Comparative Literature & English

The American University of Paris


Getting a job

Open class on poetry publication – 29 October 2014 at 15:30 in G21

Siân Daffyd and Jeffrey Greene are hosting Daniel Lawless, the editor of Plume. He’ll be talking about how he develops and maintains an on-line magazine. The talk will be held in G21 in the Grenelle building.

Jeff and Siân have kindly opened the class to any interested AUP student or alum.

And don’t forget the poetry reading event to celebrate the publication of the new Plume Anthology of Poetry, in the Grand Salon on Thursday 30 October.


Jesse T Lichtenstein

photo 2Daniel Medin is at  BookExpo America in New York, where he ran into Jesse T. Lichtenstein, recent graduate in the MA in Cultural Translation. She works for Seven Stories Press in New York, and has two published translations, including this one, the amazing Natural Histories by Guadalupe Nettel.

What our alumni do – Pascal Jeanjean

On Monday 31 March, on TV5, there will be a documentary about Pascal Jeanjean, alumnus of the department (class of 1988). He is a master papermaker. This interview with him gives a great account of what it is to really decide what you would want to do with your life, and includes this delightful insight:

As a literary person who also loves the visual arts, and who is interested in books, I have always been aware of paper as a base, a support. There is a relation between the base and the contents. We choose our paper depending on what we want to write, and this choice is generally an unconscious one.

The documentary is on TV5 Monde, Monday 31 March, 16:25-17:00.


For students considering graduate school…

This, from Avidly, is one of the loveliest and most eloquent accounts of why – even after you have heard the arguments against  – it might still be a great thing to do, to go to graduate school in the humanities. The author, Pete Coviello, suggests that the first value is that you learn a language which makes the quality of the world visible:

You are enjoined to develop an analytic vocabulary that equips you, first, actually to see the world unfolding around as in fact possessed of a detailed, finely-textured intricacy, and second, to describe that intricacy, and why it matters, with clarity and precision and grace.

And the second value is that you do that together, collectively, as part of a scene with others. The combination of these two qualities may have persistent worth:

In this way, if you’re lucky, the trade-languages of your discipline can get interfused with the heated, ambulatory, extravagant kinds of talk by which the intimate worlds you assemble in these years are sustained, worlds that are marked by frustration and fear, without question – it is graduate school – but also by great quantities of intellectual exhilaration, and hilarity, and care. Eventually, of course, years, and the demands of varying modes of life, will have their dispersive effects. But one of the things you may find you’re left with in the aftermath of all that upheaval and displacement, along with your questionably-valuable degree, is just that mixed and variegated language, that winning idiolect. Continuing to trade versions of it back and forth across windening distances, you may find, is one of the ways the best, most energizing aspects of those worlds can be nurtured, transformed, extended into unforeseen futures.

Read the whole article here.

Silicon Valley needs humanities students.

Stanford News just reported on Bibliotech – a conference about how Silicon Valley is looking for humanities graduates.

They note that:

Entrepreneurs said that fast-growing start-up companies need people with a wide range of skills, especially those who can help companies extend their global reach, connect with consumers and understand different cultures.

And describe how those with PhD degrees in the humanities are particularly valuable to them.

Read the full story here

Business or Spanish: Which is Harder? Which is More “Useful”?

Humanities +, the great blog about employment in the humanities, run by Scott Sprenger at Brigham Young University drew our attention to an article in the  NYT of 18 April:
“[My daughter] Caitlin is graduating from a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania next month, and I emailed her today to ask which was harder during the past four years — her business classes or her Spanish courses. Her reply was ‘Spanish hands down.'”
But is Spanish a practical choice? – the article continued:

When PayScale conducted its latest annual survey of starting and mid-career salaries for college grads in dozens of college majors, business came in as the 60th best-paying college degree. It fared worse than such supposedly impractical degrees as history, political science and philosophy.

Read more here:

Interning with Shakespeare

Danielle Savage from the career development office reminds students of the possibility of interning, for example at Shakespeare and company:

The Shakespeare and Co website

Legendary?  Mythical?  Unique? These words don’t begin to do justice to Shakespeare and Company, the bookstore and cultural institution that has been serving the international literary community for over 50 years. Many know it as a place where a used book in English can be picked up for as little as 2 euros seven days a week, but it is also an antiquarian bookseller and unofficial cultural center, hosting dozens of author signings, readings, plays, and other happenings a year, along with a literary festival. A recent Friday evening witnessed a free concert by indie-folk band Moriarty which drew crowds out to beyond the courtyard in front of the store, making it impossible to actually go in and buy a book. Continue reading “Interning with Shakespeare”

Jobs for people with degrees in the humanities

This blog – ‘Humanities +’, compiled by Scott Sprenger of Brigham Young university – has useful advice about getting jobs with a degree in a humanities discipline. It turns out that, if you can describe your skills in the right way, you may well have the skills that many employers want.

Some of the posts are specific to students at Sprenger’s university; others contain advice, or link to pages like this one, that could be useful to all of us.

The Careers office and Internship opportunities

The web=page for the career’s development office is here; speak to Danielle Savage – career’s advisor – for personal advice.

There are a number of internship opportunities for students of literature. The internship office site is here; or speak to Maggie Pazderski for more information

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