A Quit Lit Reader

Due Date: 07-15-2020

The Graduate School Press of Syracuse University invites submissions for a contributed volume titled A Quit Lit Reader. The editors welcome contributions from graduate students, faculty members, 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 education administrators, and the public a window on the realities of the academic job market and working conditions.

The editors seek two strands of contributions 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; and
  • long-term problems: quit lit as a symptom of and discourse on multigenerational 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 at

Suggestions for material to reprint may be forwarded at any time. For new contributions, please submit an abstract (less than 400 words) and résumé or brief CV to Chris Flanagan ( by 15 July 2020. Complete drafts will be due 30 September 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. Please direct submissions and inquiries to Christopher Flanagan, Graduate School Press, 304 Lyman Hall, Syracuse Univ., Syracuse, NY 13244 (315 443-3704;