Let’s Talk About the 'Hidden Curriculum': Graduate Student Q&A (Roundtable)

German / Pedagogy & Professional

Cynthia Porter (Ohio State University)

Maria Grewe (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY)

The traditional trajectory of a graduate student in Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) ranges from completing coursework and presenting at professional conferences to publishing and securing a permanent position in higher education. During this time, unwritten rules and unspoken expectations inform implicit academic, social, and cultural messages that are transmitted to graduate students. Some of these messages are seemingly benign, while others can be toxic and potentially derail a student’s career. How do we make these hidden rules and expectations explicit, how might we approach them, and how do we actively work against those that are harmful?

In this roundtable scholars representing a range of positionalities and from different stages in their careers, in academia and academic adjacent, briefly share their experiences of “hidden” expectations and values they were confronted with in graduate school and, importantly, they discuss possible strategies to navigate them, and to expose and dismantle them. Roundtable attendees, and in particular graduate students, will then have the opportunity to share their own experiences and ask questions that often remain unspoken or are even deemed illegitimate in academic discourse.

Topics include but are not limited to:

· Mental health and well-being

· Unethical hiring practices

· Labor justice advocacy

· BIPOC at Predominantly White Institutions/departments

· Starting a family

· Bias in student evaluations

· Advocating for non-traditional forms of publication

· When you are presumed incompetent

· LGBTQ+ at a conservative institution

· Disability bias

· Native speaker bias in foreign languages and literatures

· Networking and conference expectations

· Accessibility

· Finding and identifying allies and support networks

How can we support graduate students who must navigate unwritten rules and unspoken expectations that inform implicit academic, social, and cultural messaging? This roundtable invites German Studies (and related areas) scholars representing a range of positionalities, in academia and academic adjacent, to share their experiences with and answer questions from graduate students and other roundtable attendees.