Junior Faculty Forum

Junior Faculty Forum

The Junior Faculty Forum was created in 2006 under the auspices of the University of Connecticut’s Humanities Institute. The purpose of the Junior Faculty Forum is to provide a space for dialogue among junior faculty from various disciplines in the humanities, to support and strengthen the intellectual community on campus, to encourage cooperation among tenure-track faculty who are at a similar point in their career, and to address specific issues junior faculty may have during their first years as members of the university’s community.

Each semester we hold at least two events: a professional development event, focused on an issue of concern to junior faculty across CLAS, and a social event, aimed at getting to know junior faculty beyond our home departments.

Previous professional development events have included preparing for the tenure process, getting a book contract, and strategies for productive writing. Our social events have included potluck dinners and pub nights.

All junior tenure-track faculty are welcome to all JFF events. See below for planned events and if you have questions, please email Alexis Boylan alexis.boylan@uconn.edu.

Upcoming Events

September 14, 4pm - Welcome Reception 
Food, drink, and info about JFF and upcoming events for the year

September 25th, noon-1:30pm - Lunch and Q+A with Dean Davita Glasberg!  
Join us for an informal chat with Dean Glasberg about her work, her career, advice about the junior faculty experience, and maybe some secrets of the Dean’s office.




Oct 2, 2017                        Adam McGee, Boston Review

October 9-10                    Angie Hogan, Associate Editor, University of Virginia Press

October 24-27                       George Thompson, CLAS, Publisher-in-Residence

November 27                   Ray Ryan, Senior Commissioning Editor, Cambridge University Press

Feb 6-7, 2018                   Brian Halley, University of Massachusetts Press

March 8                            Christine Smallwood, Harper’s Magazine

April 4                               Ken Wissoker, Duke University Press


More details to come.

Past Events


Junior Faculty Forum Lunch
Tuesday, April 18, noon, Chuck & Augie's

 Come have lunch on us and enjoy the company of your fellow junior faculty.


FALL 2016


UCHI Welcome

Tuesday, September 6, 12:45 pm, UCHI Conference Room (Austin Building, 3rd Floor)

Welcome to the Fall 2016 semester! Stop by the Humanities Institute to grab a bite, meet Director Michael Lynch and Associate Director Alexis Boylan, and hear a little bit about how the Institute supports tenure-track faculty.


Fall Potluck

Friday, September 16, 6:00 pm, 48 Separatist Road, Mansfield

Bring your favorite dish and something to drink, and get to know your fellow Junior Faculty Forum members! Partners welcome.


Getting It Done: Strategies for Writing and Productivity

Monday, November 14, 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm, UConn Humanities Institute


The Junior Faculty Forum welcomes its members to our Fall 2016 professionalization event: a panel on finding the time, and the strategies, to continue research and writing amid the many obligations academics face, especially teaching, service, and familial responsibilities. Our panelists will include:

  • Liz Holzer, Associate Professor of Sociology and Human Rights, on making the most of a teaching release,
  • Diane Lillo-Martin, Professor of Linguistics, on the challenges of writing book-length scholarship, and
  • Sarah Willen, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, on balancing productivity and family obligations.




Planning Ahead: You and Your Tenure File

Thursday, February 18, 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm, UConn Humanities Institute

This is a chance to discuss tenure timeline and planning strategies with faculty who have extensive experience reviewing tenure cases—both within UConn and externally. What timeline does review of your tenure file follow? What strategies can you use to emphasize contributions to the department and the university in teaching, service, and research? What should you be saving along the way, even if they don’t go into your annual PTR report? How can planning now help alleviate stress later? What strategies have you developed for keeping track of your work that make the annual PTR process easier, and that you might share with the rest of us? Our panelists will include:

End-of-Semester Get-Together

Wednesday, April 20, 4:45 pm, Geno’s

Join the Junior Faculty Forum for an informal get-together for appetizers and drinks! We'd love to touch base at the end of an undoubtedly busy semester and hear about how the JFF can support you in the coming year. We'll also be looking for junior faculty interested in taking a leadership position in the JFF. And, of course, to toast to your continuing excellence!

FALL 2015

Fall Semester Get-Together

Thursday, October 15, 4:30 pm, Lakeview Restaurant

We hope you can join the Junior Faculty Forum for an informal get-together for appetizers and drinks at Lakeview Restaurant in Coventry. We'd love to touch base in the midst of an undoubtedly busy semester and hear about how the JFF can support you in the coming year.

Rob Nixon, “Slow Violence, Environmental Activism, and the Arts”

Part of the Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series

November 19, 4:30 pm, Konover Auditorium

This semester, the Junior Faculty Forum will host Professor Rob Nixon as part of the Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series on Nature and the Environment. Nixon has just moved from the University of Wisconsin to Princeton University, where he teaches in English and Environmental Studies. His 2011 book Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor explores the temporality of environmental crises. It won the American Book Award; the Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for the best book in international environmental studies; and  best book in transdisciplinary humanities by the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University. After the talk and reception, JFF will take Nixon out to dinner. 


