PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Program Book (PDF)
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Online Program Book

Sessions
A17-100
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Controversial Comparisons: The Promise and Peril of Foregrounding Identity Categories in Religions and Other Worldviews
Saturday - 9:00 AM-10:30 AM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

In this workshop, I will discuss the challenges I faced and the solutions I adopted when I set myself the task of designing a course on “Identity-Based Religions and Other Worldviews.” This topic is saturated with potential for controversy because, by comparing religions that center identity categories such as race, gender, and sexuality, one ends up placing next to each other groups that have very different historical relationships with and understandings of the academic project of research and comparison. For those from white heteropatriarchal backgrounds, “research” has meant increased mastery of the world and “comparison” – the bringing of different things together on the same platform based on some point of analogy – has felt like objective, evenhanded justice. But for those for whom comparison has been a tool to pathologize them and equate them to other stigmatized groups and place them in hierarchical schemes and for whom research has meant exploitation, theft, and violence, a course that compares worldviews with wildly asymmetrical degrees of power may trigger fears of things like racism, sexism, and homophobia. I will distribute copies of the syllabus I have designed, discuss it briefly, and outline the essence of its controversial character, and then I hope to have a lively discussion of the issues it raises.

Panelists:
Nathan Fredrickson, University of California, Santa Barbara
A17-149
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Economies of Sharing: The Ethics of Appropriating Pedagogical Resources and the Motives of Distribution
Saturday - 12:30 PM-2:00 PM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

In this roundtable, religion professionals will discuss the risks involved in sharing pedagogical resources that one has developed as an instructor, best practices for utilizing the resources others have produced while respecting their intellectual labor, and the reasons for participating in a community of shared development of resources at different stages in one's academic career. In the background, this roundtable will emphasize the time and labor costs of good teaching and the way that ad hoc and uncited sharing of class materials between instructors is part of the academy's marginalization of the intellectual labor performed in the development of teaching practice as well as the adjuntification of instructors as fungible content-providers and class-room managers, rather than a necessary and enriching part of creating an environment where substantive and sustained learning can occur.

Panelists:
Jon Kara Shields, University of Notre Dame
A17-239
  • Especially for Students
  • Focus on Employment
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Finding the Job You Want after Graduation: Strategic Planning and Resources for Navigating a PhD Program
Saturday - 2:15 PM-3:45 PM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

As Arizona State’s Connected Academics Research Fellow, a position funded by a Mellon Foundation and MLA funded grant geared at re-imagining humanities PhD training and preparing students for diverse career paths, I have had opportunities to talk with many humanities PhD graduates that have moved into different careers, to learn about excellent career planning resources, and to speak with people invested in assisting PhD students find meaningful and fulfilling work after graduation. This roundtable would be focused on sharing strategies and resources for professionalization and diverse career preparation. My hope is that this roundtable will inspire participants to think broadly about potential career paths, provide a support network for those interested in pursuing work outside academia, and give them some important resources to assist in their preparations. In the face of an ever-more demanding and precarious academic job market, these kinds of discussions will only continue to be more valuable.

Panelists:
Tyler Feezell, Arizona State University
A17-344
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Finishing the Dissertation On-Time and with Your Sanity In-Tact
Saturday - 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

The dissertation is a notoriously difficult part of the PhD process and many graduate students struggle to make it past the ABD (All But Dissertation) stage, especially in a reasonable timespan. However, with proper planning and preparation, the dissertation can be completed relatively quickly and with a minimum of mental anguish. In this Roundtable, I will utilize my experience with planning, researching, writing, and defending a dissertation in two years to help other graduate students at any part of the PhD process. I will share what worked and what didn’t and best practices for keeping a dissertation committee happy while simultaneously enjoying the dissertation process (as much as possible). The latter part of the session will be devoted to writing individual timelines and workshop a few of them so participants leave with a concrete plan of how to tackle the dissertation.

Panelists:
Gwendolyn Gillson, Oberlin College
A18-100
  • Especially for Students
Graduate Student Committee
Theme: Graduate Student Committee Business Meeting
Rachel Toombs, Yellowstone Theological Institute, Presiding
Sunday - 9:00 AM-9:30 AM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

Attention graduate students! We will be holding our annual business meeting in the Student Lounge. We encourage you to attend the meeting, connect with your regional AAR student directors, and share your requests for AAR’s 2019 Annual Meeting with the Graduate Student Committee!

Panelists:
Rachel Toombs, Yellowstone Theological Institute
A18-140
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Graduate Student Publishing: Pros, Cons, and Pressures
Sunday - 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

Feeling the itch to start publishing as a graduate student? Not sure where, when, or how to start? Join us for an AAR Student Lounge Roundtable on graduate student publishing. Together we will explore the pros and cons of graduate student publishing, how to discern when the time is right, and practical tips for taking your writing to the next level. This roundtable will discuss the process of selecting a publishing venue, navigating the tricky waters of open access, electronic, and print publishers, while avoiding the perils of “predatory” journals. Students will walk away with practical tips on selecting a title, writing an abstract, engaging reviewer recommendations, and forming a writing group. We look forward to seeing you for this valuable conversation.

Panelists:
Nicholas Werse, Baylor University
A18-141
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Hacking Accessibility: Tools for Students with Special Learning and Mental Health Needs
Sunday - 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

It is often assumed that graduate students with special needs begin their programs already armed with the tools they need to thrive, but this is seldom the case. Graduate school presents challenges that can exacerbate previously well-managed symptoms in individuals with learning, attention, and emotional differences, and can expose underlying conditions that may lead to new diagnoses in others. Yet, disability resource centers (DRCs) struggle to provide services and accommodations tailored to the specific needs of graduate students across each stage of a program. As a result, many are left to navigate coursework, research, or dissertations without the support they need to do so effectively and efficiently. This workshop explores practical strategies for organization, time management, and communication to equip those who have special learning and emotional needs with tools to help themselves work through the challenges of graduate study and begin to unlock their full potential as scholars.

Panelists:
Kerri Blumenthal, University of Florida
A18-236
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: CANCELLED - Love Thy Neighbour and Thyself: Recognizing and Cultivating Mental and Emotional Health for Students and Self
Sunday - 1:15 PM-2:45 PM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

The stigma of mental health struggles doesn't stop at the threshold of the classroom-for students or for staff. Faced with a tightrope of when and what to disclose about one's condition, students often suffer and fail to thrive due to a fear that their medical diagnoses or extenuating emotional situations (which include the ever-increasing stress of simply being in the world, let along the Academy) will either not be taken seriously, or will come with a degree of prejudice that may follow into marking or recommendation-writing. Similarly, staff and faculty can find themselves in a similar situation on the flip-side of that relationship, struggling with their own diagnoses or situations and when/where/how to divulge them (if at all), and/or trying to support students who may or may not feel comfortable being forthcoming with their own struggling. In this conversational workshop, I aim to discuss and brainstorm a) signs to watch for in students and colleagues who may be struggling with mental/emotional pressures, b) compassionate and respectful ways to respond without overstepping boundaries, and c) ways to cultivate better mental and emotional health inside and beyond the classroom for one's students, one's peers, one's colleagues, and oneself.

A18-300
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Mastering Online Education: Effective and Engaging Teaching in a Digital Classroom
Sunday - 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

Many colleges and universities are turning their attention to online and hybrid education in order both to broaden their student base and accommodate students who are interested in furthering their education but unable to attend as full-time residential students. This workshop draws on years of experience and training to highlight some of the basics of online education from the perspective of a practitioner. It emphasizes key considerations about course design, communication with students, classroom management in an online setting, best practices for student engagement, disability accommodations, and a few tips and tricks learned through years of experience. This workshop proposes a guided conversation during which each of the above topics is discussed briefly with encouragement for students to offer their own questions and insights. This workshop will also highlight current scholarship on best practices in online education and particular challenges associated with this form of teaching.

