JUNTO: What is your academic/historical background?
LIZ COVART: My historical background consists of training in both academic and public history. In terms of my academic training, I worked with William Pencak and Amy Greenberg as an undergraduate at the Pennsylvania State University. In graduate school, I honed my historical research, writing, and thinking skills with Alan Taylor at the University of California, Davis. My initial training in public history began at Boston National Historical Park where I worked as a seasonal interpretive ranger for five seasons. The wonderful experience I had interacting with the public has prompted me to seek out internships and volunteer opportunities with historical societies since 2007.
JUNTO: Can you tell us a bit about your post-PhD, alt-ac experience?
LC: My post-PhD experience has been one of experimentation. About three years before I graduated I started having doubts about whether the “traditional” tenure-track career path was the path for me. I wanted a job that combined serious historical research, with the public history goal of helping people connect with their past. Since 2012, I have explored numerous opportunities in academic and public history. Today, I work as an independent scholar. I am fashioning a career as a hybrid academic-public historian, a position that represents the not-so-distant future of the historical profession. This hybrid position involves historical research and writing, collaboration between academic and public historians, opportunities to experiment with conveying history through new media, and chances to interact with colleagues and non-specialists at conferences and events.