CFP: Transatlantic Perspectives of the (Medieval) Job Market (9/26/05; Leeds, 7/10/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Jen Gonyer-Donohue
contact email: 

Medieval Academy of America
Graduate Student Committee

Across the Pond: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Job Market

The increasing presence of international students in North American and
European doctoral programs has, despite the salutary benefits of diversity,
highlighted a number of differences between the professional cultures of the
two continents' academic institutions. Graduate students about to venture
onto the job market perhaps feel these differences more acutely than any other
group: terminological confusion, varied and ill-defined expectations, and
vastly diverse institutional structures are among the potential pitfalls which
await those courageous enough to send employment applications across the

The Medieval Academy of America's Graduate Student Committee proposes to
organize at the 2006 International Medieval Congress in Leeds a panel
discussion on transatlantic diversity. We hope to provide the graduate
students in attendance not only with summary overviews of the administrative
structures and processes most prevalent in North American and European
institutions but also with answers to pressing questions:

. Do hiring committees on different continents operate with different
sets of priorities? Legend has it that U.S. institutions prefer candidates
with publications and conference experience, whereas U.K. institutions are
more interested in a solid doctoral dissertation: is this true?

. Do cross-cultural dynamics affect the ways in which letters of
reference are written and received? Can overly effusive letters from
the United States hurt applicants seeking posts in a more reserved European

. How familiar are scholars on either side of the Atlantic with their
counterparts abroad? Should potential applicants consider a global audience
when deciding whether to place publications in domestic as opposed to
international contexts?

. What sort of unexpected experiences might lie in wait for the
candidate venturing across the Atlantic for an interview?

We hope that the panel discussion will enable students and scholars to engage
in a productive dialogue about the ways in which cultural expectations and
dissimilarities can affect the hiring process. To that end, we seek
prospective panellists who can speak from their experience of hiring and
interviewing international candidates or from being hired or interviewed by an
institution abroad. Contributions from continental European universities are
especially welcome.

Please contact Patrick Hornbeck ( for
more details or to enquire about making a contribution.

Jen Gonyer-Donohue
Chair, Medieval Academy Graduate Student Committee
Department of English
University of Washington
Box 354330 Seattle WA 98195-4330

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Received on Sat Sep 10 2005 - 12:38:57 EDT