Attending the AGLSP Conference

We’ve been posting information in this blog about the upcoming 2013 AGLSP Conference, taking place October 10-12 at Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel. If you haven’t attended an academic conference before, we can give you an idea of what to expect and, hopefully, an idea of why you should consider participating in this exciting opportunity. We encourage graduate students and faculty to consider presenting and/or attending our interdisciplinary conference, which will focus on “Urban Gateways: Immigration and the Global City.” Go to for specific Conference paper presentation and registration details.

Academic conferences are always devoted to whatever unifying mission brings the member organizations together. In the case of AGLSP, the association brings together graduate liberal studies programs from universities around the US and Canada. Most participating programs involve interdisciplinary studies in more or less traditional Liberal Arts graduate programs. Each year, the university that hosts the AGLSP Annual Conference selects a theme that draws from that university’s areas of specialization, some unique cultural or geographical entity, or some social phenomenon associated with that school. For instance, in Oct. 2012, Reed College in Portland, OR, focused on the history and future of the book; last year, Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, explored the importance of water across the disciplines; the year before, Rollins University in Orlando, FL, focused on the interaction between technology and the imagination. When AGLSP comes to DePaul, our theme will explore Urban Gateways: Immigration and the Global City. Watch for Calls for Papers to learn more specific presentation details.

AGLSP conferences begin with a Preconference Workshop day on the Thursday of the event. These workshops are geared towards MALS program directors and administrators, and topics include subjects like curriculum-building, dealing with administrative challenges, program marketing, new trends and innovations, incorporating social media as a community-builder, and so on. Participants share best practices and examine program areas in need of improvement. As the Workshop activities conclude, other participants begin to arrive to the conference hotel, getting ready for the Opening Reception that evening. The hosts and association directors welcome everyone to the conference, which leads into a presentation by a keynote speaker or panel of speakers to officially kick off the conference presentations.

The presentations begin early on the Friday of the conference. The day starts with breakfast at 8, followed by multiple 90-minute Concurrent Sessions that usually run until around 5 pm. These moderated sessions usually bring together several subject-related speakers who share their papers with interested participants. Presenters include students and professors from many universities and sometimes professionals in related fields. Many of the presenters use PowerPoint presentations, and some bring handouts and other ancillary materials. The host, along with AGLSP, works hard to create stimulating combinations of related speakers; lively conversation between panelists and audience is always encouraged. Participants enjoy the flexibility of moving from presentation to presentation according to their interests; details about each presenter and their materials are included in the conference programs each participant receives upon registration.

After a day full of presentations, participants take a break and then gather for the association Banquet. Once everyone has enjoyed what is usually a quite lavish meal, the association presents Faculty and Confluence Awards, which are sometimes then followed with entertainment. In Portland, after the awards, we were treated to a terrific juggling act and a view of some of Portland’s “Extreme Bikes” brought by several students.

Saturday begins with breakfast, a short Annual Business Meeting for the AGLSP member administrators, and then one more Concurrent Session that runs from 10:30 – noon. The Conference then adjourns, and many guests take their leave; but the activities don’t end quite yet. The host institution offers an afternoon excursion that may or may not relate to the conference theme.

This year in Portland, participants were invited to take a 6 hour tour of the Royal Gorge area along the Columbia River, led by two Reed College Science professors. Last year at Skidmore, guests were treated to a tour of Saratoga Springs’ actual springs, and we tasted many varieties of the natural spring water that have drawn people to the area for hundreds of years. We’re not sure yet what DePaul’s excursion will include, but given the fantastic ethnic diversity of Chicago, we know we will focus on specific neighborhoods and their culture. We will also find a way to show off our Lincoln Park campus to interested participants.

We’ll be holding our conference in the beautifully restored Blackstone Hotel on Michigan Ave. But participants are not held hostage; in all of the conferences we’ve attended, folks take time to get out and explore on their own. In Portland, the Governor Hotel was across the street from about a hundred food carts covering several city blocks. We were just 3 blocks from the famous Powell’s Books and a bit beyond that, one of the world’s biggest and most varied farmer’s markets. You can be sure that when people travel, they satisfy both their intellectual and cultural hungers to enjoy the best of the local offerings. We are certain that our guests will explore the many walking-distance attractions of downtown. They’ll be able to visit Millennium Park, the Museum Campus, the Art Institute, the Spertus Museum of Judaica, and many of the neighborhoods they’ll learn about. Our office will be preparing transportation and neighborhood guides so that our guests will find their ways around the city.

