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GSA Senate Meeting Minutes 8/16/2018

September 4, 2018

Greetings! Happy fall semester!

I must apologize in advance for this long post, and apologize as well for not keeping the GSA website up-to-date. This year, we aim to be more diligent about our website maintenance, among other things!

Before diving into this year’s GSA plans and goals we discussed in our first meeting last month, let me give a quick recap on what should have been posted in March and April of last semester.

March 2018 Meeting: In our march meeting, we reviewed what was successful about the February RAW Conference, and what could have gone better.

April 2018 Meeting: In our April meeting, we selected our winner of the Sherry Clarkson prize, discussed GSA elections for 2018-2019 (conducted over survey monkey), and reorganized (gave names to) the GSA’s aims and purpose into four pillars: Advocacy, Community, Professional Development, and RAW.

Brian told us about his experience attending to the 2nd meeting of the campus-wide GSA! He said it will be official, but is still trying to get started.

We also identified updates that need to made to the GSA website.

August 2018 Meeting:

Our first priority of the first meeting of the fall was to figure out what role in the GSA each member plans to play for the academic year 2018-2019. Our positions we decided on are as follows:

  • President: Suzanne
  • Vice President: Adam (will shadow Suzanne)


  • Social media managers: Alex, Adam


  • GSA website managers: Amanda, Kate
  • Content designers: Amanda, Kate
  • Secretary/historian: Amanda, Kate


  • Treasurers: Lindsey, Rebekka, Kate, maybe Jacquelyn (?)
  • Social event planners: Jacquelyn, Rebekka, Kate


  • Advocates: Tracey, Brian (Dr. Wright will send us the schedule for the faculty and GSC meetings)


  • RAW organizers: Rebekka (chair), Lindsey, Alex, (and of course Dr. Wright will help us out a bunch!)


  • Workshop planning: Alex (main planner), Rebekka, (with help from Dr. Wright and Rob Pearson)


There are at least two people per role! Hopefully, this will help with member retention and the number of responsibilities one single person will have throughout the academic year will be fewer, making serving in the GSA easier for all.

We set dates for fall semester general and Senate meetings: 6pm on 1st Tuesdays of each month. (If another tine and day of the week become more convenient, we can always change it.)

Fall social 2018: Sept 11, 5pm-7pm at Guitars & Growlers. Kate made reservations shortly after the meeting. Amanda and Kate our content designers ideally will have flyers created by the senate meeting on Sept 4th.

We still need to email and meet with Dean Kratz and Dena Davis to determine budget and priorities. We should do this before we start spending money on things like the Fall Social!

We brainstormed for the 2019 RAW Conference! We are not sure yet of who we would like as our possible keynote speakers, but we considered perhaps asking one of our own UTD faculty this time (several are working on some interesting things!), or perhaps replace keynote experience this year with artsy/entertainment/performances. We threw out some tentative theme ideas too, the most appealing one seeming to be “Expression & Repression.” Tentative dates: mid-late Feb, such as on the 16th or 23rd (more likely to be on the 23rd). We hope to have the rough draft of the CFP written by the September senate meeting and to send out the CFP by Oct. 1.

We also hope to host more workshops this year. We intend to send out polls to see what kind of workshops would be most relevant. Dr. Wright has lists that he will send to Alex.


GSA Meeting Minutes (February 12, 2018)

March 17, 2018

[Apologies for the super late minutes from last month! … Better late than never?]

This is the last official meeting before RAW!


Food for RAW

Greek theme for Friday dinner, wine must be paid for out of registration fees. Reimburse Dr. Wright, (wine for 70), he will check with Dena about finances for wine. $15 per person, because Dr. Gooch is generous.

Salad boxes for gluten free people, do a survey monkey? Order based on what they said?

Grilled veggie wrap for vegans,

Jacqueline used to work with the pub and is familiar with Chartwells and food catering and stuff. She will give Dr. Wright information about contacting them about wine.

Add a tea station for lunch? This might make drinks simpler and cheaper?

