Event—Center for Renaissance Studies

CRS Professional Development Seminars

The Center for Renaissance Studies (CRS) will host a series of virtual professional development seminars. Each seminar meeting will be hosted by a CRS staff member along with experts in the related field. The sessions will provide insights, skills, and tools for scholars on teaching online, publishing, grant writing, and seeking employment outside of academia. Each session will last approximately one hour, and will include discussions between the presenters and an Q&A session with the attendees. See below for a full list of seminar topics and presenters.

Session 1: Digital Pedagogical Design and the Humanities in the Time of COVID

Elisa Jones (Newberry Library/College of Charleston) and Melissa Wong (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Thursday, July 16
1 pm CDT

This session presents strategies for online course design that center student interaction and engagement in order to re-create the humanities classroom experience and improve retention in online courses. Given the uncertainty many instructors face in planning for fall, the presenters will introduce flexible pedagogical practices that can be adapted for varied modalities, including asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid online and face-to-face instruction. The session will be presented by former CRS postdoctoral fellow and Assistant Professor of History at the College of Charleston Elisa Jones along with e-learning, pedagogy, and course design expert and consultant Melissa Wong from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s School of Information Sciences. This pedagogical conversation will be followed by an audience Q & A.

Elisa J. Jones is a historian of early modern France and the history of rights who has recently taught at the University of Chicago, DePaul University, and Purdue University Northwest. Elisa also has 13 years of experience teaching online. In addition to an M.A. in History from the Catholic University of America and a PhD in History from the University of Chicago, Elisa is currently completing M.S. coursework at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s School of Information Sciences in digital humanities and the history of the book, as well as working on digital projects for the Center for Renaissance Studies. Following her postdoctoral fellowship at the Newberry Library with CRS, she is joining the Department of History at the College of Charleston as an Assistant Professor.

Melissa Wong has more than 20 years of experience teaching online. Melissa is an instructor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she teaches courses in instruction, e-learning, higher education, and reference. She is passionate about creating online learning that is relevant and engaging through the use of authentic content and inclusive, accessible design. Melissa is consistently recognized on the University’s “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students” and was the 2012 recipient of the Campus Award for Excellence in Online and Distance Teaching. Her book Instructional Design for LIS Professionals was published in 2019 by Libraries Unlimited. She is also the co-editor of Reference and Information Services: An Introduction, 6th edition, published in 2020 by Libraries Unlimited.

Session 2: Publishing in Premodern Studies

Lia Markey (Newberry Library), Eleanor H. Goodman (Penn State University Press), and Jerome Singerman (University of Pennsylvania Press)
Thursday, July 30, 2020
1 pm CDT

How should you pitch your book to prospective publishers? What needs to be in a proposal? How do you choose whom to contact? What are the current trends in monograph publishing, and how might they affect you? Lia Markey, Director of the Center for Renaissance Studies, will join two renowned editors of scholarly books devoted to premodern studies, Eleanor H. Goodman and Jerome Singerman, in conversation to discuss the process of publishing today. While the conversation will focus primarily on how to go about publishing your first monographic study, an audience Q&A will open up the discussion to incorporate a variety of topics including edited volumes, grants for publishing and image rights, understanding reader reviews, and beyond.

Lia Markey is the Director of the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library. She has published a monographic study with Penn State University Press, edited volumes with Cambridge University Press and Northwestern University Press, and contributed to several exhibition catalogues and edited volumes with a variety of other presses. Dr. Markey also acts as a reader for several presses and sits on a committee for a book prize.

Eleanor H. Goodman has been Executive at the Penn State University Press since 2006, where she acquires books in art and architectural history; medieval and early modern studies; Iberian and Latin American studies; magic and esotericism; and Modernism. She began her publishing career as an editorial assistant at the University of Virginia Press. In addition to her university press experience, her background includes curatorial and research positions at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and at the Frick Art Reference Library in NYC. She also served as head of programs for UVA’s Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture and taught art history at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She earned her M.A. in art history from UVA and her Ph.D. in art history from NYU.