We’ll be counting on our fascinating MALS and IDS students to participate as presenters, volunteer to organize the sessions, and to act as impromptu city guides throughout the conference. You are our most valuable and interesting assets, and your enthusiasm and expertise will go miles in welcoming our 2013 AGLSP Annual Conference guests to Chicago and DePaul.

by Susan Jacobs, Associate Director

Submitting a Proposal for the 2013 AGLSP Conference

We’re hoping that some of our students and others in the DePaul community will consider participation in the upcoming annual conference of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs. We have the honor of hosting this year’s conference, to be held October 10-12 at the magnificent Renaissance Blackstone Hotel in Chicago’s South Loop. The theme will be “Urban Gateways: Immigration and Global City.” Information on page 3 of this Convergence newsletter lays out the theme in greater detail. We are hoping to get proposals which deal with the ways that immigrant communities in cities act now as nodes in a global cultural, economic and political network.

If you’re thinking about submitting a proposal, the most important thing is to focus on a specific idea or phenomenon. Generally, conference papers are 20 minutes long. To stick to this time limit, your paper will need to be 10-12 pages of double-spaced text; you don’t want to be racing through the paper. Your paper topic should be highly specific, which means that if you’re adapting it from something you’ve already written, you may need to present just one part of the original paper, or leave out some of the supporting details to cover the main points.

The proposal itself (which might be an abstract of a previously written paper) should be one or two paragraphs. It should state the topic clearly, talk about how it advances previous work on the topic or breaks new ground, describe the kind of research methods used, and suggest the main conclusions. By all means use visual materials via PowerPoint if those will make your presentation more clear or vivid, but avoid “death by PowerPoint” if the only reason you’re employing the screen is to project an outline of your points. If your paper is accepted for presentation, be sure to practice delivering it, so you can feel comfortable with it and bring out the highlights in a natural way.

In the case of the upcoming AGLSP conference, there are a variety of topics related to immigration, cities, ethnicity that could be considered. But unlike other conferences, the AGLSP does consider high-quality proposal on topics unrelated to the conference theme. This allows graduate liberal studies students and alums to showcase interesting projects they’re working on. Please feel free to contact me if you’re a student or alum and thinking of putting together a proposal for this exciting conference.

by David Gitomer, Director

DePaul’s MALS/IDS Programs to Host AGLSP Conference in Oct. 2013

DePaul’s MALS and IDS Programs have enjoyed a long and productive membership in the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP). This professional association draws MALS programs from throughout the US and Canada, and provides a vibrant consortium where universities share best practices and provides a forum for graduate student publication and presentation. DePaul’s MALS/IDS Director, Dr. David Gitomer, has acted as President of the AGLSP for the past two years. His leadership brings the AGLSP Annual Conference to DePaul for the 2013 meeting. DePaul’s MALS and IDS Programs will host the 2013 AGLSP Annual Conference at the beautifully restored historic Blackstone Hotel, from Oct. 10-12, 2013.

We are very excited and proud to host the conference, which will showcase DePaul students and faculty and Chicago; more importantly, our MALS and IDS students will take leadership roles in building what promises to be a most excellent conference. The theme of our conference is “Urban Gateways: Immigration and the Global City.”

Since all AGLSP members work from interdisciplinary platforms, our call for papers will encourage a wide range of interdisciplinary participation from graduate programs throughout DePaul and member universities. We expect papers to cross the curriculum via explorations of immigration and subjects including communication, politics, socio-economics, geography, art, literature, architecture, religion, and of course, since this is Chicago, food. A Call for Papers is posted at, and we will actively invite proposals and student volunteers through our office communications. Current students and alumni are all encouraged to participate not only in the conference, but throughout the year by submitting papers to Confluence, the AGLSP Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies. Winners of the Confluence Writing Award will be honored at the conference.

To give an example of previous conference themes, the October 2012 AGLSP Conference at Reed College in Portland, OR, featured “The Crisis of the Book: Worlds of Opportunity, Worlds of Change.” Reed offers an active book-making program, and Portland is home to an incredible variety of thriving bookstores, including the famous Powell’s Books. The keynote speakers included Michael Powell, owner of Powell’s Books, Molly Raphael, former president of the American Library Association, and Xan Arch, collection development librarian at Reed College. Concurrent presentations, which ran throughout the conference, included panel discussions on the history of print, new theories for literature in the digital age, social media as the new scriptorium, digital media’s influence on gender and power, and examinations of how technology has changed the shape of human narrative. Participants at AGLSP conferences enjoy the stimulation of workshops, presentations, and related excursions throughout the host city.