Go to Dollar Tree to get table cloths? Because table cloths tend to be a big, expensive deal? 7 round table clothes, seating for 10 people, Chartwells provides the table cloths for catering buffet. (Jacqueline is in charge of this)

Jacqueline is planning to meet with Dena tomorrow (Tues).

Maybe we will label the vegan/vegetarian. Gluten-free lunches with people’s names so that they don’t get taken.


General RAW Notes

Come Tue Feb 20 to put swag into bags. Jennifer, Tracey, and Suzanne have said they can that day. Anyone else you can come, please do so it goes faster!! Next Wednesday or Friday. Brown Bag is next Wednesday.

Swag lives in drawer in the grad lounge.

Lanyards will be by the 20th.

Jennifer might do the badges, download the template, then print them here in the grad lounge printer. Tracey. Suzanne will be on call to help with badges in case of emergencies

Suzanne will finish program by tonight. Jennifer will send the program out along with link to maps and parking information.

Do we want to have an AV person here? (It will cost money) Tracey will check.

Jennifer is hosting the Keynote address.

ATEC has a nifty way to Skype people in, with an animated avatar thingy.

Between 50-60 people will be expected at the keynote.

People who don’t pay don’t get nametags.

The way we confirm you are coming is by paying.

Sign-in sheet for students who volunteer to work. Suzanne will make this?

Brian will take care of labeling for rooms

Jacqueline will take care of posting RAW coverage on social media

Stuff needs to printed by the 20th. We will come around 4:30.

We all should come Friday 23rd around 4-7pm to help set up. Be there by 7:30 am on Saturday to set up.

Others should stay late to help people get to the Londoner.

Recruitment flyers:  make this, maybe something RAW centric?? Have these by RAW to pass out. Maybe make two different kinds.

We need a map for the Londoner, Jacqueline will make it, Amy will print it.

Madhavi will print schedule out the schedule to post on the rooms, so people know what panels will be din which rooms when.


Sherry Clarkson Prize

Jennifer will check Google Docs for the Sherry Clarkson flyer.


Other Things to Keep in Mind

UTD is putting together a GSA for all grad students form all departments.

Suzanne will eventually post tips for field exams.

Teri’s Contributions

January 13, 2018

Teri has given us great input on the things we needed her advice for!

Here is what she says:

1. Dena can order more lanyards with one click of a button, so just let her know how many you need. I’m not sure where the “RAW” graphic is, but the lanyard maker already has it.

2. For the badges, be sure to get Avery badge holders and badge inserts. You have to order each separately (I went through Dena), though you could also get them at Staples or somewhere. Last year, Lisa Lyles gave me a bunch of the larger badge holders that A&H wasn’t going to use. They’re in the boxes I left in the grad lounge. There are two badge sizes; I don’t remember the dimensions exactly, but the GSA traditionally used the larger ones. Last year, Dena ordered the small ones because A&H used them and it didn’t occur to me to check the size.

Anyway, once you get the card inserts, download the free Avery printing app. (There will be instructions for this included in the package of inserts.) It’s very easy to use, though a little tedious to type in everyone’s name and affiliation. Be sure to make badges for all the presenters, moderators, volunteers, GSA members, speakers, and Dr. Gooch and Dean Kratz. There are some examples from previous years out on the Googledocs site. (Don’t try to copy the older ones. You’ll spend hours and just get frustrated when they don’t line up or print correctly. I speak from experience. Start fresh with the Avery app.)

I printed all the badges on my home printer, though you could of course also print them at UTD.

And please let me know if you have any questions about anything. From this distance, you all appear extremely well prepared. Congrats!




GSA Meeting Minutes (January 8, 2018)

January 10, 2018

It’s the first meeting of the spring semester 2018!

Yesterday, Jan 7th, we met at La Madeleine and divided RAW presenters into panels. Our tasks afterwards were delegated as follows:

Tracey – assign and hassle moderators to appropriate panels (Poe has offered his assistance and is copied on this message so that he can see which panel sounds good to him.  He gets first dibs (or first right of refusal) since he’s traveling!

Cindy – start scheduling panels and start checking out menu options for Friday night dinner and lunch – both catered by Chartwell’s.

