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Palgrave Macmillan

The Unruly PhD

Doubts, Detours, Departures, and Other Success Stories

ISBN 9781137373106
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Paperback Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The Unruly PhD is a collection of first-person stories recounted by former graduate students who have successfully reached the other side of a PhD - and are willing to speak frankly about the challenges and decisions they faced along the way. Their stories reveal that many of the difficulties associated with graduate school are institutional rather than personal; that getting sidetracked, detoured and even derailed are the norm, not the exception; and that success is not necessarily tied to the tenure track - or even to completion. Ultimately, The Unruly PhD leaves no doubt that there are as many right ways to get through graduate school as there are students willing to forge their own paths.

Rebecca Peabody is Head of Research Projects and Programs at the Getty Research Institute, USA.

Essay 1: Derek
Essay 2: Josephine
Essay 3: Jennifer
Interview: Kara Cooney
Sidebar 1: What it Took to Get it Done
Essay 1: Anika
Essay 2: Gabriel
Essay 3: Kerry
Interview: Peter Weller
Interview: Karen Kelsky
Sidebar 2: What I Know Now that I Wish I'd Known Then
Essay 1: Rodrigo
Essay 2: Jason
Essay 3: Tony
Interview: Lauren Willig


"I can only hope that when a PhD candidate is in the midst of panic, paralyzing fear, boredom, apathy, or even revulsion, the stories in Peabody's book will come to their mind—in snippets, in remnants, as something they can store away and use. If graduate students could read real-world accounts of not only how to face these trials, but how to face them creatively, this would be a real and empowering thing. Indeed, I would recommend this book to all my graduate students. This is the kind of book one could read at the beginning of the PhD journey as well as at the end." - Kara Cooney, Associate Professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
"The Unruly PhD fills a hole in the post-academic career literature with its in-depth first-person essays about surviving the ups and downs of graduate school and the life afterwards. Although many students instinctively turn to the web and blogosphere for guidance and community, navigating the sheer number of narratives can be overwhelming. The book will also be tremendously helpful for friends and family of PhDs to get an inkling about the PhD experience." - Melissa Epstein, Founder, NYC VersatilePhD
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