One of the things I’ve always said about medieval studies as an area of expertise is that the mentoring one gets in this field is brilliant – both in and out of one’s home institution, medievalists are among the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever known. Medievalists also have a variety of mentoring initiatives that take place at conferences and beyond. As I perused my Facebook feed this week, and saw how many initiatives are available this year, I thought it might be helpful to have a short list of all the mentoring options that are open to scholars of medieval studies attending Kalamazoo.
First, the Society for Medieval Feminist Studies’s Mentoring Exchange. it's too late to sign up for this year, but never fear! The mentoring exchange is a yearly event at Kalamazoo, so if you didn't have a chance to sign up this year you can do it next time!
Information: Graduate students, independent scholars, junior and senior faculty members - anyone at any stage in his/her career is welcome to participate as either mentors or mentees (or both). The aim of the mentoring exchange is to bring people together at Kalamazoo. Relationships can continue after the Kalamazoo congress, but we stress that the congress itself is intended to be the main venue of the exchange.Second, the Medieval Academy of America has formed a mentoring initiative, and are accepting participants through 5 pm today, April 29th. It is broadly intended for graduate students to meet with faculty, but this year they are ALSO piloting a program for undergraduates to meet with current graduate students at the conference, so if you know an undergrad attending Kalamazoo, take a look at this form as well.
Information: The intent of the mentorship exchanges is for experienced scholars to welcome and briefly connect with newer members of the medievalist community and to help facilitate social and professional interaction. The mentorship program thus offers students an additional opportunity to expand their professional network beyond their own academic institution. The initial extent of the commitment would be for mentees and mentors to meet for a brief conversation at an agreed-upon time during the conference in question. The continuation of the mentor relationship after the conference is at the discretion of the parties involved.Finally, the mentoring initiative I know most about because - along with Megan Cavell, Damian Fleming, and Peter Darby – I’m helping run it: The Old English Mentoring Initiative. Presently, we will run mentoring exchanges (based on the SMFS model) at both Kalamazoo and Leeds, and we’re hoping to add an online component over the summer. We’re accepting applications to mentor or be mentored at Kalamazoo through April 30, and longer for Leeds (which you can also sign up for now!). You can sign up for both sides – mentor a more junior scholar or be mentored by a more senior one. I’m extremely pleased with how this new initiative has come together – we’re getting great support from the community of Anglo-Saxonists, the MLA Old English Forum, and the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists. We’re looking forward to seeing how this initiative develops!
Information: We are very pleased to announce a new mentoring network that aims to encourage a positive sense of community among Old English and Anglo-Saxon studies scholars. We feel that the mentoring of the next generation of scholars is essential to keeping our small field healthy and happy, and we are committed to the importance of community-building that spans all career levels. To launch this network, we will be matching up our first round of mentors and mentees in time for this year’s medieval congresses in Kalamazoo and Leeds. In the future, we plan to include an online mentoring component, so stay tuned if you can’t make it to either conference this year. If you are attending Kalamazoo, please sign up no later than April 30th.Find out more about our code of conduct and the specifics of the program here. Have a question? Email us at oldenglishmentoring[at]gmail[dot]com!