Transformations: Leadership Roles in Higher Ed for Humanities Professionals

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Catherine Thomas / Georgia Gwinnett College
contact email: 

This collection investigates how humanities teacher-scholars grapple with the opportunities and challenges of leadership roles, as well as connect them with their teaching and research endeavors. It offers the opportunity for a sustained and serious conversation about the multiple professional roles many humanities specialists play. It provides strategies for professional growth, sustenance, and satisfaction, while also meaningfully considering the relationship between our disciplinary areas of study, our academic training, and the lives we inhabit and aspire to.

We seek narrative essays (with a research inflection encouraged) that address various types of institutions and leadership roles and that speak to lived experience in these multiple roles.  


Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • How and why to make the decision to go into leadership
  • The benefits and positive qualities of administrative leadership
  • The transition between academic spheres
    • Drinking from the firehose: how to succeed in the first year in your job 
    • The learning curve: policies, politics, budgets, personnel management and relationship-building 
  • Pathways into leadership—nonlinear and beyond intradepartmental leadership 
  • Leadership self-fashioning and code-switching
  • Challenges and opportunities for faculty off the tenure track 
  • Leadership in community college settings
  • Intersectionality and administration in the academy: strategies for successfully navigating and/or repairing institutional structural challenges and inequities 
  • Social justice and leadership 
  • Work-work balance: management of time and energy between multiple work pursuits
  • Integrating your academic training and work with your administrative role
  • Work-life balance:
    • Mental labor—juggling multiple priorities with self-care
    • Impact of responsibilities outside the academy on availability for leadership and/or promotion
  • Strengths identification, application, and self-advocacy
  • Maintaining student focus
  • Faculty-staff relations
  • Cross-campus collaboration
  • Leading during crises: scandal, recession, pandemic, etc.

 Please send essay abstracts of 300-500 words to Roze Hentschell (Colorado State University) at and Catherine Thomas (Georgia Gwinnett College) at by October 31, 2020 for full consideration.