Category Archives: Networking

TOMORROW! Queer Encoding: Encoding Diverse Identities

When: Friday, April 28 at 10:30 AM – 5.00 PM
Location: NYU Center for the Humanities, 20 Cooper Square, Fifth Floor
More info & RSVP

Come and hear leading practitioners in the field talk about how we might work creatively with textual mark-up languages to be more inclusive, and see strategies in action in the Project Hack.

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Keynote speakers:

Julia Flanders (Digital Scholarship Group, Northeastern University), ‘Encoding Identity’

Marcus Bingenheimer, (Department of Religion, Temple University), ‘Using TEI to Encode the History of Chinese Buddhism’

Project Hack:
Katherine Briant and Stephen Powell (Fordham University, MA Center for Medieval Studies), Queerness of Space Time and Text in the Independent Crusaders Mapping Project

Sohini Chattopadhyay and Benjamin Hiebert (Columbia University), Queer Encoding Challenges in The Making and Knowing Project (http://www.makingandknowing.org/)

Cherrie Kwok and Nicole Cote (New York University), Queer Encoding and Identity Formation in the Nineteenth-Century Manuscript Diary

Moderators: Marion Thain (New York University) and Peter Logan (Temple University)

Co-Sponsors: NYU Digital Humanities; Digital Scholarship Center, Temple University; Fordham Digital Humanities Group, and Office of Research.

More info & RSVP

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Filed under Community, GSAS Students, Networking, Professional Development

“Words Matter” Graduate Conference Call for Proposals!

Words Matter: Politics, Rhetoric, and Social Justice
Indiana University Bloomington
March 24-25, 2017

Submission Deadline: December 16, 2016
iugradconference@gmail.com 

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Indiana University Bloomington is issuing a Call for Proposals for scholarly and creative submissions for the 15th Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference entitled “Words Matter: Politics, Rhetoric, and Social Justice.”

Hosted by the English Department, this conference aims to interrogate politics, rhetoric, and social justice in moments of national and international upheaval. They aim to address these terms individually, but also their entanglements across historical moments and geographical locations.

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What are the modern and pre-modern histories of these terms? How do literary and visual texts engage questions of politics, rhetoric, and social justice? What are the physical and material manifestations of these concepts? How do genre, discipline, and methodology impact the representation and study of these topics? What roles do both written and spoken words have in politics? Who/what has a voice and who/what is silenced socially and politically? How is rhetoric informed by politics, and what are the implications of their entanglements? What do we mean by “social justice” and how has this term been shaped historically? How do digital and virtual cultures intersect with social justice, and how have those cultures changed our perceptions of political movement and rhetorical engagement?

They invite submissions from all disciplines addressing, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Black Lives Matter, critical race studies, (anti-)colonial and postcolonial literature;
  • materialisms, phenomenology, object oriented ontology;
  • testimony, witnessing, civic duty;
  • anatomy, bodies of texts (corpora), the blazoned body;
  • language(s), translations, textuality, signification, vernacular/discourse studies;
  • advertising, memes, slander, mudslinging, rumors, gossip, virality, trolling, verbal abuse;
  • articulations of remembrance, monuments, postmemory han, therapy writing, memoirs, trauma study;
  • tattoos, body art, graffiti, banners;
  • protest literature, pamphlets, broadsides, community activism, grassroots politics;
  • reproductive rights, gender and sexuality studies;
  • legality, legislation, legal personhood, “the letter of the law,” sovereignty;
  • writing as activism, digital activism, Twitter, journalism, letter-writing campaigns, epistolary cultures;
  • communication studies, composition studies, pedagogy;
  • lyrics, music/sound studies, poetry;
  • global citizens, peace studies, area studies, nationhood;
  • vocality, muteness, silence, censorship, animal advocacy, post-humanism;
  • storytelling, myths, typology, “a people’s history;”
  • close/distant readings, scales of reading, big data, text mining;
  • structuralism, poetics, aesthetics, formalism, figurative language;
  • sacred words, religion, naming

They invite proposals for individual scholarly papers, creative works, and panels organized by topic. Please submit (both as an attachment and in the body of the email) an abstract of no more than 250 words along with the following personal details: name, institutional affiliation, degree level, email, and phone number.

Email submissions to iugradconference@gmail.com.

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This conference is generously supported by the IU Bloomington Department of English, Department of Anthropology, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, and Cultural Studies Program.

