Princeton’s Graduate School to Host Modern Language Association Summer Institute, July 11-15

July 12, 2022

Princeton’s Graduate School to Host Modern Language Association (MLA) Summer Institute 2022

The GradFUTURES professional development team in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School will host the 2022 MLA Summer Teaching Institute in Reading-Writing Pedagogy from July 11-15. The Institute, which is made possible by the generous support of MLA and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will devote special attention to anti-racist pedagogies and Indigenous populations. Prior 2022 Institute locations included the University of Missouri, St. Louis (June 6-10) and California State University, Los Angeles (June 26-30).

“We are delighted to partner with the MLA to host this program as part of Princeton’s shared commitment to professional development and increased access, diversity, and inclusion. Last year, President Eisgruber called upon the University community to take action to eradicate systemic racism and we are honored to support the national work of the MLA in promoting anti-racist pedagogies and greater understanding of Indigenous populations,” said Eva Kubu, Associate Dean for Professional Development & Director of GradFUTURES at Princeton’s Graduate School. Kubu observed that “gaining exposure to innovative pedagogical approaches is critically important for all current and future faculty to meet the unique and evolving needs of an increasingly diverse student body," and noted that teaching and mentoring as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion are among the eight core competencies in the GradFUTURES professional development framework.

Over the course of the week, 17 participants, composed of faculty at access-oriented institutions and doctoral students interested in teaching at community colleges and other institutions that emphasize access and equity over selectivity, will meet on Princeton's campus to discuss and develop pedagogical research projects. MLA executive Director Paula Krebs and Eva Kubu welcomed attendees on Monday. The Institute will be facilitated by Howard Tinberg, Professor Emeritus and Professor of English at Bristol Community College in Massachusetts, and Lisa King, Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics in the Department of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 

Howard is a former editor of Teaching English at the Two-Year College and chair of the Conference on College Composition and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, director of Communication. He is the author or editor of several books, including Border Talk: Writing and Knowing at the Two-Year College and Writing with Consequence: What Writing Does in the Disciplines. He was recognized in 2004 as the Outstanding Community College Professor by the Carnegie Foundation and CASE.

"The MLA Summer Institute in Reading-Writing Pedagogy affords participants the opportunity to learn about and to experience best practices in teaching reading and writing at access-oriented institutions, supported by the most current research and scholarship," said Tinberg. "Graduate students who participate are introduced to the unique mission and diverse student demographic of AOI's, while early career AOI faculty who participate receive a sound foundation in sound and well-tested reading and writing pedagogy."

Lisa’s research and teaching interests are interdisciplinary, based on cultural rhetorics with an emphasis in contemporary Native American and Indigenous rhetorics. More specifically, she focuses on the rhetorics of cross-cultural sites such as Indigenous museums and cultural centers, and theorizing cross-cultural pedagogy through the teaching of Indigenous texts in rhetoric and composition classrooms. She is the co-editor of Survivance, Sovereignty, and Story: Teaching American Indian Rhetorics (2015), and author of Legible Sovereignties: Rhetoric, Representations, and Native American Museums (2017). Her current work focuses on decolonization as part of the relationship between public Indigenous self-representation and place, including museum sites in Europe, but also at home at UTK’s McClung Museum. Her current projects include a new edited collection co-edited with Andrea Riley Mukavetz, tentatively titled Decolonial Possibilities: Indigenously-Rooted Practices in Rhetoric and Writing, and an Indigenous community-based exhibition at McClung Museum called “A Sense of Indigenous Place.”

“My hopes for the Institute are that we can help instructors think about and develop effective pedagogies both in terms of anti-racist work and perspectives and also in terms of instructor relationships and responsibilities to Indigenous lands, nations, and students,” says King. “Every college and university is on Indigenous land, and so it’s only natural – and necessary –  that as educators we take up these topics.”

MLA regional summer Institutes, which are made possible by support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, aim to strengthen the teaching of reading and writing at access-oriented colleges and universities, community colleges, and other institutions of higher education that emphasize access and equity over selectivity. Princeton is hosting the eighth summer Institute, each of which has focused on engaging with academics teaching at (or interested in working with) access-oriented institutions.

In particular, Institute participants receive intensive training in pedagogical theory and practice, as well as strategies to facilitate the study of the humanities in vocationally-oriented educational contexts. Participants work to build stronger connections between introductory college-level reading and writing courses and upper-level humanities courses. Participants work closely to better understand how to support and deliver high-quality instruction to students at access-oriented institutions, especially first-generation college students, students of color, students from historically underserved communities, and Pell Grant recipients. 

Students and faculty taking part in the Institute represent the following institutions: 

  • Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
  • Drew University 
  • Hostos Community College
  • Mercy College
  • Neumann University
  • Northampton Community College
  • Orange County Community College
  • Princeton University
  • Queensborough Community College
  • Rutgers University 
  • Stony Brook University 
  • St. John’s University
  • The CUNY Graduate Center
  • The University of Delaware 

The week-long event at Princeton will begin on Monday, July 11 with several panel discussions followed by an evening reception hosted by GradFUTURES. The Institute will culminate in a dinner reception on Friday, July 15. 

Isabela Muci Barradas, GS, ART, Community Teaching Fellow at Rowan College of South Jersey and GradFUTURES mentee, is a participant in this year’s Institute. 

“I am looking forward to being better prepared as an instructor for the realities of the academic workforce through the Institute’s emphasis on antiracist pedagogy and effective teaching practices,” says Isabela. 

Coordinating logistical details for the event are Jackie Campbell, GS, ENG, an incoming MLA Social Impact Fellow who will work directly Paula Krebs, and Peter Krause, Events and Program Coordinator in the GradFUTURES program and Ph.D. candidate in the English department at Fordham University. 

For more information about the 2022 MLA Summer Teaching Institute in Reading-Writing Pedagogy, visit the MLA website.

Partnership Continues Between GradFUTURES and MLA

Princeton’s hosting of the 2022 Institute continues the productive relationship between GradFUTURES and MLA. 

Two Ph.D. students in the GradFUTURES program, Fedor Karmaov, GS, ENG, and Lidia Tripiccione, GS, SLL, hold Modern Language Association GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowships. This Social Impact Fellowship offers graduate students the opportunity to cultivate humanistic interests and expertise outside a traditional teaching position and to develop marketable skills that are valuable in both traditional academic work and in the larger humanities ecosystem of cultural institutions, non-profits, foundations, and other mission-driven organizations. 

Specifically, Fellows who work with MLA create and improve membership resources, with a focus on projects that support professional development for faculty members and department leaders and on innovative program change in higher education. In addition to assisting with the planning and administration of some MLA's most popular projects, including the MLA Annual Convention, the MLA Institute on Reading and Writing Pedagogy,  and the ADE-ADFL Summer Seminars, Fellows contribute to efforts in professional development that have to do with advocacy and data.

Earlier this month, Assistant Dean for Professional Development James Van Wyck, spoke at the MLA Academic Program Services ADE-ADFL Summer Seminar East, hosted by Penn State University. The topic of the plenary session in which Dean Van Wyck spoke was “Perspectives on Innovative Teaching and Active Learning.” 

To learn more about GradFUTURES events and initiatives, visit the GradFUTURES website.