MLA 2022 CFP--Building Your Scholarly Identity: How to Communicate Your Brand in a Remote World

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
The MLA Committee on the Status of Graduate Student in the Humanitie

MLA 2022 CFP--Building Your Scholarly Identity: How to Communicate Your Brand in a Remote World


We are in unprecedented times. The vast majority of us are working remotely, whether as educators, teaching assistants, or in whatever capacity is necessary to support our scholarly proclivities with extra income. We are faced with a world in which future employers haunt our Instagram and Facebook profiles looking for reasons not to hire us, while other alt-ac employers might be combing through LinkedIn profiles looking for someone with exactly our skillset. How do we navigate this complicated new world, with its ever-changing rules? How do we stay true to ourselves and the research path we’ve invested in, while positioning ourselves to find a job after we complete our schooling? Can we market ourselves as both an academic and a future employee on a newspaper staff, a nonprofit organization, an academic marketing company?

We are looking for scholars who can speak to these questions and more. If you stay up late at night thinking about how to frame your research to non-academic audiences, this is for you. If you’ve learned how to explain your research to claim grants and unlikely honorary positions, this is for you. We’d like to hear from people who have advice to give graduate students about how to craft our academic identities to achieve both short-term professional advancement and long-term job placement. How do we know how to define ourselves? How do we explain what we’re about and what we do? How do we make our professional skills sound appealing to people outside of academia? How do we stand out from the crowd within academia, at a time when we’re competing for a miniscule number of positions?

Maybe you’re a graduate student who has these skills down flat. Maybe you’re a professor who wants to bang your head against a wall every time one of your students struggles to articulate their academic goals or what they are about. Maybe you’re a career advisor in your (joke) spare time, and you see over and over again that graduate students struggle to define their career goals in the short and long term. 

Come teach us how to decide what professional goals we want to pursue, and how to shape our self-presentation to achieve them.


Please submit brief proposals (250-300 words) to Ari Wolf at by March 15, 2021.