CFP: [Professional] MLA 2009 session "Gaining a Public Voice: Alternate Genres of Publication for Graduate Students"

full name / name of organization: 
Jens Kugele
contact email:

"Gaining a Public Voice: Alternate Genres of Publication for Graduate Students"
(3/1/09; 12/27-30/09)

Call for abstracts; MLA session sponsored by the Committee on the Status of the Graduate
Students in the Profession (CSGSP)

This panel examines graduate students' transition from the classroom to the public, within and
beyond the scholarly community. While graduate training initiates young scholars into the
discursive behavior and traditions of their department, the broader disciplinary contexts of
knowledge construction become increasingly important as graduate students leave that intimate
framework and make use of the various genres of publication.

For graduate students, these usually include the "traditional" genres of journal articles, book
reviews, conference papers, job and fellowship applications, and the thesis or dissertation.
Increasingly, graduate students can make use of alternate genres of publication, whether
academic (editions and translations, book publications), journalistic (newspaper articles,
interviews, letters, public speeches), creative (fiction, poems, memoirs, visual art), or digital
(weblogs, forums, social networking sites). In short, the social and disciplinary contexts of
publication are in flux, as are norms of exposure, style, productivity, ethical and political
responsibilities, and boundaries separating disciplines and genres from one another.

How do the accepted and expected practices of publishing affect academic writing (length,
structures, reviewing and publishing practices). Beyond the disciplinary contexts, do the
humanities have a social responsibility? Should literary and cultural studies scholars, whose
expertise lies in critical interpretation, integrate more with social/natural sciences to offer critical
models, and ultimately aid in the ethical and moral issues on a larger social level? Can we use
language to bridge the gap and take larger social responsibility in these matters?

We welcome presentations from a broad spectrum that foster discussions about practical,
theoretical, and social aspects of these processes. We are soliciting papers from various
disciplines in the hope that our panel will provide a space to reflect on the different dimensions
of gaining a public voice within and beyond academia. We are particularly interested in papers
from current or recent graduate students. Papers might address the following areas but we
welcome other topics as well.

* (alternative) genres of going public
* socio-linguistic aspects of publishing
* epistemological aspects of different publishing options
* the relationship between the genres of graduate education and genres of going public
* public discourses vs. institutional environments
* theories of knowledge construction
* Issues of power, identity, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality, (dis)ability, and
* (inter-/trans-) disciplinary environments and the public voice
* technical dimensions, funding and the economics of going public
* the relation between publication and the political

Please send your abstract (approx. 300 words) by March 1, 2009 to the panel organizers Timothy
Carmody ( and Jens Kugele (

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Received on Tue Jan 13 2009 - 23:06:36 EST

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