Rethinking the University Landscape for Faculty, Graduate Students and Undergraduates (Roundtable)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA18)
contact email: 

Classroom spaces and working environments speak volumes about how institutions conceive of teaching, learning and research, and whether they invest in collaboration. In many ways, institutions remain fixated on the front of the classroom, on the teacher as the “sage on the stage” rather than having faculty experts serve as “guides on the side,” “advanced organizers,” and “resources” for helping students foster their own learning. Individual offices silo faculty from one another, while graduate student and adjunct offices often offer fewer desks than bodies that use them. This long-held standard is changing somewhat, but slowly.

Thinking through the Convention theme “Global Spaces, Local Landscapes and Imagined Worlds,” this session will consider how we can reimagine physical and intellectual spaces to improve student classroom experiences and enhance learning outcomes. How can we create online environments, faculty workspaces, libraries and learning centers, tools and channels of communication that foster collaboration and create community while meeting institutional and individual goals?

Presentations might consider the following, among other questions:

· How can we encourage institutions to rethink learning, researching and working spaces?

· How do we develop techniques and strategies that can help facilitate collaboration and collaborative learning, even in the absence of ideal or appropriate spaces?

· What room configurations, processes and modalities of communication work best for collaboration and individual work respectively?

· How can we best integrate multiple kinds of spaces to meet the changing needs of faculty and students of all levels?

· What evidence can we offer in support of innovative suggestions?

· What are the advantages and disadvantages of teaching in non-classroom spaces, both indoors and outdoors?

· How can universities develop spaces that are more welcoming to commuter students and part-time faculty?

We welcome participants from various disciplines, ranks, and institutions. Please submit a 300-word abstract and 100-word bio. All proposals must be submitted through the NeMLA portal:

NeMLA 2018 will be held from April 12-15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Contact Info: 

Nicole Lowman (SUNY University at Buffalo) and Robert Daniel (Saint Joseph’s University)