闻对文科博士的境遇给出了许多负面例证。2012年,《高等教育纪事报》刊登了一群依靠救济食物勉强维生的文科博士。2013年,《匹兹堡邮政公报》登载了玛格丽特·玛丽·沃伊克特的“悲壮”事迹:作为一个83岁高龄的法语助教,她在杜肯大学任教超过20年,最终却死于贫困。此前,她每年仅靠25000美元勉强度日,最后还被校方粗暴辞退,没有获得一分遣散费或退休金。


Recent studies suggest that these tragedies do not tell the whole story about humanities Ph.D.s. It is true that the plate tectonics of academia have been shifting since the 1970s, reducing the number of good jobs available in the field: “The profession has been significantly hollowed out by the twin phenomena of delayed retirements of tenure-track faculty and the continued ‘adjunctification’ of the academy,” Andrew Green, associate director at the Career Center at the University of California, Berkeley, told me. In the wake of these changes, there is no question that humanities doctorates have struggled with their employment prospects, but what is less widely known is between a fifth and a quarter of them go on to work in well-paying jobs in media, corporate America, non-profits, and government. Humanities Ph.D.s are all around us— and they are not serving coffee.

不过近期的研究指出,这些悲剧性事件并非文科博士的生活全貌。自上世纪七十年代以来,学术界的确发生了结构性变化,优质的工作岗位不断减少。加州大学伯克利分校就业中心的副主任安德鲁·格林告诉笔者:“学术界已经显著空心化,这源自两大伴生现象,一是终身教授延长退休年限,二是学术界的‘临时工’化”。在这种情况下,文科博士无疑对其职业前景忧心忡忡。但鲜为人知的是,仍有15%到25%的文科博士在媒体、企业、非营利组织和政府机构中获得了优渥的工作。文科博士活跃于各行各业中,他们并没有在端咖啡。


The American Historical Association (AHA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA) have staked out the position that the lack of reliable data about employment outcomes is hindering any productive discussion about the future of academia. Both organizations are currently undertaking major studies that will comprehensively document the career trajectories of generations of humanities Ph.D.s. Preliminary reports released in the past few months show that 24.1 percent of history Ph.D.s and 21 percent of English and foreign language Ph.D.s over the last decade took jobs in business, museums, and publishing houses, among other industries.

美国历史学会和现代语言学会明确表示,缺乏可信的就业数据正妨碍我们对学术界的未来展开有效讨论。目前,这两所机构正广泛收集记录历届文科博士的就业数据,并将加以研究。几个月前发布的初步报告显示,在过去几十年间,24.1%的历史学博士和21%的英语及其他语言类博士任职于商业、博物馆、出版行业等各大行业。


Until recently, the best available employment data came from the U.S. Survey for Doctorate Recipients, completed by doctoral candidates when they file their dissertations. Experts told me that this is not an ideal time to conduct a census, since many Ph.D.s only begin looking for non-academic work after graduation or take an adjunct position before getting a corporate job. But even when you take into account the limitations in the data, it is clear that Ph.D.s have been successfully finding alternative careers for a long time: the 1995 survey found 16.6 percent of humanities Ph.D.s were going into management-level positions outside the academy, while 4.9 percent would work in media and the arts.

最近,美国博士学位调查报告发布了一项极具参考价值的就业数据。这项调查由博士候选人在其提交毕业论文后填写。虽然专家认为这并不是展开此类调查的最佳时机,毕竟许多博士只会在毕业后才开始寻找非学术类的工作,或是在进入企业工作前会先担任助教。不过,虽然这份数据存在许多局限,但它仍清楚地表明:在相当长的一段时间里,博士们已经能够成功地找到非学术类的工作:1995年的一份调查显示,16.6%的文科博士进入了学术界外的管理层,而4.9%的博士在媒体或是艺术界发光发热。


Part of the reason we don’t see this story as clearly is that Ph.D.s who leave tend to be less vocal about the horrors of academia. “The people who end up in adjunct jobs are the most embittered about the profession,” Robert Townsend, director of the Washington Office of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-author of the AHA report, told me. “They are most likely to talk about how they feel about the job market and this creates a certain misimpression about the overall outcomes of humanities Ph.D.s.” Adjuncts have every reason to be angry: Apart from their abysmal pay, they are often treated as second-class citizens by their departments and colleagues. But their fate is not the only option for those who do not land tenure-track positions.

