CFP: A Quit Lit Reader

Glenn Wright's picture
Call for Publications
July 15, 2020
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Graduate Studies, Humanities, Social Sciences


The Graduate School Press of Syracuse University invites submissions for a contributed volume titled A Quit Lit Reader, to be published by the Graduate School Press and distributed by Syracuse University Press. The editors welcome contributions from graduate students, faculty, and administrators working within academia, while especially seeking reflections of those pursuing careers mostly or wholly outside it.


This volume will use academic “quit lit” as a lens through which to examine the present situation and possible futures of doctoral education. It will include classic pieces of quit lit, commentary on the genre, and reflections on the difficult state of the academic career path that significantly inform the larger discussion. The collection will be useful to students and early-career academics in thinking about the challenges inherent in academic careers, while affording senior academics, higher ed administrators, and the public a window on the realities of the academic job market and working conditions.


The editors seek two strands of contribution in particular. First, we solicit essays that analyze or reflect on the quit-lit phenomenon, its antecedents, or its role in critiquing the academy. Possible topics include:

  • Alternate paths: the lure of career possibilities outside academia;
  • Unrealistic demands: changing perceptions of the academic life in connection with the professional and personal demands on faculty;
  • Affective and wellness dimensions: intersections of quit lit with the crisis in graduate student mental health, holistic well-being, and feelings of self-worth and agency;
  • Long-term problems: quit lit as a symptom of and discourse on multi-generational and structural pathologies of the academic labor market.

Secondly, we solicit original pieces of quit lit, either the personal reflections of people who chose to leave the academy (looking back on that decision, the factors that inspired it, and the personal/professional development they have experienced since) or recommendations for previously published pieces that merit consideration for the volume. Please consult the provisional list of contents.


Suggestions for material to reprint may be forwarded at any time. For new contributions, please submit an abstract (<400 words) and resume or brief CV to Chris Flanagan ( by July 15, 2020. Complete drafts will be due September 30, 2020, after which formal notice of acceptance will be made. Original, first-person quit lit may be of any length; secondary essays should be 3,000-8,000 words. Correspondence regarding the suitability of proposed contributions is welcome.


Contact Info: 

Dr. Christopher Flanagan

The Graduate School Press

304 Lyman Hall

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY 13244



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