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Book to Dissertation

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 7, 2014

From Dissertation to Book
by Naomi Schneider (University of California Press)

Graduate students who are more than halfway through their dissertation may be thinking of turning their dissertation into a book project. At conferences, you have a chance to meet editors from various presses, see what new books are getting published, and also talk to them about your book project—but how do you approach the editors? What do you have to prepare?

Below is a guest post from Naomi Schneider, an editor of the University of California Press, on general guidelines on how to prepare your dissertation into a book manuscript.

Guidelines for writing and publishing your first book

  • Do take on a book subject of real importance and breadth.

  • Do make a first pass at revising the dissertation before contacting a publisher (See below for general rules for revising your dissertation). You will increase your chances of the manuscript being formally considered for publication if you make an effort to revise it before approaching an editor. Editors commonly complain that dissertations contain: too much jargon, long literature reviews, weakly-articulated theses, not enough attention to narrative flow.

  • Do write your book for an audience of general, educated lay readers. (We call this the Upper West Side crowd.) It’s necessary to write more boldly and more engagingly in a book than in your dissertation. Reread some of your favorites books—fiction and nonfiction—and try to emulate the style of successful writers.

  • Do utilize important contacts (adviser, dissertation chair) in making an initial contact with a publisher but don’t overdo it. Your adviser’s support might help you get an editor to read your proposal seriously but your mentor can’t insure acceptance of the manuscript. 

  • Do research the best publishers for your own book. Look up who has published books you admire and works in your field. Make sure to find the correct names and addresses of editors at publishing houses. Start off with approaching your top two or three publishers.

  • Do contact a publisher in a professional manner. Generally I still like to get hard copies of proposals that contain an overview of the book project, a table of contents, a brief discussion of where this books fits within the existing literature (i.e., what makes this book new and noteworthy), a sense of the market for the book and a sample chapter or two.

  • Do realize that some editors will not consider a first manuscript (send it out for review, etc.) if it is submitted to more than one publisher. Most editors will only contract a first book project on the basis of a full manuscript (that the author has made an effort to revise, at least partially, before approaching the publisher). Also realize that contractual terms will be modest and are fairly standard for a first book.

  • Do not lose hope if your book project gets rejected from a publisher. Sometimes I have to turn down a book project just because I have too much on my plate; there are many university presses and publishing options out there.

  • Do read guidebooks in this area that might be helpful, including Revising Your Dissertation: Advice from Leading Editors, edited by Beth Luey (California, 2004) and From Dissertation to Book, by William Germano (Chicago, 2005). 

General rules for revising your dissertation

  • Eliminate and/or minimize review of literature and theory (especially in the first chapter!). A book manuscript is not for your dissertation committee; it's for your colleagues, who have done their homework and will do you the courtesy of assuming that you have also. It’s also for general readers and students, who, if they want to read more, can refer to your bibliography and/or notes.

  • Reviewing and previewing. This is the true mark of a dissertation, and needs to be eliminated! Do not begin each chapter and/or major section by announcing what you are about to say, or reviewing at the end of each chapter what you have just said (i.e., In the following chapter/section I will show x, y, and z, or In the previous chapter I showed a, b, c.Don’t forecast what you’re going to say, just say it!)

  • Readability. The strictures surrounding dissertation writing seldom produce readable writing. Stuffy phrases, passive voice, attribution, and polysyllable jargon are roadblocks in the path of readership. Read it aloud. Does it sing or sag? Will it fly with Joe and Jane on the street? Your goal with this book is not to sound as smart as possible, but to have your book read as ACCESSIBLY as possible (while still delivering the material in a smart fashion).

  • Footnotes. Dissertation writers, afraid that their judgment carries no weight, are apt to footnote almost every statement. But the author of a book must accept responsibility. Delete half your footnotes. Cut them down in both number and in size. A book that is too long, or weighted down with excess documentation, will not be publishable.