我们对博士就业问题的片面认知,其中一个原因在于许多离开学术圈的博士很少愿意公开讨论学术圈的惨状。罗伯特·汤森是美国艺术和科学学会华盛顿办事处的主任,曾经参与编撰美国历史学会年报,他曾告诉笔者:“那些最终只能做助教的博士更愿意公开讨论博士的就业前景,而他们往往对学术圈怨念尤深,这就恰恰导致了人们对于文科博士总体出路的错误认知”。不得不说,助教们有充分的理由表达不满:他们不仅薪资惨淡,还常常被系里的其他同事视作‘二等公民’。不过对于没有获得终身教职的博士们而言,当助教并非唯一出路。


The latest data goes against the conventional wisdom that humanities Ph.D.s are not qualified to work outside the ivory tower. On the contrary, Paula Chambers, founder of Versatile Ph.D., a service that prepares graduate students for the non-academic job market, says she has seen humanities Ph.D.s find work in virtually every industry: a Ph.D. in Greek and Roman history landed a marketing job at a wine estate; a Ph.D. in English serves as a VP at an educational technology company; a Ph.D. in British history is a branch chief at the National Parks Service; a Ph.D. in Classics is a director at a hedge fund; the list goes on. Victoria Blodgett, director of Graduate Career Services at Yale University, told me, “People who take their Ph.D.s into other realms are not necessarily being hired for their content expertise, but for their process skills: the ability to do excellent research, to write, to make cogent arguments.” These skills, it turns out, are in high demand.

最新数据表明,文科博士生在象牙塔外也能胜任许多职位,这与传统认知恰恰相悖。宝拉·钱伯斯创办了一个名为“全能博士”的组织,旨在为博士生寻找非学术类工作提供帮助。她说道,其实她在各行各业都能看到文科博士生的身影:有在酒庄做销售的古希腊罗马史博士;有在教育科技公司担任副董事的英语博士;一个英国史博士成为了国家公园管理机构的某部门领导;而一个古典学博士已成为某对冲基金的主管。耶鲁大学就业服务中心的主任维多利亚·布罗杰特表示:“那些能够胜任其他领域工作的博士,不一定是因为他们的专业足够对口,而是因为他们具备处理各项事务的技能,比如他们能产出高质量的调查研究,写作和表达能力都十分出色。” 事实上,市场对这些技能有大量需求。


So why are humanities Ph.D.s outside academia so invisible? One reason is that within academic departments there is a culture of stigmatizing doctoral candidates who take non-academic posts, making them less inclined to stick around and contribute to debates about the future of the field. When I spoke to Rosemary Feal, executive director of the MLA, she said, “There is a discourse of failure and shame that intimidates Ph.D.s and makes them feel not good enough if they don’t get an academic job.” This dynamic is a byproduct of a value system that prizes intellectual pursuits over business and industry. “Some dissertation advisors are prejudiced against many jobs outside academia that Ph.D.s pursue and find highly satisfying: They cannot imagine a ‘life of the mind’ unless you become a scholar,” Feal explained.

那么为何学术圈外的文科博士仿佛人间蒸发了一般呢?一大原因在于学术圈内一种特有文化,即没有从事学术研究的博士毕业生往往会遭受污名化,这不仅使得这群人不愿意留在学术圈,对学术圈的未来发展也是不愿建言献策。美国现代语言协会的执行董事露丝玛莉·菲亚尔表示:“学术圈的话语体系导致博士们认为如果没有在学术界拿到体面的教职,他们就是失败者。”这种失败和耻辱的心态便是学术圈“万般皆下品,唯有学术高”这一价值观下的产物。“如果博士找到了一份称心如意的非学术工作,一些博士生导师会对此嗤之以鼻,他们认为只有成为学者,才能过上所谓的 ‘精神生活‘。”菲亚尔解释道。


These values are reinforced at an institutional level when departments and advisors are rewarded with grants and better rankings when their graduate students get academic appointments. “For the longest time graduate schools were in a state of denial about non-academic placements because it was in their interest to maintain the fiction that a majority of their Ph.D. students were getting good tenure-track jobs,” Chambers says. The prejudice against non-academic careers crippled efforts to collect data about the employability of humanities doctorates.