Jerome Singerman is Senior Humanities Editor at the University of Pennsylvania Press, where he oversees lists in a wide range of fields, including Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Jewish Studies, and History of the Book.

Session 3: Marketing Premodern Studies Beyond Academia

Christopher D. Fletcher (Newberry Library) and Lindsey Martin (Northwestern University)
Thursday, August 13, 2020
1 pm CDT

This session will focus on the challenge of translating one’s expertise and skill as a scholar of the humanities for non-specialist audiences, particularly in the context of applying for jobs outside of academia. Lindsey Martin, Assistant Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Northwestern University, will join CRS Assistant Director Christopher Fletcher in a conversation about how scholars can market themselves and their skills to employers outside of academia in a job market made even more challenging by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our conversation will touch on how scholars can share their work with broader audiences, how to follow their research interests into a non-academic career path, and how to write a non-academic cover letter. A Q&A session will follow the discussion.

Christopher D. Fletcher is the Assistant Director of the Newberry’s Center for Renaissance Studies, where his main duties involve developing opportunities to engage diverse audiences with the Newberry’s medieval and early modern collections. He has spent most of his professional life working to engage diverse audiences in classical, medieval, and early modern culture and history in a variety of ways, including digital resources, exhibitions, social media campaigns, and in-person programming. While at the Newberry, he has worked closely with audiences ranging from elementary school students to church groups to diplomats.

Lindsey Martin received her PhD in Russian history from Stanford University in 2015. After graduation, she spent three years as a career adviser and program manager of Making History Work, the pilot program of the Career Diversity for Historians initiative in the Department of History at the University of Chicago. Sponsored by the American Historical Association and the Mellon Foundation, the initiative worked to expand the range of skills and experiences graduate students acquire through doctoral training in history to better prepare them for a wide range of careers after graduation. She continues to promote graduate professional development and student support at Northwestern University, where she has worked in The Graduate School and currently serves as the assistant director of academic affairs and administration in the Medical Scientist Training Program.

Session 4: Grant Writing

Rebecca L. Fall (Newberry Library) and John Paul Christy (ACLS)
Thursday, August 27, 2020
1 pm CDT

This session will focus on grant writing in broad terms. John Paul Christy, Senior Director of U.S. Programs at the ACLS, will join Rebecca L. Fall, program manager at the Newberry’s Center for Renaissance Studies, for a conversation about the process of finding funding for humanities scholars. In addition to offering practical advice for applicants, we will put the grant writing process into context by discussing how it fits into larger U.S. fundraising and grantmaking operations. Topics may include the fundamental components of a successful proposal (whether for individual or institutional projects), the award selection process, and how to interpret larger trends in funding and philanthropy.

Rebecca L. Fall is program manager at the Newberry’s Center for Renaissance Studies, where she oversees all logistical, administrative, and financial operations. She has broad experience in fundraising and grant writing: in addition to peer-reviewing grant applicants and sitting on award selection committees, she has been awarded over $215,000 in competitive individual fellowships, and has contributed to several six- and seven-figure grant proposals to support institutional programming. Prior to joining CRS, Rebecca worked in fundraising operations at both the Newberry Library in Chicago and The Public Theater in NYC. She received her PhD in English from Northwestern University.

John Paul Christy is Senior Director of U.S. Programs at the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), where he helps maintain and enhance the Council’s peer-review processes while also developing and implementing new fellowship and grant programs, with special focus on programs that highlight the public dimensions of humanities scholarship. As director, he frequently represents ACLS and its work to various stakeholders in the academic and philanthropic communities, and to the wider public. Before joining ACLS in 2012, Christy was a Presidential Management Fellow in Washington, DC, where his portfolio included projects related to US public diplomacy, Internet anti-censorship programs, and the public humanities. He received his PhD in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania.