Global Studies Association: Postgraduate Forum
‘Working with Global Studies: Employability in an interdisciplinary field – problems and prospects’
1st April 2014, Royal Holloway, University of London (Central London venue)
Please contact Dr Anthony Cooper (A.Cooper@rhul.ac.uk) for more details
and formal registration
Global Studies comprises multi-disciplinary social science activity which aims to explore the dynamics of the world as a single place. The current job market for new PhDs is unusually challenging and candidates often need to demonstrate a clear disciplinary orientation in order to be successful. This creates a tension between, on the one hand, developing a broad social science research orientation (useful when applying to funding bodies who do encourage multi-disciplinarity), and, on the other, the need to ‘fit’ within existing disciplinary categories. Scholars aspiring to multi- or inter-disciplinarity in the long term must learn strategies which enable them to work within disciplines as well as span them.
The workshop will bring together PhD students and early-career researchers located within the multi-disciplinary/interdisciplinary field of Global Studies in order to explore the problems and prospects associated with working in such a field. The workshop will focus on developing publication strategies, identifying collaborative research opportunities, and negotiating between disciplinarity and inter-disciplinarity, with a view to enhancing the employability of research-oriented postgraduates in the profession.
The workshop is designed to give participants the skills and confidence to negotiate the tricky terrain of disciplinarity and thereby enhance their employability through the acquisition of skills in the following areas:
• Writing for publication in journals (both interdisciplinary and belonging to specific disciplines)
• Developing collaborative research strategies, and developing international research networks
• Making job applications (satisfying disciplinary requirement and projecting a multidisciplinary research agenda)
• Working with publishers and editors
The workshop is organized on the principle that good practice and best strategies can be shared and that each participant, by drawing on their own unique experiences, can make a significant contribution. It is also believed that establishing dialogue with publishers, editors and funding bodies is the key to creating an environment in which multi-disciplinarity can thrive.
In addition to presentations from a number of professionals in the field the workshop will include several activity sessions requiring participants to work in small groups and involving discussion, feedback, and peer evaluation. Each session will draw on delegates own experiences, and they will be encouraged to share good practice with colleagues.
11.30 Welcome and coffee
12.00 Group session 1: Planning a multi-disciplinary special issue of a journal. Small group activity followed by feedback, discussion, and evaluation (Facilitator: Dr. Jill Timms, Brunel University)
12.45 Seminar 1: Multi-disciplinarity: a publisher’s perspective (Martina O’Sullivan, Senior
Commissioning Editor (Cultural Studies), Rowman and Littlefield International
14.00 Group session 2: Planning collaborative research. Small group activity followed by feedback, discussion, and evaluation (Facilitator: Prof. Sandra Halperin, Royal Holloway, University of London)
15.00 Seminar 2: Multi-disciplinarity: a scholar’s perspective (Prof. Barrie Axford, Oxford Brookes)
15.45 Group session 3: Strategies for job applications (achieving disciplinary focus while projecting a multidisciplinary research agenda). Small group activity followed by feedback, discussion, and evaluation (Facilitator: Prof. Chris Rumford, Royal Holloway, University of London)
16.30 Concluding comments
Please contact Dr Anthony Cooper (A.Cooper@rhul.ac.uk) for more details and formal registration
Following an initial meeting at the 2013 annual conference at Roehampton the GSA is pleased to announce the first event organized for the PG Forum: ‘Working with Global Studies: employability in an interdisciplinary field – problems and prospects.’
The workshop will bring together PhD students and early-career researchers located within the multi- disciplinary/interdisciplinary field of Global Studies in order to explore the problems and prospects associated with working in such a field. The workshop will focus on; developing publications strategies, identifying collaborative research opportunities, and negotiating between disciplinarity and inter- disciplinarity, with a view to enhancing the employability of research-oriented postgraduates in the profession.
The workshop will be held on 1st April 2014 at the Central London site of Royal Holloway (Gower Street, WC1).
A limited number of travel bursaries are available to GSA members who wish to attend. For further details and to book a place at the workshop please contact Anthony Cooper, PG Forum Convenor: A.Cooper@rhul.ac.uk
PG Forum Launched
At the conference this year, a special session was held for postgraduate students and those in the early stages of their academic careers in global studies and related disciplines. I was particularly keen for this to happen as I have really benefitted from conversations and valuable contacts at previous GSA conferences with others at a similar stage to my own studies. However, these connections mainly happened by accident, as it is not always possible to tell who the students are! As I have now finished my PhD and am engaging with the uncertainties of the academic employment market, I’m aware of the similar issues that postgrads and early careers face, as well as the great potential for sharing experience and support. By offering space in the conference programme, we were able to make the most of this opportunity to get to know each other and discuss challenges faced and suggestions for overcoming these.
The interdisciplinary nature of much of our work was a major topic raised, seen to lead to two particular issues. Firstly, getting published can be extra challenging when work does not fully conform to the narrow scope of particular journals. Secondly, the same challenge has been experienced in seeking work when appointment specifications privilege ‘pure’ disciplinary focus. The problem of funding, and temporary and part-time contracts were also raised. Participants shared what had worked for them and suggested a host of resources that could be useful. We were also given hope as one of our number received a job offer that very day!
A useful discussion followed about how we might continue to support each other. From this we are pleased to announce the launch of the GSA Postgraduate and Early Careers Forum, an informal network to facilitate ongoing contact, encouragement and advice. We are grateful the GSA is keen to support the group, so look out for more related newsletter articles, conference sessions and dedicated events. After all, this group represents the GSA’s future! We encourage others to join us, so if you are interested or would like more details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Thanks to Jill Timms for this report –