在制度层面上,学术界正不断加强这种价值观。如果博士毕业生能在学术界获得教职,他们的院系和导师都将因此获得奖励,学院也会获得更高的排名。钱伯斯谈道:“长久以来,研究生院都对非学术实习持否定态度,因此从自身利益出发,他们需要维护一种神话,即大多数的博士生都将得到一个理想的终身教职。”对于非学术职业的偏见严重阻碍了文科博士就业数据的收集。


“There is a lot of bias in the sample of what departments are tracking,” Green says. “Ph.D.s who slink away from their programs and take jobs that they find very rewarding in business, government, or a non-profit—but are not faculty positions—typically become non-entities within their graduate programs.”

“学院追踪的就业数据中存在大量偏见,”格林说,“那些半途而废,没有取得教职,但在商界、政界或是非盈利机构找到工作的博士们,大部分在他们的博士生项目中都仿佛不曾拥有姓名。”


Since most departments did not keep accurate accounts of where their Ph.D.s were ending up, they could not realistically inform prospective students about their chances of getting an academic job upon graduation, which is perhaps why so many felt betrayed when there were no tenure-track jobs waiting for them after years of graduate study. “The question is, do you owe these incoming students faithful information?” Green asks. “I think the answer is yes, because otherwise how do you expect them to make an informed, responsible decision?” Humanities Ph.D.s typically secure non-academic jobs through their own networks, without the support of their departments. For those Ph.D.s who ultimately find work outside academia, the job-hunting process is often longer and harder than it needs to be. Few universities offer humanities doctoral candidates career counseling for non-academic jobs, which would help them market themselves and leverage alumni networks. Services like Versatile Ph.D. have stepped in to offer a supportive environment for Ph.D.s to explore alternative careers, but there is now a growing consensus that universities need to be doing more to change the culture of graduate programs.

既然大多数院系没能准确掌握博士生们的毕业走向,自然也无从告知在读的博士生他们在毕业后有多大几率能留在学术界,这或许就是为何许多人在寒窗苦读多年后终于发现,终身教职不过只是镜花水月,因此感到一种深切的背叛。“问题在于是否应该给新生提供准确可信的就业数据,”格林说,“我认为这是肯定的,不然他们凭何做出明智而可靠的职业选择。”通常,文科博士们只有通过自己的社交网络才能找到学术圈外的工作,而非学院的支持。对他们而言,找工作的过程往往比实际需要的更漫长,更艰难。几乎没有大学会为文科博士候选人提供关于非学术工作的职业咨询,但正是完善的职业咨询才能帮助他们学会自我推销,并充分利用校友资源。尽管如“全能博士“这样的机构已经开始介入,帮助博士生探索其他的职业道路,但越来越多人认为,大学应该做出更多努力,来改变学术为尊的学术圈文化。


The MLA and the AHA have begun to put pressure on universities to better educate graduate students about their non-academic career options. With a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, they have jointly embarked on a project that will comprehensively document employment outcomes of humanities Ph.D.s and recommend policy changes. “We ought to be doing more as a profession to make it clear what the likelihood is of getting an academic job and to prepare graduate students for more expanded career horizons,” Feal says.

现代语言学会和美国历史学会已经开始给大学施加压力,敦促他们为博士生的非学术职业选择提供更全面的指导。在安德鲁·W·梅隆基金的大力资助下,他们还联合启动了一个新项目,该项目旨在全面记录文科博士的就业走向并为政策修改提供相关建议。“作为一个职业,我们应该做的还有更多,我们不仅要让研究生们清楚他们获得学术类工作的可能性,还要帮助他们拓宽就业道路。“菲尔亚说道。


As a solution to the shrinking academic job market, several top Ph.D. programs have opted to reduce the number of incoming doctoral candidates to limit their oversupply. However, some argue that this approach does not recognize that many humanities Ph.D.s will go on to positively impact other industries, as many already have. “Academic institutions hold a responsibility to advance knowledge,” Blodgett argues. “We should be in the business of putting Ph.D.s in government, non-profits, the media and lots of industries where we will be better off if we have people who are trained to think as deeply as they are.”

