What does it mean to be a member of the Graduate Caucus for NCSA?

Graduate caucus members are graduate students who are committed to engaging with the work of NCSA beyond presenting conference papers. This can take many forms:

  • Helping to organize and facilitate the Scholars in Progress Seminar Series
  • Helping to plan and organize events at NCSA conferences, ranging from social gatherings to formal roundtables or panels
  • Finding ways to engage other graduate students in nineteenth-century scholarship and in the work of NCSA to build our community

Participating in the Graduate Caucus is not only a great way to learn more about and contribute to NCSA, but also a terrific way to develop professional skills, including helping with organizing panels, events, and other facets of academic conferences; reading and evaluating conference abstracts; writing and editing calls for papers; and organizing and leading research and pedagogy workshops and events in addition to the annual conference.  A graduate student representative of the Graduate Caucus serves in a leadership role and works with the officers of NCSA to help execute these aims and objectives.

If you are interested in joining the Graduate Caucus, please email:

Amy Arbogast, Chair of the Graduate Committee, at Amyarbogast@yahoo.com,
Pallas Catenella Riedler, Graduate Caucus Student Representative, at priedler@u.rochester.edu, or ncsagradcaucus@gmail.com

Scholars in Progress: A Seminar Series Hosted by the NCSA Graduate Caucus

NCSA’s Graduate Caucus is excited to announce a new resource for graduate students!

Recognizing that many graduate students are currently feeling isolated from their scholarly communities and that NCSA connects scholars of different disciplines and interests, the Grad Caucus is launching Scholars in Progress: A Seminar Series, or SiP for short. This online seminar series will give graduate students a chance to share and get feedback on their work related to the nineteenth century and will also provide a space for us to hear from established scholars regarding what they wish they had known in graduate school and what advice they have for current graduate students.  Our goal is to also sustain this series even after this crisis has passed to continue to build bridges between disciplines, universities, and individual scholars. As our acronym suggests, we invite participants to “sip” their favorite beverages as we engage in professional, collegial conversation.

So how will this work?

Once per month, participants will gather in a zoom room for roughly 90 minutes for one of two different types of meetings: 1) paper discussion/feedback sessions or 2) conversations with established scholars. For the paper discussions, a graduate student will circulate a paper (30 double-spaced pages, max) ahead of time for everyone to read. Authors can choose a draft of an article, a dissertation chapter, a conference paper, or anything else they are working on. At the start of each meeting, the participant whose paper was discussed at the previous meeting will start the session by offering a 5-10 minute “Comment” on the current meeting’s paper, summarizing its contents, providing an overall assessment, and laying out some central themes or ideas for discussion. After this, we will launch right into feedback and conversation.

In the sessions featuring conversations with established scholars, participants will be given the speaker’s bio ahead of time so that they can prepare questions. The scholar will offer advice, either general or pertaining to a theme (like article-publishing), and the graduate students will have time to ask questions and discuss their experiences.

We are excited about what this workshop will bring to all participants. The paper authors will gain feedback from an incredibly diverse reading pool, including scholars of history, literature, art, and music. Other participants will have the chance to learn more about different subjects and will have the chance to practice offering professional feedback and building scholarly conversations. The sessions will also provide a rich opportunity for networking and community, which we hope will even translate into some panel proposals for NCSA conferences. Most importantly, we hope that this group will help graduate students benefit from and contribute to the greatest strengths NCSA possesses: our collegiality, intellectual curiosity, and generosity with feedback.  Graduate students of all stages in their programs are invited to participate and submit work.

It is our hope that participants will join the zoom room regularly, but there will be no attendance requirements.  Membership in NCSA is highly recommended to participate in SiP.  We hope to launch this fall.  If you are interested in learning more, joining us, or providing a paper during this upcoming year, please complete this google form.