Category Archives: Convention

MLA 2017 CFP: The Politics of Representing the Underrepresented

Do safe structures exist for graduate students to address diversity-related concerns about academic culture in humanities programs? Submit 250-word proposal and CV to Abstracts by 15 March 2016; Lisa Chinn (

The Committee on the Status of Graduate Students in the Profession invites presentations that consider the structures that may or may not exist for graduate students to discuss diversity in the humanities.

As many studies have shown, the relative paucity of diversity in the academy is not just relegated to the STEM fields. Humanities graduate students also face diversity-related concerns in the classroom, in mentorships, and on the job market. This panel asks participants to think about the structures by which diversity is still a problem, and structures and practices that can change academia for the better.

Please send 250-word proposal and CV to by 15 March 2016.

MLA 2017 CFP: Teaching as Theoretical Practice

How classrooms reflect, challenge theoretical frameworks (literary, linguistic, pedagogical); how graduate students can creatively integrate teaching and research in language, composition, and survey courses. Abstract (250 words), CV by 15 March to Caroline Egan ( and Fatma Tarlaci (

After a productive discussion about graduate student teaching opportunities at MLA16, the Committee on the Status of Graduate Students in the Profession invites presentations that consider the site of the classroom as a space of theoretical practice.

The relationship between teaching and research is a consistent professional concern in the study of languages and literatures. To echo the 2017 Presidential themes, literature and language classrooms (physical, virtual, and hybrid) are the most concrete and regular “parameters that define the space” of our professional lives. Incorporating our often-specialized research into the undergraduate classroom is both a challenge and an opportunity, and one that graduate students are expected to approach in both pragmatic and philosophical terms. This panel asks participants to reverse the terms of the question “how do you bring your research to bear on your teaching,” and instead to consider the formative role of teaching in developing research questions and theoretical frameworks. In what practical ways can graduate students inform and enhance their research through the (inter)disciplinary, scholarly, and spatial boundaries of their classrooms?

Topics of discussion might include, but are not limited to:

  • How can graduate students develop practices that render the relationship between teaching and research symbiotic rather than divisive?
  • How can graduate students productively exercise theoretical frameworks through course design, even when working with curricular content and objectives that are predetermined?
  • How can graduate students make teaching, as a pedagogical experience, augment their research on non-pedagogical topics?
  • How classroom experiences and pedagogical challenges shape our views of broad theoretical frameworks (for example, what are the ethics of presenting Marxist literary critique in an environment of increasing economic disparity? How does the diverse makeup of a particular classroom affect our understanding of cultural studies?)
  • What role can the classroom play in a public humanities agenda?
  • What assignments, activities, and modes of evaluation work best in a theory-oriented classroom (that is, where specific theoretical frameworks inform pedagogy, even if they are not the object(s) of study)?

Please send abstract (250 words) and CV to Caroline Egan ( and Fatma Tarlaci ( by 15 March.

The Graduate Student Lounge

Each year, the CSGSP hosts a lounge where graduate students can gather to relax, chat, and decompress. The lounge will have light snacks and beverages throughout the day, and we try to ensure outlet access for charging electronics as well. We will also host a networking event on January 8 at 5:15; information on what to expect and bios of the participants can be found here. Members of the CSGSP will be staffing the lounge throughout the convention, so please feel free to visit and say hi!

Austin Convention Center (10C, level 3)

  • Thursday, 7 January: 12:00 noon–7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, 8 January: 8:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 9 January: 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, 10 January: 8:00 a.m.–12:00 noon

Connected Academics sessions at MLA 2016

The following Connected Academics sessions may be of particular interest to graduate students.

306. Connected Academics: Humanists at Work
Program arranged by the University of California Humanities Research Institute Connected Academics Project.

Participants consider the changing nature of work and its relation to a variety of humanist careers. In particular, they examine risk taking and creativity as two necessary attributes for humanists at work in the world and challenge artificial distinctions made between humanist work “within” and “outside” the university, especially in relation to graduate education.

676. Connected Academics: Articulating the Value of the Humanities to the Larger World
Program arranged by the Georgetown University Connected Academics Project.

What is the value of the humanities out in the world? Panelists articulate the transferable values, skills, and attributes acquired through advanced training in the humanities. They also investigate how we can go beyond the “outreach” of the “public humanities” to what we might call “inreach”—the direct influence of humanist PhDs working in business and government.

763. Connected Academics: Redefining the Humanist Entrepreneur
Program arranged by the Arizona State University Connected Academics Project.

Participants include English and foreign language PhDs who have crafted scholarly identities outside the traditional academic department and utilized their scholarly expertise to invent new vocations. Their career paths ask us to reexamine our training, reimagine the boundaries of the academy, and reconsider scholarly skills and the careers they can lead to.

233. Connected Academics: Expanding Career Possibilities for PhDs
364. Connected Academics: A Showcase of PhD Career Diversity

Showcasing careers of PhD recipients who have put their advanced degrees in the humanities to work in a variety of rewarding occupations, these sessions are an opportunity to discover the wide range of employment possibilities available within and beyond the academy. Presenters are available at individual stations for one-on-one discussions about their jobs and the career paths that led to them.

Presenters include university employees in a variety of nonfaculty positions—including an associate director of principal gifts, a deputy director of a research initiative, and a director of career development—as well as a program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities, a director of a university press, high school teachers in English and foreign languages, a content creator for Twitter, a freelance translator and novelist, a director of a learned society, an independent library consultant, a managing editor of online communications and a director of information systems at a scholarly association, a director of grants at a state humanities organization, an archivist at a public policy think tank, an associate at a research institute serving the not-for-profit sector, an analyst at a publishing and media company, and a recent PhD recipient working in a for-profit design and development shop for digital media.