  • Completely rewrite your Introduction from scratch so it’s more like a book and less like a dissertation. You need to draw the reader in. Tell a story; use real-life examples to capture the reader’s interest. Don’t make your book about data and theory, make it about people and events!

  • Cut the number of subheadings/subsections in the book. Ditto for your Table of Contents. Subheads give an outlining feelit shows that you know how to outline or write a brief, but for most books the outline should disappear into the fluidity of a context. The book should flow; it should not hop from stone to stone.

  • Bibliography. Having cited everybody who has written anything pertinent, the dissertation writer gathers them into a list and calls it a bibliography. But a useful bibliography must do more than alphabetize footnotes. A judicious bibliographical essay, grouping major references into sections according to their importance to your topic, can be part of what readers will pay for when they buy your book.

  • Too much? When beginning writers don't know quite how to make their pointswhen they are teaching themselves the techniques of writing as they compose their materialthey are apt to fumble a great deal, and the result is wordage by the yard. They dont know when to stop or how to move on. Re-examine your dissertation criticallyothers will. Ruthlessly cut out the flab, and pay special attention to repetition. Dont depend upon the editor to do this. A flabby manuscript may never survive to get into the editors hands. Read questionable passages aloud. If they sound stilted or obscure, they probably are.


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ASTR GSC 2015 Cabinet

Posted By Michelle Cowin Gibbs, Bowling Green State University, Sunday, November 2, 2014
Please join me in welcoming our 2015 Graduate Student Caucus Cabinet:
Kellen HoxworthStanford University 
GSC President and Representative to the Executive Committee
Michelle Salerno, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Vice President and Representative to the Committee on Conferences
Stephanie Vella, Graduate Center of the City University of New York
Vice President and Representative to the Annual Conference Committee
Sarah Campbell, Indiana University
Haddy Kreie, University of California Santa Barbara
GSC Representative to New Paradigms in Graduate Education 

Each representative will assume office after the ASTR Business Meeting in Baltimore on Saturday, November 22, 2014.

Thank you,

President, Graduate Student Caucus
American Society for Theatre Research

Tags:  2015  astr  ASTR Baltimore  astrgsc  graduate students  gsc elections  gsc leadership  haddy kreie  kellen hoxworth  Michelle Cowin-Mensah  michelle salerno  sarah campbell  stephanie vella 

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ASTR GSC 2014-2015 Cabinet Elections - Voting Now Open

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Voting is now open for the ASTR GSC 2014-2015 Cabinet Elections. 

Please note, that you may only vote once and for one candidate in each position. Voting will begin today, Wednesday, October 22, 2014 and will conclude on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 8:00 PM EDT.

Please contact us with questions or concerns at

Click here for an online ballot.  

 Thank you and Good Luck! 

Tags:  2015  ASTR  graduate students  GSC  gsc elections 

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Alt-Ac Career Session Inquiry

Posted By Michelle Cowin Gibbs, Bowling Green State University, Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hello all,

Ariel Nereson, Ph.D. (Vassar College) is heading up the alt-ac career session in Baltimore. See the following notice below:

If you are planning on attending the alt-ac career session at this year's ASTR conference in Baltimore, what topics would you like to be discussed? Do you have any particular questions? Please send all questions regarding the  e-mail with topics and questions for our discussion.

Thank you,

Michelle Cowin-Mensah

President, Graduate Student Caucus 

American Society for Theatre Research

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2014 - 2015 GSC Cabinet Nominations - EXTENDED!

