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