Amy – add columns to spreadsheet to cover payment, food RSVPs, and dietary restrictions and hassle presenters who didn’t give titles for their papers

Jennifer – send Diana information for social media accounts since she graciously volunteered to be our social media guru (thank you!) and figure out how we get intel on who’s paid and what their food status is

Suzanne – continue working on the program as more information makes itself available. Create GSA recruitment flyers.


RAW Organizing

We have 16 panels, our biggest conference so far!! Cindy has volunteered to come up with scheduling and room reserving.

Many papers do not have titles. We need to email people for the titles of their papers.

We discussed how long should the panels be. 10-15 minutes per presentation, with a 10-minute Q&A at the end of all presentations?

We will offer more PhD students to moderate! After all, RAW is a conference for grad students, put together by grad students—why not let more grad students, specifically those at the PhD level, get experience moderating a conference panel?

Brian will talk to Alena Morton about parking for advance parking reservation.

The Event registration form has been filled out or the university. Brian filled it out.

Brian has stashed the swag in a “secure location.”

3.516 for keynote around lunch time, or the big one on the 4th floor. All rooms where presentations will need media. The rooms we reserved are JO 3.516, 4.112, and 4.614.

Friday dinner at Founder’s Atrium, or alumni center (but it’s expensive). Most likely will be located in the Founder’s Atrium.

We all need to ask who would like to help with RAW by February 1st. We can even recruit undergrads who wants to help! (Those who teach RHET or TA for a class, recruit your students!)


Food for RAW

Jennifer talked to Dena today, and she replied that only 12 have paid, but no info on what dietary restrictions are needed. No way Jennifer can check this, Dena will email us, and Jennifer will hassle Dena after each deadline. Cindy will check soon.

Cindy is checking our menus, Jacqueline also working on food. They are working together on food.

What to do for breakfast: Costco for drinks? Or just have Chartwells do everything, even breakfast? Chartwells would keep it simple. Just use on-campus catering. If we want wine at the dinner give the wine to them the day before to be chilled, and then pay to get a guy to serve it. But we have to have approval from university.

Dr. Gooch will pay for Friday night dinner.

Dr. Wright will provide wine for 50, bring to Ackerman Center, then Cindy will take to Chartwells.


RAW Inventory

Lanyards were ordered last year through Dena or Lisa Lyles. We need to print the nametags; Suzanne will ask Teri how she did that.

We have boxes full of leftover lanyards (32), cups with lids, badge sleeves, Cindy can get 100 badge sleeves for $10.99 on Amazon.

Jennifer will email Dena and Teri on how to get lanyards with “RAW on them. Dena or Lisa probably has the patter for printing on the lanyard.

Suzanne will design GSA recruitment flyers to put in the in the swag bag.


Sherry Clarkson Prize:

A flyer for the Sherry Clarkson prize will be in the RAW swag bag. Those who wish to submit your paper for the prize, please remember that we want to read the conference-length papers you presented (about 8 pages maximum), not a journal-ready 30-page essay.

Suzanne, Amy, and Dr. Wright will judge the submitted conference papers for the Sherry Clarkson prize; Brian will play it by ear depending on where his in in his field exams. (Best of luck, Brian!!)


Plans for the January general meeting:

Madhavi, Jacqueline, and people who are ABD (“all but dissertation”) plan to create and host a workshop/panel later this month to give advice on how to prepare for and pass the field exams.

Dr. Wright gave use some field exam tips! Write the field exam more like a historiographical essay, or lit review, and look at sample historiographical essays or lit reviews as examples of how you might organize and construct your exam essays. The Blackwell Companion may have good samples. What kind of patterns do you see in your field? Don’t do research outside of your exam field. You won’t be quoting.

However, keep in mind that field exams are not graded consistently, and different professors may have different preferences. Follow the advice first and foremost of the professors on your committee, and verify that the advice you receive from your peers or non-committee member faculty aligns with your committee members’ individual preferences.


Additional, Miscellaneous Notes:

We considered where we will have spring social: Bishop Cider Company? The new Northside Pub? The new Northside Pub might also be a good place for the RAW after party because it is on campus.