Posted By Michelle Cowin Gibbs, Bowling Green State University, Saturday, September 20, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Graduate Student Caucus



Self-Nomination Deadline: October 17, 2014@ 9 PM EDT

Voting: October 20-24, 2014 @ 9PM EDT


Service to the profession is an important component of any career.  The ASTR Graduate Student Caucus is pleased to announce several opportunities for service in the 2014-2015 GSC Cabinet:  


GSC Cabinet Positions


The GSC Cabinet consists of the following positions, elected by the GSC membership:

  1. GSC President, Representative to the Executive Committee (filled for 2014-2015 in the ASTR General Election)
  2. GSC Vice President, Representative to the Committee on Conferences
  3. GSC Vice President, Representative to the Annual Conference Committee
  4. GSC Secretary, Representative to the Fundraising Committee
  5. GSC Representative to the Committee on New Paradigms in Graduate Education


1) President & GSC Representative to the Executive Committee (Kellen Hoxworth for 2014-2015-- elected in the ASTR General Election)


Oversees holistic organization of the GSC as directed by its membership at large;  

Works closely with the GSC Cabinet and ASTR President;

Advocates for graduate student opportunities to actively participate in ASTR;

Guides GSC initiatives and delegates responsibilities for timely completion; and

Participates in the ASTR Executive Committee meetings in March and November.


TERM:  One year as GSC President (November 2014-November 2015)

*To run for President of the GSC the candidate must have previously served on  
the GSC Cabinet.


2) GSC Vice-President and Representative to the Committee on Conferences


Assists the GSC President in oversight of GSC operations & initiatives;  

Represents the GSC general membership to the ASTR Committee on Conferences;

Acts as liaison between ASTR Annual Conference Committee, the GSC cabinet and GSC general membership;


Helps to oversee the operations of the GSC collectively; 

In the following year’s election, automatically becomes nominee for the position of GSC

President in the absence of other nominations.


TERM: One year (November 2014-November 2015)


3) GSC Vice-President and Representative to the Annual Conference Committee  


Assists the GSC President in oversight of GSC operations & initiatives; 

Represents the GSC general membership to the ASTR Annual Conference Committee;

Acts as liaison between ASTR Annual Conference Committee, the GSC cabinet and

GSC general membership;


Helps to oversee the operations of the GSC collectively;

In the following year’s election, automatically becomes nominee for the position of GSC President in the absence of other nominations. 

TERM:  One year (November 2014-November  2015)

4) GSC Secretary / Historian and GSC Representative to the ASTR Fundraising Committee


Takes minutes at GSC meetings and distributes minutes and notes to GSC membership;

Partners with the ASTR Secretary to document and archive the work of the GSC;

Represents the GSC general membership constituency to the ASTR Fundraising Committee as needed;

Helps to oversee the operations of the GSC collectively;

Acts as liaison between Mentorship Committee, the GSC cabinet and GSC general membership.



TERM: One year  (November 2014-November 2015)


5) GSC Representative to the ASTR Committee on New Paradigms in Graduate Education


Represents the GSC general membership on the Committee on New Paradigms in Graduate Education;

Helps to oversee the operations of the GSC collectively;

Acts as liaison between this committee, the GSC cabinet and GSC general membership.


TERM: One year (November 2014-November 2015)



The Nomination/Election Process

If you are interested in any of the above elected positions, please nominate yourself by sending a 250-word (max) bio and (optional) recent photograph to  In your bio, please include:

• Institution

• Research Interests

• Service Experience

• Vision for the Position and the GSC


You must email your nomination no later than 9:00p.m. EDT on Friday, October 17, 2014; please put “ASTR GSC Nomination” in the subject line of your message. If you do not receive a response within 48 hours acknowledging your nomination contact Michelle Cowin-Mensah ( or Amanda Boyle (  A link to the voting website will be announced to Graduate Student Members of ASTR on October 20, 2014. Voting will be completed the following week. Results will be announced following the voting period.

Tags:  astr  gsc elections  gsc leadership 

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Message from GSC President, Michelle Cowin-Mensah

Posted By Michelle Cowin Gibbs, Bowling Green State University, Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 2014

Dear ASTR GSC Membership:

Happy Summer! We are about six months away from the next conference and our committees have been hard at work preparing some exciting happenings for Baltimore, November 2014. Below are a few updates since our last meeting in Dallas.


