2020 Past Events
Classroom to Career Series: Contemplating Career Paths
Date: November 12, 2020
The event featured the Executive Career & Leadership Coach, Sondra (Sunny) Levitt; Georgetown University Director of Graduate Studies for the MA English Program and the MA Program in Engaged & Public Humanities, Professor Kathryn Temple; and Georgetown Department of English Program Manager, Jessica Marr. These panelists shared their personal experiences contemplating and growing their careers (including reflections from their results of the 16 Personalities Test), and helped the attendants strategize career steps that align with their skills and passions. It was part of the professional development “Classroom to Career” series.
Robert Southwell and the Revitalization of English Writing
Date: October 27, 2020
This event, part of a year-long series on the “Christian Literary Imagination”, brought to our notice the extraordinary part which Elizabethan poet and Catholic martyr Saint Robert Southwell, S.J., played in the revitalization of English writing in the late sixteenth century.
Southwell’s imagination was fed both by Ignatian meditation and by the sheer energy in all the arts of the emerging Roman baroque. It is Southwell’s triumph to have brought the visual and intellectual expansions of the continental literary imagination across into English verse, an achievement as remarkable for its imaginative scope as for its profound influence on subsequent writing in English.
The works of Saint Robert Southwell, S.J., are under re-examination for a new and complete Oxford University Press edition of his works.This conversation was held between Professor Peter Davidson, Senior Fellow in Renaissance and Baroque Studies of Campion Hall, University of Oxford, author of The Universal Baroque (2018) and co-editor of The Collected Poems of St Robert Southwell, SJ (2007), and Professor Michael Scott, Senior Dean, Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, college adviser for postgraduate students, Member of the Las Casas Institute, and senior adviser to the president at Georgetown University.
The event was sponsored by the Future of the Humanities Project, the Georgetown Humanities Initiative, the Georgetown MA Program in Engaged and Public Humanities, and the Las Casas Institute (Blackfriars Hall, Oxford).
Is There a Threat to Free Speech Worldwide?
Date: October 19, 2020
October 2020 is an intensely busy month around the world for elections in democratic states and other societies. Before Americans officially vote on November 3, at least 11 other national elections and three major referenda will have taken place—from New Zealand to Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania to Bolivia, Tanzania to Chile. The stakes are high everywhere, but in many places, incumbent leaders have cracked down on independent media or found other ways to challenge free expression and public assembly in order to influence the results. The global coronavirus pandemic has been a complicating factor, giving many autocrats cover for interfering with orderly transfers of power. This transatlantic forum explored whether the threat to free speech is becoming a worldwide phenomenon and discussed the myriad consequences for democracy and freedom.
This event featured participants from Washington, London, Berlin, Oxford, and New York:
- Baroness Mary Goudie, British human rights activist. She is a senior member of the British House of Lords and a global advocate for the rights of women and children. In the United Kingdom she is a founding member of the 30% Club, which advocates to bring more women onto corporate boards. She also serves on boards for Vital Voices Global Partnership, EuropEFE, and the U.K. Board of Directors for the Center for Talent Innovation. Goudie is a trustee of the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation.
- Donald F. McHenry, American diplomat who served as ambassador and U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations under President Jimmy Carter (1979-1981). He was Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (1981 to 2014), and the university established the Donald F. McHenry Chair in Global Human Development upon his retirement. McHenry was special envoy of President Clinton for Nigeria and a member of a Congressional Task on the United Nations.
- Michael Naumann, German editor. He is director of the Barenboim-Said Academy and teaches literature at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Previously, he was appointed commissioner for cultural affairs in the German federal government. Publisher and CEO of the German publisher Rowohlt from 1985 to 1995, he then led the New York-based publisher Henry Holt. Naumann was also chief editor and publisher–editor of the German weekly Die Zeit. He studied philosophy, history, and political science in Munich and Oxford.