So, friends of MALS and IDS, save your papers and plan to take advantage of this excellent opportunity. We’ll be calling on DePaul’s incredibly varied interdisciplinary community to introduce our guests to Chicago’s fascinating global convergence of neighborhoods and DePaul’s thriving nucleus of inter-related urban studies. And we look forward to showing off the excellent work of our current and past MALS/IDS students and faculty.

by Susan Jacobs, Associate Director

H. Peter Steeves – “The About Time Show” – May 22, 2013

The DePaul Humanities Center would like to remind you and your students to attend the last event in our Nostalgia and The Age of Enlightenment Series. (Please see below and attached for event flyer, and other Humanities Center spring quarter events).

On Wednesday, May 22, 2013 (7:00 pm in room 120 of the DePaul Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Avenue), H. Peter Steeves will present:

The About Time Show

The About Time Show is an interdisciplinary, multimedia investigation of temporality and the physics and metaphysics of time. We are all in the midst of time, at its mercy, held “green and dying,” hoping at best to sing in our chains like the sea. Yet what is time? It does not seem to be something in itself that we can experience, though it is necessary for there to be experience at all. We do not experience time, but rather we experience events taking place in time. However, if time can be warped and bent—as must be the case if space and time are essentially the same thing—then time must be some thing in itself. By taking up a philosophic analysis of the scientific and ontological issues in a way that engages the arts (especially literature, music, dance, and theatre) and the humanities, The About Time Show proposes to make clearer how we exist outside of eternity, caught up in a realm of Becoming rather than Being, investigating together what it means to be in time and even, perhaps, discovering how to travel backwards in it.

H. Peter Steeves is a Professor in the department of Philosophy at DePaul University. His books include The Things Themselves: Phenomenology and the Return to the Everyday, (SUNY Press, 2006), Animal Others: On Ethics, Ontology, and Animal Life (SUNY, 1999), and Founding Community: A Phenomenological-Ethical Inquiry (Kluwer, 1998). Steeves is currently working on a variety of research topics, including the origin of life, postmodern aesthetics, the nature of mourning, and cosmology.

This event is free and open to the public.

We think that DePaul students would benefit from this event, and so are hoping to welcome many classes. Please let Alecia Person ( ) know if you are interested in bringing your class to this event. We would be happy to provide a sign-in sheet if you’d like.

New English Course for Autumn 2013

The English department has announced another addition to their class listings for Autumn quarter. Though it is listed as a 300-level English course, it is also cross-listed with MALS/IDS under MLS 473. Please think about registering for this class early if interested. (See below for information and course description.)

ENG 389-101 Topics in Comparative Literature: Colonialism and Its Legacy

Prof. James Fairhall

TH 6:00-9:15

This course examines colonialism in its late phase, during the 19th and 20th centuries, and the period of post-colonialism in which we now live.  We will look at these two historical phenomena world through the lens of 20th-century literature: novels, two plays, a movie, and poetry.  We will read works by two Caribbean novelists and a poet/playwright (Rhys, Kincaid, and Walcott), a South African playwright (Fugard), and a Nigerian novelist (Achebe), as well as works by English writers (Kipling, Conrad, Forster).  Although the course focuses on British colonialism and post-colonialism, it includes one novel associated with the Vietnam War.  Graham Greene’s The Quiet American deals with French colonialism during the 1950s when the U.S. was taking over in parts of Southeast Asia as a postcolonial power and was about to get involved in what the Vietnamese soon would call “the American war.”

Graduate School Open House – Thursday, May 9th

Come one, come all!

Date: Thursday, May 09, 2013
Time: 5:00 PM — 7:00 PM
Location: Lincoln Park Campus, Student Center, Room 120
2250 North Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614

Are you interested in pursuing a graduate degree, but still in the process of researching schools and programs? If so, please join us for the DePaul University Spring Graduate Open House. Faculty and staff representatives from more than 75 graduate programs will be available to talk to you about specifics of each program and answer any questions that you may have. A representative from the office of financial aid will also present an overview of the graduate financial aid process.

Programs in each of the following colleges and schools will be represented:

College of Communication
College of Computing and Digital Media
College of Education
College of Law
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
College of Science and Health
Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
School for New Learning
School of Public Service

Arrive early to hear from a panel of graduate admission directors who will answer  frequently asked questions and give an insider’s perspective to the inquiry and application process at DePaul.

For more information about the Graduate Open House please call 773-325-8312 or email us at