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American Sociological Association: 2013 Director of Graduate Studies Conference
August 9, 2013
Gramercy East, Hilton New York Midtown
This half day conference for directors of graduate studies programs focuses on the organizational challenges of managing MA and PhD programs in sociology. Topics respond to current issues in graduate education, and may include effective recruitment, balancing funding priorities, maintaining and promoting diversity, PhD completion, and preparing students for the job market. The conference is held the afternoon prior to the start of the ASA Annual Meeting.
Teaching Writing in Sociology Graduate Programs: Training the Next Generation
Writing is a crucial skill sociologists must learn. Yet graduate departments have often assumed that students will develop these skills on their own --by taking substantive courses and through the experience of submitting journal manuscripts. Today, a number of developments have made it more important than ever for sociology graduate students to learn to write well.
Upon completing their studies, graduate students enter a job market that often looks very different from the market their faculty advisors encountered when searching for their first job. Students applying for academic jobs may be passed over if they do not already have peer-reviewed publications on their vita. More and more students also pursue careers outside of academe, and need to develop a different set of skills. Finally, in order to make use of digital forms of communication, students require strong writing skills.
This year’s Director of Graduate Studies Conference will focus on the role that graduate programs (at both the MA and PhD level) play, and should play in teaching writing, and how they can accommodate the shifting terrain of scholarly communication. With presentations by ASA journal editors, book publishers, and non-academic writers, it will explore the full range of sociological writing, including writing for public sociology in the digital age. The conference will also include representatives of sociology graduate programs. Conference participants will discuss the writing curriculum in their own departments and brainstorm with DGSs from similar departments regarding steps that could be taken in the short, medium, and long term to make it more wide-ranging and effective.
The conference will be led by Arlene Stein (State University of New Jersey-Rutgers) and Douglas Hartmann (University of Minnesota). The DGS Conference takes place Friday, August 9 from 1:30-5:30pm, just prior to the Opening Plenary for the 2013 Annual Meeting.