- Salil Tripathi, Indian journalist who chairs the Writers in Prison Committee at PEN International and has been a correspondent for Far Eastern Economic Review in Singapore and Hong Kong and reported out of Asia and Africa. He is the author of Offence: The Hindu Case (2009), documenting Hindu fundamentalist attacks on freedom of expression; The Colonel Who Would Not Repent (2014/2016) on Bangladesh’s war of independence; and Detours: Songs of the Open Road (2015). His next book is about the Gujaratis.
The conversation was moderated by Professor Michael Scott, Senior Dean and Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, the University of Oxford, and Sanford J. Ungar, director of the Free Speech Project at Georgetown University.
Classroom to Career Series: Decoding Job Descriptions
Date: October 14, 2020
The Georgetown University Graduate Career Center Director, Annie Rao led this virtual group session tailored for MA English and/or graduate humanities-related MA students on decoding job descriptions. She reviewed different job descriptions that are good fits for graduate humanities students and provided examples of how you can align key points of the job description onto a resume.
Classroom to Career Series: Going Beyond the Degree
Date: September 23, 2020
This virtual panel featured young professionals in a range of humanities-related careers, including journalism, nonprofit program management, and education (higher ed and secondary). The speakers offered a glimpse behind the curtain of their day-to-day lives in their jobs and talked about how they find creative fulfillment, both in and outside of the workday. They also shared tips for breaking into their fields and lessons learned along the way. This panel was of great value for attendants contemplating what life and work might look like after completing a humanities degree.
The event was part of the professional development “Classroom to Career” series. It was co-sponsored by the English Graduate Student Association (EGSA), the Department of English and Georgetown College.
Humanities Lunch Break: A Humanities Odyssey with Dr. Scott Krawczyk
Date: July 1, 2020
The conversation featured Dr. Scott Krawczyk, the Associate Chief Academic Officer at the University of the District of Columbia, and Kathryn Temple, Founding Director of the MA Program in Engaged & Public Humanities.
Dr. Scott Krawczyk described his journey from active military service to humanities advocate in the context of a veteran’s reading of The Odyssey. He talked about his transition from the military to academia and then into senior leadership positions in the public humanities. Dr. Krawczyk’s narrative reflects how deep immersion in the humanities has aided his decision-making and helped him meet challenges, both in the military and in civilian life.
Dr. Krawczyk has held teaching and leadership positions at West Point, Georgetown University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Northern Virginia Community College, and Long Island University. Among his assignments during a 30-year Army career, he served as a Ranger company commander, an intelligence officer, and a speechwriter in the Pentagon. He had two combat deployments: to Panama (Operation Just Cause) in 1989-90, and to the First Gulf War in 1990-91, where he was awarded the Bronze Star medal. During his career, he earned the Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist’s Badge, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Legion of Merit, and Distinguished Service Medal, among others.
Kathryn Temple has served as chair and member of the English Department at Georgetown University, was the Georgetown principal investigator on the Mellon-funded grant “Connected Academics: Preparing Doctoral Students of Language and Literature for a Variety of Careers.” She publishes on subjects related to Law & the Humanities and the History of Emotion. Her most current book project, Loving Justice: Blackstone’s Commentaries, Legal Emotions, and Anglo–American Conceptions of Justice, was issued by NYU Press in Spring 2019.
This event was part of the “Humanities Lunch Break”, a summer long series hosted by the MA Program in Engaged & Public Humanities where different professionals discuss the value of humanities training in the real-world.
Humanities Lunch Break: Humanists in the World
Date: June 10, 2020
In this event, five humanities professionals discussed the value of their humanities training in real-world contexts. They addressed career pathways for those interested in taking the humanities into public contexts as well as the impact the pandemic has had on their work.
