“Negotiating Academia’s ‘Relevance’ Problem” 

Arnold A. Schmidt's picture
September 15, 2019
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, British History / Studies, Literature, Teaching and Learning, Intellectual History

     We seek proposals for a roundtable discussion about “Negotiating Academia’s ‘Relevance’ Problem.”  The session forms part of the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Conference, which revolves around the theme of “Radicalism and Reform” and takes place in Rochester, NY on 18-22 March 2020. In hopes of having a broad, interdisciplinary discussion, we welcome scholars of Art History, Economics, History, (including Historians of the Book, Historians of Science), Library Science, Literature (English and non-English), Musicology, Philosophy, and other disciplines.   

     Academia has long been plagued with questions of “relevance” and “use.” This session, organized by the NCSA Graduate Student Caucus, seeks speakers who can address topics that include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Strategies for bridging the divide between academic research and public humanities

- Engaging with audiences beyond the academy in public forums

- The role of the public intellectual

- Re-writing research for new/broader audiences and avenues like Slate or JSTOR Daily  

- Navigating open access

- Exploring different media outlets for communicating research

- “Relevance” and the state of academia.  

- Re”use” of the humanities degree: alt-ac avenues and potential industries for the humanities graduate 

- “What to tell the graduate students” (productive engagement with alt-ac  in graduate student education and mentorship)

- Experience with scholarly community outreach: demonstrating the value and relevance of humanities to those outside the academy, humanities “PR”  

Participants will make five-minute presentations, then join in a panel discussion and respond to audience questions. Please submit 250-word abstracts and 1-page CVs to ncsagraduatecaucus@gmail.com by September 15. 

Contact Info: 

Arnold Anthony Schmidt