Panelists:
Andrew Klumpp, Southern Methodist University
A18-339
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Other Duties as Assigned: The Craft of Fundraising for Research and Higher Education
Sunday - 4:45 PM-6:15 PM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

Whether as a teacher, researcher, or administrator, service in contemporary higher education increasingly requires navigating the complex world of fundraising and proposal development. This workshop provides an introduction to fundraising and proposal development for research and administration in higher education. The content for the workshop is informed by my experience as a grant writer, service as a fundraising consultant supporting educational institutions and independent scholars, and ongoing work to fund my education and research. The workshop provides an introduction to the craft of fundraising by outlining: the features of a fundraising strategy, the tools to identify grant and foundation prospects, the process for proposal development, and the importance of nurturing funding prospects across a scholarly career. Participants are invited to bring grant or fellowship proposals in any stage of development and questions related to fundraising and proposal development for research and academic purposes.

Panelists:
Dustin Benac, Duke University
A18-400
  • Especially for Students
  • Focus on Employment
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Academic Labor and Contingent Faculty Committee and Graduate Student Committee
Theme: Faculty and Student Debt, Structural Inequality in the Academy, Precarity, and Contingency
Gabe Veas, Ashland Theological Seminary, Presiding
Sunday - 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Convention Center-501 (Street Level)

This roundtable explores the relationship between student debt and precarity, lack of academic freedom, contingent labor, and the reproduction of inequality within departments, colleges, and universities). The purpose of this forum is to clarify and define the issue and to build solidarity among various affected constituencies, to discern possible courses of action and response at various levels. A speaker from a debt resistance organization will join the conversation.

Panelists:
Jennifer Scheper Hughes, University of California, Riverside
Whitney Cox, University of Houston
Susan B. Thistlethwaite, Chicago Theological Seminary
A19-200
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Save $: Learn How to Edit and Proofread Your Work like a Pro
Monday - 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

Learning how to edit and proofread your own work will not only make it easier for you to get published, but also improve your writing skills (and grades if you are still in that phase of your studies). But editing and proofreading your writing is a lot more than spell checking. Submitting error-free work makes your journal editor’s or professor’s job easier, and helps you stand out as a professional. In this workshop, learn ways to find the errors that could make you appear like an amateur writer and scholar rather than the professional that you really are. We will discuss ways to actually read your own work to find errors and create your own writer’s style guide. The workshop will go over common errors even seasoned writers make, and why spell check programs are not always reliable resources for proofreading and editing any type of professional document.

Panelists:
Unregistered Participant
A19-235
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: The Benefits of Mind-Mapping (Software) for Research, Planning, and Visually Overcoming Writer's Block: A Demonstration Using MindMaple Classic
Monday - 2:45 PM-4:15 PM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

Recent technological trends have been encouraging writers to organize their thoughts into digital flow-charts. Student writers, academics, and seasoned scholars can utilize mind-mapping software to engage with their topics in an innovative, interactive way while also creating useful inter-topic dialogue as they (literally) draw comparisons and connections during the planning stage of paper writing. Mind-mapping software not only encourages knowledge management, but it assists with idea planning and placement for the overall schematic of a paper. Mind-mapping allows authors to create a center topic or subject (possibly a thesis statement), branch out ideas or topic sentences, and color code or embed images to assist with the visual and aesthetic aspect(s) of the brainstorming process. For the student roundtable, I will demonstrate the benefits of mind-mapping, using MindMaple as just one example of this software, and engage participants in a pros and cons discussion regarding mind-mapping software versus hand-drawn illustrations and/or planning.

Panelists:
Madison Tarleton, Iliff School of Theology, University of Denver
A19-339
  • Especially for Students
  • Focus on Employment
  • Professional Practices and Institutional Location
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: What Do I Do Now? Job Hunting and Looking beyond the Tenure Track
Monday - 4:30 PM-6:00 PM
Convention Center-113 (Street Level)

In this roundtable-workshop session, Jessica Ehinger discusses issues particular to job hunting outside the traditional tenure track, including how to write an effective resume and cover letter, how to identify potential positions, and how non-academic job hunting differs from the academic market. In addition, the session also covers issues that impact both academic and non-academic job hunting, such as how to prep for interviews, how to negotiate salaries, HR best practices for hiring, and potential red flags for new hires. In doing so, the session provides graduate students and young investigators with a solid understanding of what to expect in the job hunting process, so that they can best present themselves and their interests in the job market.

Panelists:
Jessica Ehinger, Boston University