GSC Executive Committee:

We have proposed some recruitment initiatives in an effort to grow our membership. Led by Sara Boland-Taylor (Rep. to the New Paradigms in Graduate Education), we created a recruitment letter addressed to Theatre and Theatre-related graduate program advisors to introduce the goals and interests of our caucus. We hope to solicit interest in GSC as well as remind ASTR affiliated graduate program advisors of our activities.

Virtual Book Club:
Co-Chairs: Allan Davis (Maryland) and Rita Kompelmakher (Minnesota)

 We are pleased to announce the organization of the 2014 Virtual Book Club. In preparation for an extended discussion at the 2014 ASTR conference in Baltimore, the GSC invites ASTR members at all stages of their careers to participate, reading and discussing a book reflective of an ongoing conversation about new paradigms for graduate education in theatre and performance studies.

We will read and discuss Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius's "So What are You Going to Do with That?": Finding Careers Outside Academia. As book club participants read chapters throughout July, August, and September, GSC officers will guide a forum discussion on a group page on the ASTR website through prompt questions based on the reading. We will consider how to transfer the general advice of the book to the specifics of our training in the fields of theatre and performance studies.

Certainly, this reading will appeal to graduate students considering where they can apply training and education after graduation; however, it is our hope that this virtual book club will also serve junior and senior faculty members of ASTR who are being increasingly asked to mentor students through these new paradigms. Please consider passing along this information to the graduate advisors of your current institutions. This book is a must read for all!

If you would like to sign up to participate in the Virtual Book Club, join us on the ASTR website for an exciting discussion. Please note, you must obtain a copy of the text (electronic or print) to participate. Copies are available online at Amazon $11.43 paperback and $9.99 Kindle edition. ISBN: 978-0226038827.

Conference Assistance Committee:
Co-Chairs: Areum Jeong (UCLA) and Ira Murfin (Northwestern University)

We have a team of graduate students working on creating our annual conference assistance packet. This guide will provide all attendees with host city information, food and eatery locations, local arts and entertainment, as well as offer helpful guidance for first-time ASTR attendees on navigating through a successful conference experience.

Peer Mentorship Committee:
Co-Chairs: Shamell Bell (UCLA), Christiana Mulldrem Harkulich (Pitts), and Kellyn Johnson (UC Santa Barbara)

Formally titled, Peer Support Program Committee, the GSC Executive Committee decided to fold the duties of the Mentorship Program in with the Peer Support Program to better and more efficiently serve the needs of our caucus. This year, Peer Mentorship will host our annual Mentorship Breakfast to be held the Saturday morning of the conference. We will also introduce two new networking events in Baltimore with more details to come later. Last year we had 46 mentors and 53 mentees and are hoping to have an even greater number of participants. Sign up for mentor and mentee registration will begin in early September 2014. For more information on how you can get involved with Peer Mentorship, please contact Michelle Cowin-Mensah at

Web Resources Committee:
Chair: Danielle Rosvally (Tufts)

We have folded Graduate Resource Committee into the Web committee, as most of the information that was generated from Graduate Resources was content to be posted on our website and blog activity. Currently this group is working on creating an online recruitment brochure that will include information on each of our committees, as well as additional opportunities to serve in the GSC. If you would like to get involved, contact the committee chair at

Congratulations to Kellen Hoxworth (Stanford) on being elected our next President of the GSC. Kellen will also serve as representative to the ASTR Executive Committee. His term will begin in November 2014 and end in November 2015. Nominations for GSC Executive Committee cabinet positions will begin in September 2014. The following positions will be available for nominations:

GSC Vice President, Representative to the Committee on Conferences

GSC Vice President, Representative to the Annual Conference Committee

GSC Secretary and Historian

GSC Representative to the Committee on New Paradigms in Graduate Education

Any GSC member may be nominated to a leadership position. These positions are a one-year term to begin November 2014 and end November 2015. For elections to be valid, individuals selected must be currently enrolled graduate students both at the time of election and on upon the commencement of their term. If a member holding a leadership position completes their graduate studies during their term, they may continue to serve until the end of the term, provided they remain members of both ASTR and the GSC. For more information on the service obligations of each position, please visit our website at Please feel free to contact me at with questions, concerns, and/or requests for more information on how you can get involved with the GSC. I am beyond thrilled in anticipation of our 2014 annual conference and I hope to see you all in Baltimore!