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Why Learning Customer Service Is Important and Relevant- Even for Academia

I don’t know how many of you are using LinkedIn (although you should be—see our great post by Emily Schwarz for tips to get started) but I’m a big fan. Particularly of the articles they occasionally promote via email. It’s what I would describe as “procrastination light”—you’re on social media, but its work related so… that’s fine right? I think that still counts as work? Right?…

Anyway… the most recent series was “think back to your first job,” and basically asked those far more successful than most what they wish they had known before their first, first day. Not exactly a groundbreaking topic, but what interested me was that almost everyone on the list mentioned some sort of customer service related story. Whether scooping ice-cream or waiting tables, customer service—and the importance of understanding that dynamic—tended to be what people took from those experiences.

Customer service is about having the person you’re helping leave the encounter a) feeling happy and b) with what they came for. The mix of those two factors will vary (sometime considerably) depending on what you’re doing. For example, no one likes going to the DMV, but if you walk out with a driver’s license you generally consider it a win. Whether that encounter was a “success” (for you and whoever helped you) probably depended on customer service.

Balancing how much you go out of your way to help someone depends on lots of things, but ultimately comes down to how much you can accommodate before you stop doing your job. Where you’re going to draw your service line. My old co-workers used to call it “the sample cup line.”

(We worked in frozen yogurt. In a college town. And when you work in frozen yogurt in a college town what you get is a bunch of undergraduates in sororities and fraternities hanging out and trying to eat a quart full of yogurt in tiny sample cup portions. I understand that this is a very specific analogy but you get what I’m saying.)

As graduate students, I’m not sure how many of you have had non-academic jobs (although I hope most of you have) and if so, whether or not front-line customer service was an important aspect of your position. But if you haven’t… well you might want to get something part-time this summer because I’m pretty sure that understanding customer service is what separates the successful from the misanthropic.

And yes, I am implying (heck, outright saying) that misanthropic people are unsuccessful.

The cranky, absent-minded professor might be a stereotype, but it’s not one you should be looking to fill. Because while it might seem that of “all the professions, in all the world”, being a professor might give you the most leeway on behavior and interacting with other humans, I assure you that it’s not true. Ask a department chair—no one wants the person who doesn’t know how to play nice to be a permanent part of their community.

And customer service (and sports- but that’s another post…) teaches you how to be a part of a community and interact with others while meeting a set of stated goals. The trick is how to then translate that skill to other professional agendas.

Work is about accommodating people, assisting them, while still prioritizing and accomplishing your own goals. And truly successful people understand and manage that balance in ways that serve the missions of their employers and themselves.

I’m still working on this. It’s hard. And it’s going to be even harder for those of you who are going to have to balance classes of students, tenure reviews, and colleagues, so make sure you start thinking about it sooner rather than later.

Any of you have any “first job” advice that’s helped you succeed?

  • Dewis Shallcross, Director of Student Development, GSAS ‘14

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How to Mingle (with a Side of Networking)

Last night I had the good fortune to attend a cocktail party (and gosh do I feel a weird mix of old and elegant saying that phrase with a straight face) to celebrate a dear friend’s move. This party, which was held at a small non-profit museum, was the field-typical mix of young and old, rich and not-so-rich, volunteers and board members. The clear division between board members and regular (non-ED) employees is blurred with small organization like this one, creating an opportunity for the run of the mill intern (or past intern like me) to get some face time with people who “know people.”

This event made my anxiety-ridden mind look forward to a conference I’ll be attending next month, and the nightly “soirees” that are sure to ensue. This, more than anything, was what used to (and occasionally still does) give me anxiety, so I thought I’d write out some thoughts on how to network casually at reception events, in case like me, anyone tends to linger too long near the queso.

First things first—leave the comfort of the cheese. I know it’s hard, especially as a graduate student being lured by the siren call of free food, but hanging out by the food table screams socially-awkward. Conversations can’t really happen since you can’t block the table with groups and trying to eat a cracker and talk to that professor you’re dying to work with is a disaster waiting to happen. Take a little food (it should fill a little plate but don’t go crazy) and then step out into the middle of the room or grab a small table.

So now you’re standing alone, far from your best friend, gouda, and this was a terrible idea!!

