Working in the Creative Arts & Public Humanities

Connect with a diverse range of partners in a dynamic, interdisciplinary co-curricular space. Over the course of the 2022-23 academic year, this cohort will meet with a diverse range of speakers across a range of spaces — both on and off-campus. This interdisciplinary graduate learning cohort will be an informal community of critical inquiry and an engaging, supportive learning environment. Together, we will explore ways to engage, partner with, and work with cultural organizations, and we will consider issues such as access and diversity in the arts, public engagement and outreach, digital humanities, and art and social change.

Working in the Creative Arts is a collaboration between the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, the McCarter Theatre Center, and Princeton alumni who work in or adjacent to the arts. Originally conceived by Lucy Partman and Michael Zhang, the series is led by James M. Van Wyck with Dylan Blau Edelstein (PhD Student in Spanish and Portuguese). Series advisors include Debbie Bisno from McCarter Theatre and Bruce Payne, Associate Provost for the Arts, Hunter College.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand of the relationships between performance and research, criticism and production, theory and practice, and administration and academia
  • Explore career paths in the public humanities, theatre, the arts and GLAMS (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums)
  • Learn how to engage, partner, and work with cultural organizations
 "Often, the prospect of leaving academia fills students with fear. However, with experience at nonprofits and GLAM industries, students have the potential to pursue interesting and meaningful careers. One of the signal messages brought throughout both trips is that we do not need to view the academic market in binaries of academia and alt-ac. With a reimagined lens—and a perspective designed for the realities of the academic market—it is possible to continue publishing books, working in related fields, and ultimately ending up back in academia, if desired. This idea feels revolutionary, but with the changing landscape in the academy, it feels essential."

Shelby Lohr, GS, HIS

Genevieve Allotey-Pappoe
"Whether or not I decide to stay in academia, there are all of these other paths—not just in music, but in the humanities in general. There are industries and organizations that will engage with humanities graduate students, but a lot of people don’t know that."

Genevieve Allotey-Pappoe, GS, MUS

Presenters & Speakers

James M. Van Wyck
Assistant Dean for Professional Development
Debbie Bisno
Director of University and Artistic Partnerships, McCarter Theatre
Social Impact Fellowship Mentor
Dylan Blau Edelstein, GS, SPO
University Administrative Fellow

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About GradFUTURES Learning Cohorts


GradFUTURES’ interdisciplinary learning cohorts build community among and between graduate students and reinforce each student’s graduate training while drawing on their content knowledge to inform the cohort’s investigation of the topic. As part of the cohort, students will read and discuss books, articles, and case studies. Learning cohorts typically also include at least one experiential component such as an immersive project, a site visit, conference presentation, or fellowship/internship opportunities. Interdisciplinary discussions, reflection, synthesis, community building, and immersive experiences are integral components of each learning cohort experience.