December 2013

The White Paper reports on the chronic problem of humanities PhD academic underemployment, develops an argument for the social value of high-level humanities research and teaching, and outlines a series of measures for the reform of the PhD in the humanities. We note that most recent thinking about humanities graduate study has focused on the institution of the academy and the academic labour market. While we agree that these are significant focal points, we nevertheless maintain that it is important to develop a wider viewpoint that sees the university as a participant in the political world. The White Paper is meant as a provocation to diverse ways of thinking about the future of the humanities PhD. It does not represent the vision of Future Humanities as a whole, but is rather one example of the multiple perspectives that our initiative hopes to encourage.

White Paper (EN)

Livre Blanc (FR)



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IPLAI’s very own Stephen Wittek has published his first book! With the goal of establishing a more thorough understanding of the central, formative function of Shakespeare’s theatre in the news culture of early modern England, the book combines historical research with recent developments in public sphere theory, and argues that the unique discursive space created by commercial theatre helped to foster the conceptual framework that made news possible. In 2014, the CBC Radio One program  Ideas  showcased  Dr. Wittek’s research as part of the ‘Ideas from the Trenches’ series (available for streaming or download here: