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Research Collaboration with Our Undergraduates: A Mutual Reward (NeMLA's 54th Annual Convention)

Niagra Falls, NY
Organization: Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Event: NeMLA's 54th Annual Convention
Categories: Digital Humanities, Pedagogy
Event Date: 2023-03-23 to 2023-03-26 Abstract Due: 2022-09-30

Collaborative research between faculty and their undergraduates is not a new practice, and the pedagogy of collaborative projects has attracted, perhaps more recently, considerable scholarly attention. This roundtable examines the richness in the covenant instructors and their undergraduate research assistants enter when they embark on a scholarly project independent of a course’s requirements and outside the semester’s classroom. Given our undergraduates’ remarkable fortitude, resilient energy, digital literacy, and technological savvy, our work as scholars in our specific disciplines reaps enormous benefit when we harness our students’ creative abilities. The pandemic’s first two years shut down pretty much access to archival materials, hindering how we might have worked on our projects. Did we enlist an undergraduate research assistant to help us pivot and shift during the shutdown and, consequently, help us maintain our scholarly activity? As a result, did we discover new fruitful angles in our research? Furthermore, when we give our undergraduate research assistants the freedom to explore, to assess, to analyze materials, what do we model for the young humanist/scholars we mentor? How do we evaluate their contributions in generating original observations and then, how do we validate and reward their part in producing conference papers, scholarly articles, monographs all collaborative in nature? How do our institutions sponsor undergraduate research and match the eager student with a faculty member? Do they? Enlisting our undergraduate students in our own specialized scholarly projects illustrates the liberal arts’ mission to foster critical engagement, independent inquiry, and intellectual curiosity and to stress participation in the academic community. Presentations might investigate these topics and questions and raise others about the uniquely valuable role undergraduate research assistants play and the reciprocal reward in this satisfyingly enriching intellectual relationship.

Submissions must be made through the NeMLA portal:



Dr. Joellen Masters