Book Proposal Workshop

Wednesday, February 18, 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, UConn Humanities Institute

You’ve read Germano’s From Dissertation to Book. Parts of it made eminent sense. Other parts made you want to throw the book, and your manuscript, across the room. Your inbox, meanwhile, sags with pronouncements on the death of the monograph and the now cutthroat standards of academic publishing. Nevertheless, your department requires that your first book be in production before you go up for tenure review, which means that your book prospectus needed to go out… yesterday. We’re here for you! Yes, folks, it’s time to drag your book proposals into the light of day and (the horror) let other people read them. Before the workshop, we will divide you into small groups and circulate proposal drafts among them. We will try our best to group proposals in related disciplines. Groups will be small by design (3-4 people each), so that each person gets the benefit of 2-3 careful readings by other JFF faculty. We will also provide all JFF members with a few sample book proposals from senior faculty members. Our faculty group leaders will include Brendan Kane (History), Cathy Schlund-Vials (English), Christopher Clark (History), Micki McElya (History), and Gustavo Nanclares (LCL).

End-of-Semester Gathering

Friday, May 31, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Bidwell Tavern

This is a chance for us to mark the end of the year and enjoy one another’s company. We will also discuss the next academic year and how JFF can be most helpful to you. 

FALL 2014


Fall Semester Welcome

Thursday, September 18, 4:00 to 6:00 pm, Bidwell Tavern

Welcome back, everyone! Please join us for appetizers and drinks at Bidwell Tavern. This will be an informal gathering—a chance for us to welcome new members, discuss the year ahead for JFF, and raise a glass in celebration of surviving the first few weeks of the semester.

Discussion with the Deans: PTR

Wednesday, October 22, noon to 2:00 pm, UConn Humanities Institute

Dean Teitelbaum from CLAS and Assistant Dean Alain Frogley from the School of Fine Arts will be joining us to talk about PTR and field our questions regarding research, grants, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and more. Box lunches will be served.



Lunch Discussion: Timing Is Everything

Tuesday, March 25th, noon to 1:30pm, UConn Humanities Institute

As junior faculty we all have some anxiety and questions about how to order decisions and resources; this lunch is an opportunity for a casual discussion with a few successful senior colleagues about timing in regard to publishing (book vs. articles), scheduling pre-tenure leave, agreeing to committee/service work, dealing with graduate students, and managing personal and professional decisions. Faculty panelists will include Martha Cutter (English), Brendan Kane (History), and Shayla Nunnally (Political Science).

Spring Semester Luncheon

Wednesday, April 23, noon to 1:30 pm, Chuck and Augie’s

We hope that you can make time in your schedules for what is, quite literally, a free lunch. We wanted to give everyone one more chance to meet junior colleagues in other departments, to meet those colleagues in your own departments that you’ve been too busy writing and teaching to see very much, and to generally unwind at the end of a long year. Though the main goal of this event is to encourage socialization between junior faculty members, it will also give us a chance to thank you, our distinguished members, on the occasion of the end of our run as JFF co-directors, for your participation in JFF events of the last two years. As we step out, we hope to get a sense from you of where you think the JFF might go next. Would you like to see the JFF coordinate more social events? Bring a particular scholar or editor to campus? Organize some heretofore unimagined type of event that you think would contribute to the vitality of junior faculty life? If you have any ideas about the kinds of events you'd like the Junior Faculty Forum to undertake next year, we would welcome hearing them.


FALL 2013

Tapas and Cocktails with the Junior Faculty Forum

Friday, September 6, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Brendan Kane’s House

In order to welcome our new faculty members and just generally to start the year out on a social note, we want to invite everyone to a “Tapas and Cocktails” party. The party will be hosted at the home of Associate Director of the Humanities Institute (and former JFF co-chair) Brendan Kane. Bring along friends and family, a snack to nosh on, and your favorite drink.


Visit from Ken Wissoker, Editorial Director of Duke University Press

Tuesday, October 22, UConn Humanities Institute and Dean’s Conference Room

We are thrilled to offer this day-long visit from Ken Wissoker, Editorial Director of Duke University Press. During his time at Duke, Mr. Wissoker has published over 900 books, and has created for the press a distinct and distinguished identity. We have constructed this event to allow for informal conversation and one-on-one conversation. To that end there are two parts to Mr. Wissoker’s visit: a lunch and individual meetings between junior faculty and Mr. Wissoker. The lunch is an informal conversation and an opportunity to ask questions, seek advice, and generally chat about the dos and don’ts of first-time publishing. Mr. Wissoker will not be giving a formal talk; instead, he is looking forward to a lively discussion and Q&A about publishing. During individual meetings, Mr. Wissoker will review project summaries (sent in advance), discuss strategies and timelines for publication, or practice and get feedback on book pitches.