The panelists included:
- Sara Ogger, Executive Director at Humanities New York, the state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities and sole statewide voice for the public humanities since 1975. Under her leadership, the Council has introduced innovative, popular and accessible public programs such as the “Public Humanities Fellows,” “Public Scholars,” “Muslim Voices,” “Standing Down” for veterans; and Community Conversations with topics such as “Democracy,” “Immigration” and “Environmental Stewardship.” She has also overseen responsive grant-making and new partnerships with key cultural and educational players in New York State, such as the Museum Association of New York and WAMC/Northeast Public Radio;
- John Paulas, President and Founder of the career consulting and placement firm PhD Matters Ltd. He works with institutions of higher education, individuals, and organizations in all sectors to enable gainful and satisfying professional futures for the knowledge production community;
- Evan Rhodes, Manager at Deloitte Consulting, specializing in Talent and Organizational Performance. He runs teams that help organizations solve complex organizational problems using many of the skills he learned as a graduate student in the humanities;
- Anh Thang Dao-Shah, Director of Equity and Wellness at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where she is responsible for executing initiatives to eliminate disparities across health outcomes, care experience and workforce development. She is the cofounder of Creative Research Partners, a consulting firm that aims to advance equity in arts and culture through training, research and evaluation; and
- Patricia Soler, IT Specialist in the Real Estate Assessment Center at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She is the product owner for one of the modules of an IT modernization project that uses a pure agile methodology with all federal development team. Her responsibilities have required a diverse set of skills, including extensive writing and drafting; critical thinking; the ability to achieve results in a fast-paced environment; and a willingness to take the initiative.
This event was moderated by Kathryn Temple, Founding Director of the MA Program in Engaged & Public Humanities. It was part of the “Humanities Lunch Break”, a summer long series hosted by the MA Program in Engaged & Public Humanities where different professionals discuss the value of humanities training in the real-world.
Professor Pavesich on the DC/Adapters Project and the DC Flag
Date: May 19, 2020
In this public conversation, Professor Matthew Pavesich talks to Professor Kathryn Temple, Founding Director of the MA Program in Engaged & Public Humanities, about his work cataloging the use of the D.C. flag to make political statements in the public sphere, through the DC/Adapters Project. Professor Pavesich has been documenting how residents of Washington, D.C. adapt the District flag since February of 2013. His goal is to help others tune into this visual language of the District and to encourage participation in it.
Shakespeare and Eden: Botanical Ornament and the Book of Nature in Cymbeline
Date: May 5, 2020
This event, part of the year-long series “Christian Shakespeare: Question Mark“, examined the interdependence of botanical ornament and Christian symbolism in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. the most Christological of all the tragicomedies—through its providentialist narrative and its setting at the time of Christ’s birth.
Flowers and trees appear in the play’s prophesies, its funerary rituals, and its numerous domestic settings: such as the courtly garden, bedroom scenes and the pastoral world of Imogen’s Welsh cave. Cymbeline is also the most Christological of all the tragicomedies—through its providentialist narrative and its setting at the time of Christ’s birth.
In this discussion Dr. Bonnie Lander Johnson examined the interdependence of these two features within the context of late-sixteenth century thinking about the incarnate reality of creation—what theologians describe as the Book of Nature. Drawing on printed herbals, biblical exegesis, and theories of ornament, she argued that in Cymbeline the pre-Reformed theological poetics of the hexaemeron resurface. Reworked from within the secularized demands of the popular theater, these poetics can be seen in the prophetic language of the King as tree, in the folk flower rituals surrounding love and death, and in the Queen’s proto-scientific gardening—all of which were forms of early modern botanical practice that searched for divine truths in the ornaments of the created world.
This event featured Dr. Bonnie Lander Johnson, Lecturer and Director of Studies in English at Newnham College, Cambridge University, and Professor Michael Scott, Senior Dean, Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, college adviser for postgraduate students, Member of the Las Casas Institute, and senior adviser to the president at Georgetown University. It was sponsored by the Future of the Humanities Project, the Las Casas Institute (Blackfriars Hall, Oxford), and the Georgetown Humanities Initiative.
Careers in Publishing Webinar
Date: April 22, 2020
The English Graduate Student Association hosted this virtual event with a panel of professionals working at the Georgetown University Press, to talk about careers in the publishing industry. Attendants learned about what they do, why they got into publishing and stayed, and the advice they have for people applying for book jobs. The panel was followed by a Q&A session.
The panelists included Al Bertrand, Director, Don Jacobs, Acquisitions Editor, Elizabeth Crowley Webber (G’19), Production Editor, and Stephanie Rojas, Publicist. The conversation was moderated by Nick DeMayo (MA English, G’20).