In my whole single year of experience as a graduate student, there’s one thing I’m glad that I found out early on in the process: how to track down conferences and articles and who wants them from you. There’s a solid expectation to be taking part in the scholarly discussion, and publishing an article or speaking at a conference are among the best ways to do that.
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If you are a graduate student or are thinking about becoming one, then this is a website you want to save in your bookmarks bar. This site is run through the University of Pennsylvania, and it is an absolute treasure trove. Calls for papers are divided up by fields of interest, and they include announcements for conference papers, articles in scholarly journals, or book-length collections. You can set up (depending on your browser) an RSS feed, which will then automatically send you updates on just the subdivisions in which you are interested.
Many of the calls for papers are for conferences, which are a great place to get your proverbial feet wet. You can submit individually or as part of a panel, and most conferences welcome scholars at various levels in their academic career. So don’t be intimidated if you are an undergraduate or a first-year graduate student. There are conferences specifically organized for graduate students — the St. John’s English Department hosts one every spring for its graduate students.
Read over the fine print in the postings to make you know how long an abstract should be, to whom it should be submitted, and what your deadlines are. And don’t forget you can always share an abstract with a professor or come to the Writing Center before you submit it.
Check out the addition to our “Pages” section: I have added a brand new page dedicated just to Calls for Papers. This page will be updated weekly, and it will contain links to specific blog posts here at STJ English as well as to calls for paper linked from UPenn’s site.