But don’t panic! You can do this! Your best bet if you’re new to this group is to find someone who is also standing alone and just go up and say hello. Keep it short and if you’re comfortable, make a joke about hating to stand alone. Odds are, unless they’ve got a mouth full of food, they’ll be happy to talk to someone. (Hint- Don’t approach someone on a cell phone or if they’ve clearly just stepped away to have a drink or a bite to eat—you can tell your fellow loner by the desperate way they’ll be scanning the room for a familiar face.)

But maybe you’re beyond the basics. You’ve been to this event before, have said your mandatory hello’s and are looking to do a little mingling with people outside your main social circle. You’ve got your business cards (carefully stored in a pocket or easy to reach purse location) and you’re looking to meet some new people, hopefully ones with some sort of super job-finding power. But how to find them?

Important people tend to stay in one place, with people who are interested in talking to them, coming to them. You can’t rely on someone to come up to you. Ask a friend to introduce you, or if you don’t have any mutual connections, wait for an opening and introduce yourself. But don’t linger around—like the cheese, this person is going to be a sought out resource, and you won’t make friends by forcing a prolonged conversation. That’s not to say longer conversations shouldn’t or won’t happen, just that you need to read the room.

And move around the room.  Hanging out with the same people the whole night can be a waste of an opportunity. Last night the most successful young woman (who was NOT me), moved from group to group, sometimes introduced by her old boss, sometimes not. She worked that room like a pro, and had I been a better mingler, I would have gotten her card and had her write this post!

And finally, leave the nest. Go talk to people outside your own age group. Do not get stuck at the kids table. It can be intimidating as a young professional to go talk to your older peers or bosses but it’s worth the risk to start the conversation. You can contribute to the group no matter its makeup and it’s important to show that socially as well as in work scenarios.

But the best tip I can offer is to just relax. No one is judging you if you’re standing alone and it’s not the end of the world if you are— just remain calm and worst comes to worst, eat some cheese and call it a night.

And for love of all the books in the library, when you eventually host an event don’t say that dress is “smart casual.” NO ONE knows what that means.

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Filed under Conference, Networking, Networking Reception, Professional Development

A Face-lift for Your LinkedIn Could Land You a Job

Resumes and CVs are how you officially present yourself to potential employers, but what about unofficially? While a resume may be your strongest tool in an application packet, they’re not always the only way employers check your employment history. Photos and materials on professional networking sites like LinkedIn are often the first thing an employer checks when researching an applicant, so you need to make sure your site sets the same tone as your CV and that your photo is representative of who you are as an professional.

We reached out to brand and public relations strategist, Emily A. Schwarz (B.S., University of Florida) for some quick hints on using LinkedIn to brand yourself as a professional (academic or otherwise) and why curating your digital images to fit your job search can set you apart.

I don’t like having my photo taken… Do I really need a headshot?

Emily Schwarz (ES):  YES, you absolutely need one for your LinkedIn or other professional networking site, and it can and will hurt if you don’t have one. Your headshot is another way to express your personal brand and differentiate yourself from the thousands of other job seekers looking to take your spot.

What’s a brand?

ES: Chick-fil-A and Coca-Cola have separate brand identities. This means they’ve attached a feeling and personality to their brands through the use of marketing (the way they talk in their ads, the type of ads they run, the colors they use, etc.).

If this is something companies do why should I care? Why brand myself?

ES: This type of strategy isn’t limited to multi-billion dollar companies, but something every person in the professional world, or those poising themselves to be in the professional [or academic] world, should actively pursue. For example, my LinkedIn profile shows a bit of my personality, not only through the use of a headshot, but also in my cover photo, in the headline I chose (not something boring and industry-specific), in the organizations I’ve listed that I represent and the inclusion of work samples.

But I don’t want to muddy the waters. My resume is great—shouldn’t it just stand alone?

ES: Employers are looking for more than just your skills and qualifications. They want to get to know you, and they want to see if you’re going to mesh with their culture. They want to feel a certain way when they look at your profile, just like you feel a certain way when you “like” a Facebook post from Taco Bell about National Taco Day, when you happen to love tacos.

Maybe your employer happens to be a fan of the university you attended, or the professional way you portray yourself in your photo/profile as a whole. We are lucky to live in a world where there are so many ways to differentiate ourselves now, aside from a boring Word doc resume [or CV]. Make sure you take advantage of all of them.

Emily runs PR strategy for Fans 1st Media, a division of Cox Media Group.

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Filed under GSAS Futures, Networking, Resume/CV Resource