We re-confirmed what our roles and titles are in the GSA, since many of us have taken on different tasks since we decided who will do what last August. Our more-or-less official roles are as follows:

Jennifer = President (“supreme dear leader”), Chair of RAW

Brian = Vice President, “voice of reason”

Amy = Treasurer, RAW Co-Chair

Tracey = Faculty and Administration Ambassador

Madhavi = Administration Ambassador

Suzanne = Secretary (notes taker, program and flyer designer, website manager)

Diane = Social Media Manager

Jacqueline = Event Organizer (social activities and food coordinator)

Cindy = Logistics, scheduling coordinator


  • Congrats to Tracey for being cigarette-free for 10 weeks!! Woo hoo!!


Meeting Minutes (Dec. 12, 2017)

January 7, 2018

This meeting was largely devoted to discussing the upcoming RAW Conference on Feb. 24th! Although not as many as last year, we are in good shape for how many people are presenting in RAW, enough to make 5 panels. Some are even from other schools besides UTD.

We confirmed the $30 (for early registration), $40, $50 (late registration) charge that we decided last meeting. The loose dates for registration are as follows:

  • Before Jan 1 = early,
  • Before Feb 1 = mid,
  • Feb 15th = late

Cindy will get RAW on the comet calendar

Food for RAW:

Cindy confirmed that Ackerman Center is providing breakfast. Dr. Gooch is providing dinner, the GSA will provide lunch (Jacqueline is in charge of lunch). Chartwells will most likely be catering for lunch and dinner. The after party might be held again at the Londoner, but we also considered that maybe this year we hold the after party closer to campus?

We only spent $140 on the Fall social so far, so our budget is still looking good. It will cost about $250 for appetizers at after party. For lunch, the budget will be about $15 per person.

We plan to make survey monkey for what kind of food people want.

RAW swag, parking, and moderators:

Brian got pens and folders from the UTD bookstore and a bunch of other amazing swag. We just don’t have bags yet. Tracey will ask places like Off Campus Books, Confucius Institute, and the Translation Center for bags.

Brian is having trouble with parking because they want to us to wait until it is two weeks in advance.

We discussed what former students and profs/faculty to nag to moderate panels. On Jan. 7th, we will send out invitations to moderate.

General Important Stuff:

We discussed when and where to meet to discuss organizing panels. We will meet Sunday, Jan. 7 at 11:30 am at La Madeleine in Plano at 520 W 15th (15th street and HWY 75).

GSA meetings for Spring 2018 will be on the 2nd Monday each month at 5:30 pm in the grad lounge. The schedule for spring 2018 to be determined soon.

Finally, we need to recruit for new senate members. Many people will be leaving the GSA after this academic year is up!!! If you are interested or curious about serving the GSA, please contact us! We’d be happy to tell you about what we do, what our responsibilities entail, and how it is possible (and it is possible!) to balance GSA responsibilities with school/work/life.

Meeting Minutes (Nov. 14, 2017)

November 18, 2017

We designated who is in charge of what for RAW preparation. The assignments are as follows:

  • Dr. Wright is in charge of booking rooms for RAW, and maybe also provide wine?
  • Tracey will check out Starbucks, and Off Campus Books for swag. He will also take care of the GSA’s money situation (and will copy Dr. Wright about this), and set up a skype thing for Karen, perhaps in room 4.614.
  • Brian will check out the UTD library, UTD Bookstore, and visitor’s center for swag. He will also take care of parking for non-UTD presenters.
  • Suzanne will put together the program and create badges.
  • Amanda from ATEC will find some ATEC swag for us
  • Madhavi will buy snacks for the swag bags. She will also ask the Confucius Center, the Ackerman Center, and the Translation Center for swag.
  • Jennifer and Jacqueline in charge of meals/dinner
  • Amy and Jennifer will respond to RAW submissions
  • Amy, Jennifer, Madhavi and Amanda will formulate panels Dec 15-Dec 31

We discussed the entrance fees (including early bird entrance fees) and are currently considering a $30 –> $40 –> $50 rate. Tracey will confirm with Poe about what the fee was last year. We also considered maybe having a UTD discount for RAW.

