Let’s do something!

Hortensii is a group of people inside and outside academia who want to alleviate the difficulties facing PhDs without permanent academic jobs. We take our name from the Roman Quintus Hortensius, who in c. 287 BC sponsored the Lex Hortensia giving civil rights to Roman plebeians.

We think that despite the current unpleasant realities facing academia many positive steps could be taken; see ‘What to do and why’ (or, if you are really brave, ‘Full report’) for exactly what these are, but to oversimplify grossly our goals are both to reduce the oversupply of disappointed would-be academics by making it easier to leave academia, and to make life better for PhDs who choose to remain in academia without a permanent job. We welcome anyone who shares these goals and is in broad agreement with our proposed actions to join us and help implement them (see ‘Please join us’ and leave an endorsement on this page if you can), and we ask people with other agendas to respect ours and leave us to it.

We are not fighting against anyone or anything and are not affiliated with any movement, political party, or country. Nor are we trying to help individuals gain employment or to interfere in any way with decisions on who should get the limited number of academic jobs available; as we have different subjects and different views on what constitutes good academic work in our fields, we wish to avoid internal dissension by remaining strictly neutral in such matters so we can work together to make life better for a group that badly needs such help.

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63 thoughts on “Let’s do something!

  1. I endorse this project! Thank you to all the people coming together to support this important work. Together, we can make a difference!

  2. I’d like to join. I have presented some ideas in my own institution, but they haven’t gone very far. I’d like to make it easier for PhD students who are interested in schoolteaching to prepare for it, and to allow them also to get training in Information. Even if only a few pursued these options while doing the PhD, having programs like this might send the message that the academic job market is bad more effectively than just talking about it.

  3. I was linked to Hortensii from a Guardian article and am happy to endorse this initiative. I will be starting a DPhil in October and find it heartening to know such discussions are taking place.

  4. Excellent initiative.
    It should probably be made mandatory for a link to this site to be sent to every prospective postgraduate student.

  5. I wholeheartedly endorse this project, and am so very glad to see these discussions gaining momentum and helping our community/-ies formulate local strategies and plans for action. Thank you for all the excellent work to get us to this early stage in what will be a long haul…
    Brett M. Rogers, Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Puget Sound

  6. I think this is a wonderful and very timely project. Thank you for bringing this problem to the fore and trying to make a difference – together, I know we can!

  7. I would like to endorse this project and add my name to the cause. I hope that in the future we will be able to create opportunities for our PhDs both inside and outside fields of education. Ultimately, the future of the liberal arts depends on our marketing ourselves as broadly as possible.

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