NeMLA 2020: Bridging the Praxis Gap: Tools for Early Career Teaching

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Dana Gavin, Kristin Lacey / NeMLA Graduate Student Caucus
contact email: 

This session is a part of the 51st annual NeMLA convention in Boston, MA, to be held March 5-8, 2020. Abstracts must be submitted through NeMLA's database:

Graduate students often receive little -- if any -- formal instruction on classroom praxis, from developing syllabi to student management techniques. Students who have teaching fellowships, early career scholars, and contingent educators may devote a great deal of time to independently developing teaching strategies, basing their ideas on their own experiences as students and through informal networking and information sharing. Graduate students and CAITY educators may also encounter departmental expectations (be they required assignments or texts) that constrain them pedagogically, while offering no clear instruction for personalizing those classes, so both the educator and their students may thrive. Within this unclear framework, graduate students struggle to complete their degrees, while adjunct and contingent educators are trying to incorporate time to research and publish. This panel seeks papers that focus on teaching praxis that specifically takes into consideration contingent laborers’ unique needs.

This session is organized by the Graduate Student Caucus, but these concerns are shared by many. Graduate students often also serve as contingent faculty due to insufficient university funding, many contingent faculty teach at multiple institutions, and even tenure track faculty are thrust into graduate-level instruction with no explicit training. We eagerly invite scholars at any level of teaching experience to propose presentations.

Possible topics might address (but are not limited to) the following:

Developing the same or similar courses for multiple institutions 
Personalizing a syllabus with institutional constraints 
Creating work/life balance within a syllabus, for students and educator 
Disrupting “traditional” teaching models 
Best practices regarding feedback on student work 
Managing a challenging classroom 
Creating an accessible classroom 
Creating a pedagogically-inclusive classroom 
Pedagogical training for graduate students and early-career faculty 
Teaching an upper-level or graduate-level course for the first time

Please submit proposals of 250-300 words, a biography of 100 words or fewer, and note how you would address one of the topics above or a similar topic.

All submissions must be sent through the NeMLA CFP database:

Submission deadline: September 30, 2019. 

For more information, visit:

Direct questions to Dana Gavin ( and Kristin Lacey (