The Graduate Student Caucus is an affiliate group of the Modern Language Association. The major function of the caucus is to advocate on behalf of graduate students in modern langauges at the annual meeting of the MLA. We seek to raise awareness about current issues that graduate students face and hope to contribute to any of the decisions that are made on our behlaf. On a more practical level, we want to help students stay informed about the various facets of academia.

CFP: MLA 2016 "The Lore and Lure of the Academic Job Market"

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    Carrie Johnston

    Please consider submitting a proposal for the following special session at the 2016 MLA Convention in Austin, TX. We are especially interested in proposals from graduate students preparing for the job market, or currently on the job market.


    The Lore and Lure of the Academic Job Market

    Special Session: MLA 2016

    This roundtable will consider how discipline-specific “lore” continually lures graduate students, contingent faculty, and even full-time faculty into an already overcrowded market. This panel seeks to initiate discussions about the psychodynamics of job candidacy in disciplines confronting changes in academic, institutional, and economic trends.

    Instead of providing advice about getting a job, this session seeks to evaluate that advice and how it upholds or challenges common practices in graduate programs and academic departments. Additionally, panelists are encouraged to consider the ways that job market “wisdom” affects individual job seekers’ emotional, physical, and/or financial health.

    Submissions may address, but are not limited to:

    • How the job market solidifies or challenges hierarchies within an academic department or discipline
    • Necessary changes in conventional wisdom about the academic job market
    • The mental health of academic job seekers
    • The academic job market as a gauge for the health of a discipline
    • The effect of the academic job market on enrollment in graduate programs
    • The business of getting an academic job: consulting services, advice books, dossier services
    • The stigma of an unsuccessful job search
    • The availability of advice on finding a career outside of academia


    250-word abstracts to Carrie Johnston (johnsci [at] quincy [dot] edu) by March 6.



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