Call for Proposals: Graduate Education at Work in the World

Macro photo of splashing water
Thursday, April 30, 2020 (All day) to Friday, May 1, 2020 (All day)

CFP: Graduate Education at Work in the World

Proposal Deadline: October 15, 2019
Conference Date: April 30 (public keynote) - May 1, 2020
Location: The Graduate Center, CUNY, NYC

Submit proposals at:

The Futures Initiative and PublicsLab of the Graduate Center, CUNY invite submissions for a free day-long conference and workshop: Graduate Education at Work in the World. The conference will bring together students, faculty, and administrators to collectively imagine and redesign graduate education to support students, scholarship, and the public good.

This conference will focus on new approaches to graduate education in support of the public good, without losing sight of other key elements of graduate education reform—including labor practices, student debt, efforts toward improving diversity and inclusion, shared governance, new modes of scholarly communication, pedagogical training, and more. Participants will generate ideas, share best practices, consider difficult questions, and work toward new models for graduate education that support an array of creative, flexible career paths.

Our premise is that graduate education can lead to engaging and often unexpected opportunities—but this should not be left entirely to chance and the initiative of individual students. Moreover, deep connections between scholars and society can be mutually beneficial, as scholars have much to learn from communities of practice and other knowledge sources while contributing their own expertise. However, for these relationships to grow and thrive, graduate education must shift from a reproductive model to a generative one. We ask: How can our institutions reshape graduate education to support different futures? How, in so doing, may we also serve multiple publics and communities and engage in the most pressing problems of our time?

We will be asking how, in any field, one learns to translate specialized skills and knowledge for different audiences—a skill vital to academe and beyond. How can scholarly research have an impact within the communities students care about? What forms of material and intellectual resources, institutional requirements, thoughtful mentorship, flexible curricular design, and co-curricular experiences help to shape future lives, at work and in communities? Together, we hope to envision and champion an academy that supports multiple futures and contributes to the development of meaningful relationships between scholars and society.

Possible Themes and Topics

  • Public-oriented teaching and research examples
  • Scholarship and pedagogy grounded in creative activity and artistic production
  • Project-based scholarship driven by social justice
  • Intellectual and practical skill development, vocational exploration, and civic professionalism
  • Academic labor structures
  • Preparing for community college teaching as a career pathway
  • Fostering deeper connections with community-based organizations
  • Institutional Structures
  • Curriculum development to support high-impact scholarship
  • Innovative dissertation models
  • The role of digital scholarship and digital literacy in education reform
  • Advising and mentorship for students interested in pathways beyond the classroom
  • Roles of graduate career services
  • Diverse career paths and students from historically underrepresented groups/backgrounds in the academy
  • Translating teaching and research skills for broader careers
  • Representing and translating skills and accomplishments
  • Mental health and emotional wellness
  • Involving students in shared governance
  • International students and careers
  • Public scholarship and sensitive topics
  • Admissions, recruitment, and retention
  • Measures of success
  • Motivation for graduate education
  • More!

Format of Sessions

We encourage creative, participatory formats. Ideal sessions will be interactive and will provide attendees next steps, takeaways, models, or other practical implementation ideas for participants to take back to their home institutions. All session slots will be 75 minutes long (with the exception of lightning talks, which are five minutes each).

We welcome submissions that include multiple presenters, particularly when the presenters represent different roles or institutions. We especially invite submissions that address issues of inclusion and exclusion. Panels proposals should strive to include participants from a range of backgrounds, especially those historically underrepresented in the academy.

Submitting a Proposal

Please fill out the proposal form, which includes information for each of the presenters, a 200-word description of your proposed topic, a 100-word description of your proposed format, and a 100-word bio.

Proposals are due by October 15, 2019.

Featured image: "Water drop" by Amadej Tauses

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