Echoes of Home: Bringing Home to Work, proposals due June 30th
Echoes of Home: Bringing Home to Work
Call for Proposals:
As academics, we often feel disconnected from the outside world and even from our roots, our homes--where we're from. We feel like impostors--sometimes at work, sometimes at home. This placelessness often felt in academia manifests in graduate school when, as Donald Troop recently discussed in The Chronicle of Higher Education, grad students can feel "they're somehow not smart enough or that they're fooling people—that they feel like impostors." Maybe these feelings are common in times of transition (home-to-graduate-school, graduate-school-to-Assistant-Professor), but for some of us, that transition seems neverending.
Academic life, for us, has been linked to connection, support, mentorship, and friendship from within our program. Often, we do not know whom to seek out--committee members, cohort members, and/or other colleagues--since these relationships are complicated through disciplinary and institutional hierarchies. However, these relationships are the often the very ones we need to sustain ourselves. Creating and maintaining spaces where we can feel comfortable, where we feel belonging, where we feel safe, where we feel at home becomes essential to negotiate our scholarly identities. Bringing home to work can make that possible.
Some questions for consideration as you draft your proposal:
What do we leave behind when we start graduate school or find that first academic position? How do we go about recreating home when that happens? What do we still miss? How do our own histories of home influence the way we make a home in academia? Are there ways that the physical spaces of our education lead to (or don't lead to) a feeling of community?
How does our work separate us from or bring us closer to our families? How do practices associated with home find their way into our workplaces and/or scholarship? What pieces of everyday life and routine cross over into our new lives? Which ones do not, but should? Conversely, what kinds of academic routines are enabling of the kinds of adaptive strategies and practices that are useful and productive in the transition to new spaces and hierarchies?
What "workarounds" do we develop to contend with feelings of alienation, displacement, and separation from our own native knowledges? What is the role of informal and formal groups--such as writing, student, research, workout, cooking, crafting groups--and how do they help us socially transition into higher education? What functions do social networks perform? How do you create the conditions for making possible the kinds of partnerships and connections that are sustainable and sustaining? Is there a way that an institution can build those kinds of infrastructures or do those relationships have to develop organically?
Who do we turn to when we need that feeling of home? What are the impacts of feeling isolation and loneliness in our academic positions? What is missing from our academic experiences that lead us to seek the comforts of our homes? What does it mean to feel at home?
What are the ways academic systems and hierarchies perpetuate the notion of the lone scholar? How does the concept of the lone scholar separate us from our support systems? How should mentoring that supports feelings of displacement look? What more is needed?
How should mentors who do emotion work be prepared for that work? Are there ways that this work gets "counted"? What role do identity markers, such as gender, race, class, and sexuality, play in the ways that participants experience and enact mentoring relationships?
How, ultimately, can "bringing home to work" benefit our academic lives?
We are seeking proposals for an edited collection exploring the spaces between home and work--the in-between spaces, the ways that home and work inform our scholarly identities. We invite proposals of 500-750 words for narratives that explore how home practices and identities inform our work practices and identities. We envision this collection as contributing to conversations about mentoring and mentorship in Rhetoric and Writing Studies and related fields.
While we look for autobiographical narratives that reflect our call, we are also interested in co-authored pieces and interview-based chapters as well. If you have an idea along these lines and someone to interview, we heartily encourage you to submit a proposal.
500-750 word proposals indicating the title and summarizing the aims and content of the chapter due by June 30th. Please submit as your proposal as a .doc or .rtf file attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will be notified of your acceptance by July 15th. Full chapters will be due by January 1st, 2013.