Call for Papers (Abstracts due Jan. 30, 2019): First-Generation PhDs Navigating Institutional Power

Jaye  Sablan's picture
Call for Papers
November 15, 2018 to January 30, 2019
United States
Subject Fields: 
Graduate Studies, Social Sciences, Humanities, Race Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: First-Generation PhDs Navigating Institutional Power
Jaye Sablan and Jane Van Galen (Eds.)

Under advance contract with Brill | Sense Publishers

Access the Call for Proposals flyer:

CALL FOR PAPERS (Deadline for Abstracts is January 30, 2019): Abstracts are invited for an edited anthology on the experiences of individuals who are in the first-generation (first-gen) of their families to earn Bachelor’s and Doctoral degrees in the United States. While we invite submissions from first-gens nearing completion of their doctoral degrees—as well as those who have earned a doctorate within the past 8 years—we will prioritize submissions from working-class People of Color, LGBTQ, Two-Spirit and Gender Non-Conforming people, and People with Disabilities—as well as individuals who embody lives at the intersections.

All disciplinary backgrounds welcome. Abstracts from individuals working outside of academia are also welcome, as we do not assume that all first-gens work in higher education.

We seek narrative pieces where contributors illuminate their embodied experiences of socialization to the professoriate through the lenses of two or more social identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, and citizenship—in addition to socioeconomic background—while highlighting the ways in which multiple forms of structural oppression impacted each author’s capacity to navigate graduate student life. As Audre Lorde stated, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives.”

Our goal for this anthology is to speak truth to power on a range of challenges and inequities that first-gens experience in U.S. doctoral programs, as well as, underscore the breadth of their agency, critical analysis, creativity, and strength.

We will feature personal stories on the following and related topics:

  • Race and racism in graduate school
  • First-gen graduate student identities and intersectionality
  • Campus activisms in graduate school
  • Disability, ableism and graduate study
  • LGBTQ, Two-Spirit, and Gender Non-Conforming peoples experiences with marginalization
  • Navigating family, culture and community
  • Sexism, misogyny and social class in graduate study
  • Strategies for surviving and thriving in doctoral programs
  • Social class and student debt
  • Complexities of imposter syndrome
  • Hidden curriculum of graduate school socialization
  • Risk-taking and challenging oppressive norms in grad school

Submission Guidelines:

While we anticipate first-person narrative writing for most of the essays, we also welcome other genres: poetry, co-authored dialogues, scripts, photo stories or other creative or analytical work. Select visual material submitted with chapters (images, original artwork) will be included  whenever possible.


- A 500 word abstract and two paragraph bio should be submitted to Jaye Sablan <> by January 30, 2019.
- Invitations to submit full manuscripts will be sent by March 1, 2019.
- Authors invited to contribute to the volume in early March will be asked to submit their 3,000-5,000 word essay by August 30, 2019.
- Publication date is expected in early Spring 2020.
- Questions? and copy

About the Editors:

Jaye Sablan, MA in Feminist Studies, is a first-gen and genderqueer Indigenous Pacific Islander (Native Chamorro). She is the Assistant Director for the University of Washington’s Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs. Jaye’s practice-based domains in the field of graduate student affairs are social justice approaches to equity work and holistic student success models. She is also a poet and writer whose work is published in As/Us, Nepantla, Yellow Medicine Review, and Bitch: A Feminist Response to Pop Culture Magazine.

Jane Van Galen is Professor of Education at the University of Washington Bothell. Her teaching and research focus on social class and social mobility through education. Most recently, she has focused on ways in which new forms of participatory digital media enable the inclusion of more voices in deliberations about civic and cultural life. She is co-editor of two books on class, mobility, and education: Trajectories: The Educational and Social Mobility of Education Scholars from Poor and Working Class Backgrounds (Sense Publishers) and Late to Class: Schooling and Social Class in the New Economy (State University of New York Press). She also edits a book series for Sense Publishers: Mobility Studies in Education.

She’s the facilitator of the First in Our Families project (in partnership with the non-profit Class Action) in which first-generation college students create and share digital stories of being First.

Contact Info: 

Jaye Sablan

Contact Email: