The Medieval Academy of America had a larger presence than ever at the International Medieval Congress at Leeds this year, with a contingent that included President David Wallace, First Vice-President Ruth Mazo Karras, several Councilors, members of the administrative and Speculum staff, and several dozen MAA members. Our plenarist, Anne D. Hedeman (Univ. of Kansas), delivered a brilliant and well-attended lecture on Wednesday night that was followed by a convivial reception. Join us next year, when our plenarist will be Aden Kumler (Univ. of Chicago).
The Graduate Student Committee (GSC) held a roundtable at IMC Leeds 2018 titled “The Academic Work-Life Imbalance: Tips and Techniques for Managing Graduate School and Your Personal Life.” Chaired by Dr. Lucy Barnhouse (College of Wooster), the roundtable offered insights from Dr. Anna Peterson (Independent Scholar, Valladolid), Dr. Abigail G. Robertson (University of New Mexico), and Dr. Faith Wallis (McGill University). Many different facets of the work-life balance were addressed: funding, job-searching, managing a positive relationship with your advisor, succeeding in academia with mental illness and learning disabilities, the changing nature of the academy and what that means to the futures of graduate students. The discussion was vibrant and interesting with a particular focus on the pros and cons of social media use in graduate school – both as a professional marketing tool and a means to disseminate and engage with current research. Ultimately, the roundtable presented a message of hope for the future: Though there are struggles faced by graduate students in the current climate of academia, there are a multitude of avenues to pursue and many resources available to make the experience a more beneficial and positive one. These are issues that the GSC hopes to follow up on in future roundtables during the 2018-19 academic year! (GSC dispatch submitted by GSC Member Courtney Krolikoski)