There will be two social events (coordinated by Jacqueline) in December. Trivia on Dec. 6 and Tiki Bingo on Dec. 19. We are currently planning on hosting these at Alamo Draft House, but are considering other alternative sites like Texadelphia.

Madhavi will put together workshop for field exams in January. (We might want to make sure we have representatives from all three humanities fields who could perhaps provide samples of their writing?). She will also talk to Dr. Kratz and Dena about the GSA’s money situation.

Finally, to all A&H grad students:

If you any ideas about what they want to see in the grad program in general (for example, maybe you have ideas on how HUMA 6300 could be more useful and relevant to us than it is now, or if you want us to try to convince administration to set up a better system to accept electronic signatures for independent studies and proposals and such), please bring these ideas to Tracey ( He is our official voice of the grad students at faculty meetings.

2018 RAW Symposium Call For Papers

October 17, 2017

RAW (Research ~ Art ~ Writing) 2018

Date: February 24, 2018

Theme: Negotiating Tragedy

Submission Deadline: December 1st, 2017

Keynote Speaker: Karen Kelsky, “The Professor is In”

The Arts & Humanities Graduate Student Association of the University of Texas at Dallas will hold its tenth annual graduate symposium on February 24th at the UT Dallas campus in Richardson, TX.  The RAW: Research, Art, Writing conference is organized by and for graduate students, and offers an opportunity for student scholars around the world to share their work and ideas with their peers across the humanities disciplines.

What is the role of art in tragedy?  We seek understanding and the ability to cope by channeling frustration, confusion, chaos, and anger into paintings, poetry, and works of fiction.  Capturing tragedy on film, be it a still image which isolates a moment in the midst of a mass shooting, or a documentary that attempts to piece together a war we still do not understand, helps us to observe from a safe distance while aligning ourselves with those who were directly impacted.  Historical studies of colonialism, the Holocaust, the Stalinist purges, World War I, World War II, and the Long Civil Rights Movement, to name only a very few events, are crucial to our ability to comprehend, and eventually move forward as a global society.  On a more individual level, everyday personal tragedies of abuse, depression, drug addiction, and homelessness are all-consuming.  How do we negotiate tragedy?  In the words of Robert Frost, “I can see no way out but through.”  As academics, we must persist in our studies to achieve a higher level of understanding, to cut a path through the tragic, and lead others out.

We invite abstracts for individual presentations, as well as fully constructed panels (3-4 speakers) that address all aspects of negotiating tragedy.

Suggestions for presentations and panels include, but are certainly not limited to: 

  • Anti-semitism/the Holocaust
  • Philosophy and tragedy
  • The Long Civil Rights Movement
  • Coping with tragedy through sci-fi and fantasy films
  • Creative writing (fiction or poetry)
  • Scientific progress through tragedy
  • Music and tragedy
  • Shakespeare’s tragedies
  • Greek tragedy
  • The tragic artist
  • Tragedy and comedy
  • The aftermath of fear (consumerism, baby-booms)
  • Visual arts
  • Digital media
  • Documentary films

In an effort to support graduate student scholars, we will be hosting a virtual workshop during the conference with Karen Kelsky, the Founder and President of “The Professor Is In.”  Our workshop will focus on how graduate students can complete the transition from student to scholar.  Karen Kelsky is known internationally for her lectures, workshops, and one-on-one assistance available for Ph.D. students entering their careers.  You can learn more about Karen Kelsky at:

Proposals are due by December 1st, 2017. Full-panel proposals will be given priority.  All proposals must follow the below guidelines:

  • Complete mailing addresses, e-mail, phone number
  • An abstract of no more than 200 words, including 3 to 5 key words
  • Visual art presentations must include medium
  • Panel proposals must also include: Proposal for overall panel in addition to 200 word abstract for each individual participant

All submissions should be sent to

Notification of acceptance will be provided by December 15, 2017


  • Download the PDF file of the CFP here: RAW CFP