Mentors, Projects, Deliverables: Internships and Fellowships for Doctoral Students in the Humanities

By Rachel Arteaga and Kathleen Woodward

Since 2013 new graduate internship programs have been announced from Florida to California, and practice-based fellowships have also proliferated. Both are welcome responses to today’s spirited national conversation on the changes absolutely necessary to doctoral education and training, captured in the 2014 Report of the MLA Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature. The report recommends internships, in the university and in external institutions, as significant sites of professional development for doctoral students. We’re pleased to see that graduate-level internships are emerging as a national trend and that the term fellowship is being reinvigorated to encompass a wide variety of professional experiences and projects beyond the traditional support of research. In this brief piece we highlight some of these new programs, suggest a distinction between the terms internship and fellowship, and make recommendations for future program development. There is a tendency to talk about the changes that are needed in the future tense. But it is the present moment, and the immediacy of our collective concerns about doctoral education, that requires action. . . .

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