Many Blessings,

Michelle Cowin-Mensah,
President and Rep. to the Executive Committee,
American Society for Theatre Research Graduate Student Caucus

Tags:  ASTR Baltimore  conference  graduate students  GSC 

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GSC Sponsored ASTR Virtual Book Club

Posted By Allan Davis, University of Maryland, College Park, Monday, July 14, 2014
Hello all,

I just wanted to invite everyone to participate in the GSC organized Virtual Book Club. We will be reading and discussing "So What Are You Going to Do with That?": Finding Careers Outside Academia. We will spend the next few months discussing how to apply the general advice in the book to our specific circumstances in the fields of theatre and performance studies. So get your copy of the book and then come to the website for the discussion. The first discussion question will be posted within the next few days.

Though this we anticipate that this will serve graduate students as we all move forward in thinking about how to apply our training and education upon graduation, we also encourage everyone to invite faculty at their institutions to participate as well. Our faculty mentors are being asked to mentor us through new paradigms they either did not face or pursue. It is our hope that this book club will give all of us the helpful tools and perspectives to navigate questions of employment in or out of the academy.

Best regards
Allan Davis
GSC Vice-President

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June 1st Deadline - ASTR CFP: Performing the Boundaries Between Theatre Studies and Dance Studies

Posted By Ira S. Murfin, Northwestern University, Monday, May 26, 2014

Proposals due June 1st.
Please circulate.


Call for Proposals: ASTR/TLA 2014 Conference, November 20-23

                             Baltimore Marriot Waterfront, Baltimore, MD



Performing the Boundaries Between Theatre Studies and Dance Studies

Working Session Conveners:

Susan Manning, Northwestern University

Nadine George-Graves, University of California, San Diego

Ira S. Murfin, Northwestern University



Continuing the work of the 2012 session Working Between Theatre Studies and Dance Studies, this session builds on an institutional history within ASTR of both integrating theatre and dance studies and seeking to distinguish the boundaries between them. Following the earlier session, as well as ASTR’s 2010 joint meeting with the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD), which saw the establishment of awards supporting intersections of theatre and dance scholarship, and in anticipation of the new Oxford Handbook of Theatre and Dance edited by session co-convener Nadine George-Graves, we look to deepen and expand the conversation between these distinct but intertwined fields.


We ask: How do the frames of theatre and dance studies perform different understandings of history, practice, and pedagogy? We hope papers will look to the historical record to include topics that predate recent interdisciplinary tendencies. At the same time, we hope that the session will not only prompt papers on practices that incorporate recognizable elements of the two disciplines, but also inventive scholarly initiatives that broadly apply methodologies synthesized from both fields. Possible areas of inquiry might include:


·       How dance and theatre are positioned differently and taught differently within academic institutions.

·       Interpretations of ‘dance-theatre’ in different contexts.

·       Comparative topics in theatre and dance (e.g., verfremdungseffekt in the theatre of Bertolt Brecht and the dance of Valeska Gert.)

·       Historically multi-disciplinary forms (e.g., opera, court entertainments.)

·       Elements of theatre and dance as experimental interventions within each other’s traditions (e.g., Lecture performance in dance; movement-based theatre.)

·       Applications of theatre studies to a figure or topic from dance history, or vice versa (e.g., theatre studies perspectives on Pina Bausch or Martha Graham; a dance studies analysis of Ibsen.)

·       How methods and terminology used in the production of theatre and dance differently affect scholarship (e.g., play text/dance scenario; revival/reconstruction; approaches to dramaturgy.)


