2020-21 Professional Development Workshop

Your formal training as a historian takes place in classes and seminars, writing a cognate paper, taking comprehensive exams, and producing a doctoral dissertation.  But there are other facets to an academic career, including public speaking, networking, effective writing, publishing, applying for grants, and teaching.  These are not always addressed directly or explicitly in your formal studies.  The purpose of the PDW is to help prepare you for the many "other" parts of an academic career (as well as careers outside academe). 

All workshops will be held on Thursdays at 12:30pm via Zoom.
RSVP to historyrsvp@uwo.ca.

(Schedule remains subject to change. Check back closer to the dates for panelists and more detailed workshop descriptions.)

Thurs, Sept. 10: Being a Graduate Student During the COVID Pandemic
In our first Professional Development Workshop of the year, we'd like to talk about how the COVID pandemic is affecting you as graduate students, researchers, and teachers. How are you doing? What do you need right now from the program, the department, and the university? What would you like your professors and the program to know about what you are going through right now? Our panelists are Heather Ellis, Allen Priest, and Rob MacDougall, but we especially want to hear from you.

Thurs, Oct. 1: Teaching and Discussion Leading Online
The second Professional Development Workshop of the year will focus on teaching and TAing online. How is being a TA the same or different in a year of emergency remote teaching? How can you lead meaningful, productive discussions in synchronous and asynchronous formats? How can you encourage engagement in online classes? Our panelists Michael Dove, Carla Joubert, and Nicolas Virtue will share their advice and expertise, but as always, we also want to hear from you. What have you learned in the past few weeks? What do you need to know?

Thurs, Oct. 22:  Decolonizing the History Department
In this session of the Professional Development Workshop, we would like to open up a conversation, difficult but necessary, about the ways systemic racism, settler colonialism, and white supremacy have operated and still operate in the historical profession and in history departments like ours. What can each of us do to combat racism and the legacies of racism in our teaching, our research, and our day to day practices? Our panelists include Sara Mai Chitty, Indigenous Curriculum & Pedagogy Advisor for Western’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives, and our own Prof. Laurel Shire.

Thurs, Nov. 19: Responding to Student Writing
Our final Professional Development Workshop for the Fall Term will focus on Responding to Student Writing: reading, grading, and writing feedback on student assignments and exams. This is one of the most challenging parts of your work as a TA; it is also one of the most important! Panelists Heather Ellis, Monda Halpern, and Rob MacDougall will talk about the pedagogical importance of feedback, ways to focus your comments, expectations for grading, and how to get through large stacks of student work efficiently. All first time TAs (tutorial leaders and marking TAs) should attend this session, but experienced TAs are also very welcome (we want to hear from you!)

Thurs, Feb. 4: Applying for Grants and Conferences
This session of the Professional Development Workshop will discuss the process of applying for grants and conferences as a graduate student. When and where should you apply? How do you package or present your work in a grant application or conference abstract or proposal? What conferences are worth your time and effort?

Thurs, Feb. 25: Rejection and Resilience in Academic Life
Academic life almost inevitably involves rejection and perceived rejection. How should we deal with the setbacks and challenges of your academic life? What is resilience and how can we cultivate resilience in our work and personal lives? Melanie-Anne Atkins (Centre for Teaching and Learning) and Rob MacDougall will interview each other on these topics; as always, we also want to hear from you.

Thurs, Mar. 18: Publishing your Research
Our final Professional Development Workshop for the year will focus on publishing your research, with a particular focus on publishing articles in peer-reviewed academic journals. How do you find the right venues in which to publish your work, and how should you prepare your work for publication? How does the publishing process work and how can you navigate it?