GRADUCon 2020 - First Years as Faculty in Humanities and Social Sciences



We think and talk a lot about the work that goes into obtaining a tenure-track professorship. But what does the day-to-day work of a new faculty member actually look like?  From committee assignments to new course preps to finding time for research, the first year can be a balancing act.  This panel will feature four Ph.D. alumni currently navigating their first year on the tenure-track at a range of institutions.  The alumni will share their experiences and their advice for students and postdocs who plan to make similar transitions.  This session is intended for students, postdocs, and alumni in the humanities and social sciences.


Michael Dango, Assistant Professor, Beloit College (PhD, English, University of Chicago, 2017)

I am an Assistant Professor of English and Media Studies at Beloit College.  Previously I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, where I also completed my Ph.D. in English in 2017. I research and teach twentieth and twenty-first century American culture, aesthetics, queer and feminist theory, and the environmental humanities.  My writing has appeared or is forthcoming in academic journals including New Literary History, Modern Fiction Studies, Post45, Social Text, Novel, Critical Inquiry, and Modern Philology, as well as para-academic forums such as New Inquiry and The Los Angeles Review of Books. 

Kristin Hickman, Croft Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Studies, University of Mississippi, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Croft Institute for International Studies (MA, Anthropology, University of Chicago, 2013; PhD, Anthropology, University of Chicago, expected June 2020)

Kristin Gee Hickman is assistant professor of anthropology and international studies at the University of Mississippi. Her current research examines the relationship between language, politics, and identity in contemporary urban Morocco. She received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and French & Francophone Studies from Barnard College, and is expected to complete her Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Chicago in 2020.

Joshua Mendelsohn, Assistant Professor, Loyola University Chicago (PhD, University of Chicago, 2019)

I did my undergraduate studies in Australia at the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne before coming to Chicago to do a PhD in Philosophy. After a short stint as a visiting postdoctoral fellow at the University of Leipzig, I returned to Chicago this academic year to start at Loyola University Chicago.

Majorie Schaeffer, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, Saint Mary’s College (MA, Developmental Psychology, University of Chicago, 2014; PhD, Developmental Psychology, University of Chicago, 2019)

Marjorie Schaeffer is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago working with Dr. Sian Beilock. Her research looks at the parent children interactions around math. Previously, she taught elementary school as part of Teach for America in St. Louis. 


Erin Galgay Walsh, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, University of Chicago Divinity School (PhD, Religious Studies, Duke University 2019)

Erin Galgay Walsh’s research focuses on the reception of biblical literature and asceticism within the late antique Mediterranean world. Her current book project examines how Syriac and Greek poets retold and expanded biblical stories featuring unnamed New Testament women. She studies how male poets inhabited the voices of marginalized female biblical figures in order to make interpretative and theological claims. More broadly, her research and teaching interests include the history of Biblical interpretation, Syriac language and literature, embodied practices, religious poetry, and women and gender within the ancient world. She works across the languages of early Christianity: Syriac, Latin, Greek, and Armenian, and she has an enduring interest in translation and multilingualism in the late antique and early Byzantine east. During the 2018-2019 academic year, she was a Junior Fellow in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection of Harvard University. In May 2019, she defended her dissertation successfully at Duke University. Professor Walsh is also the Executive Editor for Christianity at Ancient Jew Review, a non-profit web journal devoted to the interdisciplinary study of ancient Judaism.


Please register for the event. Zoom details will be shared with registrants a day prior to the event.