Participants will be divided into smaller groups of 5-7 people, organized to encourage exchange across topics and perspectives.  By October 15, participants will submit their papers (<15 pgs) to their group’s online forum. In the weeks leading up to the conference participants will offer feedback and discuss themes, questions, and points of disjunction that emerge within the groups. During the 2-hour time slot, participants will first break up into their groups to continue the pre-conference discussion.  We will reconvene to share our findings and make connections across groups in the second half of the meeting, reserving time for questions and participation from observers.


We are establishing this as a biennial group focused on approaching intersections in the study, practice, and teaching of theatre and dance from a wide range of perspectives. We encourage both new participants and those returning from the 2012 session to submit proposals to continue the group’s work. We are particularly interested in papers focused on historical objects of study, as well as proposals that inventively cross disciplinary divides, though we are open to all relevant topics.


Proposals are invited from scholars at all levels in the form of a 300-word abstract and a brief bio, due June 1st, 2014. Please submit your proposal as an email attachment to: Ira S. Murfin at Selected participants will be notified in June and must register for and attend the ASTR conference in Baltimore November 20th -23rd.

Tags:  Baltimore  CFP  dance studies  theatre studies  working session 

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New Online Journal - CFP

Posted By Jennifer A. Goff, Centre College, Friday, May 23, 2014


Etudes ( is a new online theatre and performance studies journal for emerging scholars, dedicated to the unique voice of the individual scholar.  In this, our first call for papers, we invite the submission of scholarly manuscripts, media, performance reviews, creative work, manifestos, etc. covering any range of topics within the theatre and performance studies realm.  We highly encourage works of performative writing and academic playfulness.  This is a place to try things out, take some risks, and expand the definition of what is considered rigorous publishable material.

Submission Deadline is 11:59pm (EST) September 15, 2014


All submissions (including audio or video) must be accompanied by a cover page that includes your name and affiliation, title of submission, email and phone number, brief personal bio, and brief abstract (150-300 words).

Authors are responsible for obtaining appropriate permissions to use any non-original content within their submissions.

Submissions must not be under consideration for any other publication.

Submissions and inquiries should be emailed to  If your submission cannot be sent via email (for example, large video files), please email us and we will work out the easiest method of delivery.

Manuscripts should adhere to most recent MLA or Chicago Manual of Style guidelines and should be submitted in MS Word or plain text format.  While our online format makes our length requirements very flexible, we ask that papers not exceed 6,000 words (including footnotes, endnotes, and works cited).  When additional media such as videos or photos are included in a manuscript submission, please send those additional elements separately rather than embedding them in the document file.  Please do be sure to indicate in your file where the elements should be included.

Audio pieces should be submitted via email in mp3 format.  Video pieces should be submitted in mov or mp4 formats, preferably 640 pixels in width.  Videos will need to be submitted via file transfer site, vimeo download or other secure source for large file transfer.  Please be sure to email the editors to discuss video submission.  Though it is not required, some written component (in addition to the required cover page) to accompany and contextualize your project may be advisable.

We do not currently have the capabilities for hosting web-based projects, but do hope to in the future.  Please feel free to contact us if you have ideas in this area.

All submissions will be blind reviewed by two reviewers from our editorial board (listed in the ABOUT section).  Please note that, with many video or audio submissions, true anonymity may not be possible, but such pieces will still be fairly reviewed.

The mission of this journal is to provide publication opportunities for those who haven't had many yet, so we are primarily looking for submissions from scholars who fit that description.

As a recurring section in Etudes, we invite the submission of Pecha Kucha presentations - that is, powerpoint or slide style presentations that consist of 20 slides shown for 20 seconds apiece, adding up to a total presentation of 6 minutes and 40 seconds.  There are a variety of ways to record such presentations - audio can be recorded within a timed powerpoint or keynote presentation, video could be recorded of a live presentation, etc.  Submissions must formatted to open in a Windows environment.  Pecha Kuchas will not be peer reviewed, but will be reviewed by editors-in-chief for content.  These "concise presentations" provide brief and often fascinating snapshots of an idea, issue, art form, event, etc.  Deadline is rolling for Pecha Kucha submissions.

Etudes supports the Creative Commons option for alternative licensing protections.  Authors retain ownership of their work, while allowing certain usages.  We do ask that, if your work is shared again later in another source or form, that you cite Etudes as the original source of publication.  The Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license under which we operate allows readers to download and share your work, but only with appropriate attribution.  They may not alter your work in any way, or use your work commercially without your express permission.  If your materials contain elements that are under another copyright, it is up to the author to secure the appropriate permissions to include those elements in publication of your work.

Tags:  CFP  emerging scholars  graduate students 

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[Reminder - Deadline Extended] Call for Volunteers: GSC Conference Assistance Committee for ASTR 2014 in Baltimore

Posted By Ira S. Murfin, Northwestern University, Monday, February 10, 2014

ASTR’s Graduate Student Caucus (GSC), the body representing current and recent graduate students within ASTR, is still looking for graduate students interested in volunteering for the 2014 ASTR Conference Assistance Committee. The conference assistance committee is in charge of putting together a comprehensive information packet to help both graduate students and conference attendees in general navigate the conference and the host city - this year Baltimore! We are in need of additional volunteers and have extended the response deadline until February 21st. Please see below for details:

We seek volunteers to form four subcommittees that will each be tasked with independently gathering and organizing useful information to be compiled into an informational packet in advance of the conference. These are:

  • Arts & Entertainment: Provide a guide to performances, music, museums, nightlife, sightseeing, and other cultural activities, as well as general information about walkable neighborhoods accessible to the conference hotel. May need to coordinate with the Food & Drink and Transportation subcommittees.

  • Food & Drink: Provide a guide to a variety of options for food, coffee, & drinking both convenient to the hotel and worthwhile destinations for those who wish to travel farther afield. May need to coordinate with Arts & Entertainment and Transportation subcommittees, especially to identify dining options near performance venues and other cultural attractions.

  • Transportation: Guide to transportation in Baltimore, including driving directions, information on getting to the conference hotel from transportation hubs by taxi, public transit, etc., and information about getting around Baltimore by public transit, on foot, and by alternative methods (bike sharing, etc.) May need to coordinate with the Arts & Entertainment and Food & Drink subcommittees.

  • Conference Navigation: A guide to conference basics, including introducing the different types of sessions at ASTR and how to participate, and highlighting some events and aspects of the conference that may be of particular interest, especially to those newer to ASTR. May need to coordinate with the GSC representatives to the ASTR Executive Committee and a representative from the GSC Web Committee, which has already published some of this information on the GSC blog. It would be useful to have the voice of someone in this group who has attended ASTR before.

Each of these groups will work independently, in consultation with one another and the committee co-chairs, to research and compile a useful set of information for the guide. Some will require more research, writing, and coordination, others are more straightforward. So long as subcommittees work together no individual should have to do an overwhelming amount of work. Once formed, the subcommittees will have 4-5 months to prepare their material before final submission to the committee co-chairs, so there should be plenty of time.

Volunteering for the Conference Assistance Committee is a great way to get involved with the GSC and meet other graduate students in the field. It is also a good professional service credit to add to your CV. You do not have to have attended an ASTR conference before to volunteer, though those who have done so are encouraged to contribute the wisdom of experience, it is nice to have a mix of newer and more experienced perspectives. If you are familiar with Baltimore at all, that is also a plus, though not at all a requirement.

If you are interested in volunteering, please send your contact information and your first and second choices of subcommittees you would like to work on, to committee co-chair Ira S. Murfin at by February 21st.  We will respond with assignments and further instructions soon thereafter.

With thanks,

Areum Jeong & Ira S. Murfin

Conference Assistance Committee Co-Chairs

Tags:  2014  ASTR  Baltimore  conference  Graduate Student Assistance  graduate students  GSC 

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