面对日益萎缩的学术就业市场,一些顶级博士项目选择缩招,以此来控制“供大于求”的局面。然而,有人认为这一行为否定了文科博士给其他行业带来的积极效益,如同很多文科博士已经做到的那样。“学术机构有责任推动知识进步,”布罗杰特认为,“我们有责任让更多的博士们进入政府、非营利组织、媒体等行业工作,如果这些行业能拥有像他们那样训练有素而深入思考的人,整个社会将会更美好。”


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点评


德国社会学家马克斯·韦伯在《学术作为一种志业》中曾提到,学术训练是精神贵族的事,可以享受知性的快乐,但做学术仍是一场疯狂的冒险,只有将学术作为精神上的志业才能走远。这听上去似乎有些不切实际的浪漫,但仍然有不少博士或是带着类似的初心选择在学术上继续打磨,将理想的教职视为学术研究的桂冠。但是高校教职的新聘门槛越来越高,抱着学术理想的博士们不得不在浪漫与现实之间挣扎。文科博士无疑面临更为沉重的压力,他们只能徘徊在有限的选择之间,或是“退而求其次”,离开学术圈另谋出路。


随但着跨领域、跨学科称为常态,知识也不再仰赖象牙塔中的学术共同体来完成,传统的博士教育过于狭窄的学科分类与职业定向也因此受到挑战。可以期许的是,人文博士毕业生应该考虑非学术的职业发展路径,对人文博士的学术训练赋予的优势与劣势有清醒的认识,以更为包容的心态迎接就业市场的挑战,将优势转化为无可替代的竞争力。而高校也理应推动实现价值观念和制度设计的多样化,改变学术为尊的文化氛围。选择文科未必是条孤独的不归路,在学术圈之外,亦有无数条康庄大道。


2019年10月29日

王雅婧


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参考阅读


《致青年学者》

《致青年学者:一位诺贝奖获得者的人生忠告》是诺贝尔奖获得者圣地亚哥·拉蒙-卡哈尔的传世之作,在很多国家被列为大学生、青年学者的必读书籍。卡哈尔将他自己进行科学研究的心得以及在大学执教所作的思考进行总结,希望帮助刚刚迈入科学研究大门的年轻人建立正确的研究态度和方法。《致青年学者:一位诺贝奖获得者的人生忠告》谈到了作为一名学者应该具备的素质,研究时的态度与方法,以及影响科学研究工作的社会因素,而这些对现在的研究者来说仍然十分重要。


https://book.douban.com/subject/4247329/

千万别读文科研究生

“因为就业前景黯淡,缺乏有吸引力的工作,大学生活被越来越理想化了。他们认为研究生院将继续那个浪漫的生活经验,能够让他们作为老师和学者永远留在大学。”


https://www.douban.com/note/146748003/

文科博士太难了,为什么我还要读?

“我的快乐很少,当然我也不痛苦。主要是生活稀薄,事件密度非常低。

——刘瑜 《一个人要像一支队伍》”


http://www.bjnews.com.cn/culture/2019/09/20/628026.html

The disposable academic: why doing a PhD is often a waste of time

“Universities have discovered that PhD students are cheap, highly motivated and disposable labour.”


https://medium.economist.com/why-doing-a-phd-is-often-a-waste-of-time-349206f9addb

The Problem with China’s PhD Programs? They’re All Academic

http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1004555/the-problem-with-chinas-phd-programs%3F-theyre-all-academic



文科博士:不自由,且无用的灵魂?

  • 本文原载于 The Atlantic

  • 原文链接:https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/03/what-can-you-do-with-a-humanities-phd-anyway/359927/



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文科博士:不自由,且无用的灵魂?


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