EGO Blog

EGO minutes 12/5/11

28 Jan 2012 22:39
EgO at UMassEgO at UMass

GSS update

-Smoking ban all over campus for all tobacco products. Student government proposed alternate plan: smoking gazebo, etc? input from different grad orgs welcome
-Senate approved funding for grad conference!
-Healthcare subcommittee investigating the recent changes in policy; a lot of official support from graduate program directors across the board regarding the effects of healthcare changes on the graduate student population (talking points specifically regarding English graduate students: significant financial burden spec for Eng grads, due to the stipend rate, which is one of the lowest on campus; recent increase in workload, teaching in the dorms)

GEO Update

-UHS healthcare cuts: UHS head admitted this is to fund a new building; grievance filed with state commission
-Demand of increase in transparency


-Faculty admission committee: Course Evaluations (change in phrasing of one question); Foreign Language Requirement: preselecting text to establish uniformity (primary or theoretical texts), create a regular exam schedule to encourage people to get this out of the way, clarifying changes in handbook

Meeting Times for Spring ‘12: EGO meetings and events for this semester will be on Mondays from 2-3 pm with a few exceptions (locations TBA).

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EGO minutes 11/7/11

05 Dec 2011 16:44
EgO at UMassEgO at UMass

Spring 2012 PDS topics

  • Advisory Session PDS, Areas PDS, Job Market PDS (spearheaded by Joe Black and Jocelyn Almeida-Beveridge), Summer Jobs PDS, Managing Research PDS
  • Department-sponsored (mixed faculty/grad students) or regular PDS format (only graduate students)? A PDS-like “supersession” workshop, co-led by students and professors: trying to get department to provide a space for talking about important department issues applicable to all.
  • CO-DEPT/EGO SUPERSESSION TOPICS: advisory session and areas, job market, a day in the life of a professor


  • The Voice: Grad student Newspaper is now soliciting articles that pertain to graduate student life.
  • GSS meeting updates: increase in graduate fee passed, constitution ratified. Healthcare Rally, pharmacy closed/UHS hours reduced.
  • GEO increase in graduate stipend ($21.24)

Fall Events

  • Last PDS: Attending Conferences (Mon, 11/14)
  • Conference Committee Bake Sale (Mon, 11/21)
  • End of semester party (Ye Olde Watering Hole 7 pm December 8th, 2011)

Graduate Studies Committe Follow-Up

  • COURSES: Fall 2012 mostly 700s, Spring 2013 mostly 800s.
  • Advisory session doesn’t have to include period requirements
  • Department Website Recommendations: department can offer a graduate student assistantship?; EGO should have a stronger web presence with more prominent link to EGO on website; current and previous graduate student list; graduate students’ achievements, recent dissertation titles and committee chairs

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Call for Papers: UMass Grad Conference

25 Jan 2011 02:01
EgO at UMassEgO at UMass

Real Worlds: (dis)Locating Realities
April 16, 2011

“Reality”—as a state of mind or as an embodied experience—is not a unified or universal plane; from surrealism to social networks to the “real” housewives of New Jersey, we are constantly constructing, confronting, and negotiating diverse realities. These varied and often contending sites of reality are sometimes socially accepted and sometimes labeled “alternative,” but they are always central to our sense of self and our place in the world. What, then, does it mean to locate, or dislocate, a particular kind of “reality”? What are the implications of deeming some realities alternate, or altered? What are the different realities enacted within and through, for example, cybercommunities, the space of the theater, dream states, discourses of identity politics? What are the boundaries of these realities, and what are their purposes?

The English Graduate Organization of the University of Massachusetts Amherst invites submissions to the 2011 graduate interdisciplinary conference. This year's conference will explore multiple realities, how they are formed and demarcated, and the problems inherent in this practice. At question are states of mind, lived experiences, and subcultures that complicate or challenge traditional notions of reality and perceived states of normalcy. We urge submitters to consider the multiplicity of realities and how cultural phenomena impact our experience of those realities.

We invite submissions from a diverse range of disciplines and critical perspectives. Projects may include papers and/or panel presentations, performance pieces, and multi-media approaches.
Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Film and television
  • The stage, theatricality, theater production
  • Literary worlds (dystopias/utopias, science fiction, realism, and fantasy)
  • Constructions of gender
  • Social spaces and institutions (academia, the classroom, politics)
  • Representations of madness
  • Digital spaces (gaming communities, social networks, internet sex-industry)
  • Drug culture and altered consciousness
  • Rhetorical spaces, notions of audience, meaning-making
  • National boundaries (globalism, postcolonialism, and migrant communities)
  • Visual and performance arts
  • Theoretical approaches to reality

We accept three different types of submissions:

  1. Individual papers/projects: please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words. Include your name, paper title, institution, and email address.
  2. Panels: please submit an 800 word proposal for an entire panel of presentations (3-4 presenters). Included in this proposal should be abstracts of all presentations, an abstract of the panel itself, title of the panel, and information for each presenter (name, paper title, institution, and email address). If you are forming your own panel, you have the option of providing your own chair.
  3. Performances and creative presentations/panels: we welcome submission of creative works, including creative writing, visual art, and dramatic performance. Please include a brief description of your project, as well as your name, project title, institution, and email address.

Email submissions to moc.liamg|fnocgnessamu#moc.liamg|fnocgnessamu no later than January 31st, 2011.

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Issues in Higher Ed: First Post!

10 Nov 2010 21:59

“You've got a Ph.D., and you're smart as hell!"

The topic of the first post in our series is jobs outside of higher ed. If you find that prospect more than a bit scary, you’re not alone. Though many of us have second jobs, it’s likely to support our eventual career goal to become a college teacher and scholar. I haven't opened an Excel spreadsheet in half a decade. Is it possible to do something else with our graduate degree?

In this short—totally readable on a your iPhone during a bus ride—article, Susan Basalla May interviews John Fox, who is putting his PhD in anthropology to use outside of higher ed. he encourages us to broaden the scope of the job search.

In my conversations with faculty and grad students, I’ve noticed that we tend to view the job search myopically, with a tenure track job being the only positive outcome. Our nightmare scenario is also pretty narrow: adjuncting 6 different sections at 4 different colleges just to make the rent. What if we do neither? In the interview, Fox views the job search as a much broader process, and encourages us to look beyond teaching jobs in higher ed.

The closer one gets to the end of the MA or PhD process, the more likely we are to reflect on the hard questions that the job search poses. How far away from my family and friends can I reasonably live? Do I want to have a family (and how soon)? How do my partner’s career goals square with mine? Etc. It comes as a relief, if not a radical transformation in our thinking, then, to view our career paths as wide ones. Fox is encouraging: “You've got a Ph.D., and you're smart as hell!”

You’ll also see links to other articles May has written dealing with this topic. She and Maggie Debelius wrote the book So What Are You Going to Do With That?: Finding Careers Outside Academia, from the U of Chicago Press. I’ve not read her book, so please comment if you can speak to its credentials.

What are your thoughts?

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