In the spirit of our manifesto and mission, the Material Collective will organize mentoring encounters among scholars at all career stages at the upcoming International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, with the goal of fostering rich and innovative scholarship by bringing scholars of all ages and backgrounds together to create a community that is more humane and supportive.
Rather than one-on-one sessions, this program will be built around mentoring groups. Recent research into academic mentoring has shown that the traditional “guru” model— where a mentee relies on a single mentor for advice in all areas— is ill-equipped to handle the challenges and opportunities faced by contemporary scholars. As a result, some mentoring programs are advocating that scholars develop a distributed mentoring network, with different mentors able to offer different kinds of advice. The Material Collective’s mentoring program will work to help people build this network by organizing mentoring groups of 3-5 people at varying stages in their academic career. It is our hope that the members of each group will not only share their own wisdom, but also put each other in touch with other friends and colleagues who might be able to offer advice in a particular area. These groups will thus serve as the starting point for creating and strengthening wider networks of mutual support.
Mentoring encounters will be open to any topic, including:
All conversations, and any information collected to support this program, will be kept strictly confidential.
If you are interested in participating in this program, please fill out this questionnaire by April 15, 2017. We will make e-introductions for the mentoring groups by April 30, to allow members of each group to make plans to meet among themselves at the Congress.