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News and Announcements: RSA News

Professional Development Discussion Groups

Friday, June 19, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: RSA
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RSA Professional Development Discussion Groups in 2020–21

The RSA has announced the fourth cycle of our mentoring program in June of 2020. The reimagined program will form very small professional development discussion groups composed of scholars at all career levels. Each group will meet occasionally during 2020-21 for informal discussion of a set topic of mutual interest. Participants who wish to discuss additional topics and connect with more scholars will also have the option to join broader discussions on Humanities Commons. The formal structure of this program is now more reciprocal than hierarchical; the very small groups will create opportunities to build meaningful individual connections across career levels.

Deadline for applications: 1 July 2020

Apply now

The program for 2020-21 aims to make more transparent how to thrive as a Renaissance studies scholar and to encourage forthright conversations about career paths, professional challenges, and current concerns. Each applicant will be invited to join one small discussion group (3-5 members) focusing on a specific topic that everyone in the group has selected in their application form:

  1. On research in the age of COVID-19
  2. On managing careers in the age of COVID-19, tenure-track and beyond
  3. On teaching on- and off-line
  4. On non-teaching careers
    1. publishing and editing
    2. translation
    3. museums, libraries, and archives
    4. consulting
    5. public humanities
    6. creative industries
    7. digital humanities
  5. On interviewing, interviewers and interviewees
  6. On academic conferences and publishing
  7. On responsibility and diversity across the academy
  8. On work and life issues

The program aims especially to help RSA members make contacts beyond their home institutions, to create a community for those who do not have colleagues in Renaissance studies at their place of employment, and to provide a small-group opportunity to exchange information and insights with colleagues who share similar interests, wherever they may be in their careers.

Participants will include graduate students who have completed their course work, junior, mid-career, and senior scholars, directors of institutes, educational administrators, publishers, museum curators, archivists and librarians, etc. Scholar in this context includes any RSA member with a professional interest in Renaissance studies.

How it works

  • The RSA Professional Development Committee will organize the groups, making assignments according to the topic areas selected by members on their application forms, with a view to balancing stage of career, academic field, place of residence, etc. The committee will keep all application forms confidential and seek to create groups that match interests and concerns appropriately.
  • Each group will hold an initial meeting in September and then follow-up meetings on a schedule they mutually agree upon, through July 2021. They might choose to meet quarterly, or more or less often, as suggested by their collective interests.
  • The conversations are intended to be reciprocal, with colleagues sharing ideas and experiences across the broad spectrum of careers with connections to Renaissance studies. The Professional Development Committee will assign one scholar in each group to be the initial coordinator: to take the lead on planning the initial group meeting. The Committee will provide recommendations for starting things off. For subsequent meetings others in the group may wish to take turns planning and guiding the discussion.
  • This program entails no commitment to read scholarly work. The group members are not expected to assume the function of thesis adviser, department head, or any other formal professional role vis-a-vis the other participants. However, group members might all agree to share CVs or other brief, relevant documents in advance of a meeting, to structure a conversation.
  • Groups that wish to ask questions of other groups or post materials of mutual interest will be able to create wider connections via a dedicated RSA space on Humanities Commons.

How to participate

RSA members who wish to participate should submit an application by 1 July 2020. The application link will be available in June 2020.

  • July 1 - Deadline to apply to join the program. Apply now.
  • Late September - Participants will be notified of their group assignments. Program starts.
  • July 31, 2021 - Program ends

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