KIAS Masterclass: Session #1

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October 4th, 2011 KIAS Masterclass Session #1, led by Dr. Jerry Varsava - "How to Write a Conference Abstract."

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KIAS Masterclass: Session #1

  1. 1. KIAS Masterclass: Session #1How To Write a Conference Abstract<br />Jerry Varsava<br />Professor of Comparative Literature & English<br />Founding Director, KIAS<br />
  2. 2. Research Dissemination: WHY ME?<br />Intellectual development.<br />Engaged citizenship.<br />Contribution to knowledge creation.<br />Augmentation of academic credentials.<br />
  3. 3. THE FOUR C’S<br />CAPABILITY<br />CONCISION of expression<br />CLARITY of thought<br />COMPLIANCE with Call-for-Papers (CFP)<br />
  4. 4. Dissemination: Academic Journals<br />The British Conference of Undergraduate Research and the Council of Undergraduate Research in the United States have compiled a list of undergraduate journals covering a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas. If you are interested in submitting a paper for publication, check out their websites: <br /> http://www.cur.org/ugjournal.html <br /> http://www.bcur.org/research/ <br />
  5. 5. Dissemination: Conferences <br />Be aware of conferences and colloquia taking place in your department andwithin the university.<br />Talk to your professors.<br />Subscribe to listserves such as Conference Alerts:<br />http://www.conferencealerts.com<br />Organize a conference in your department!<br />
  6. 6.
  7. 7. THE ABSTRACT:Paragraph 1: The What<br /> <br />What will you talk about?<br />Why is your subject important?<br />What are the broad parameters and contexts in which your subject operates?<br />Sell your paper!<br />
  8. 8. THE ABSTRACT: Paragraph 1: The What<br />Winner of most major distinctions for fiction in the United States-National Book Award, PEN/Faulkner (twice), PEN/Hemingway, among others, Ha Jin is one of the preeminent writers of his generation. Given his own personal circumstances, it is not surprising that the pervasive theme of much of Ha Jin's fiction is the elemental conflict between the private and public spheres in modern Chinese life, and how this conflict between the self and the collective other dramatizes the operation of political power in that country. While the respective hegemonies of these ordering spheres have, historically, undergone considerable revision in the West, modern China with its communitarian biases has been highly resistant to any (re)negotiation of the relationship between the two, with the single, epic exception of economic arrangements which, since the inauguration of Deng Xiaoping's  "Open Door" policy in 1978, has ushered in China's own version of paternalistic capitalism and, with it, its current status as the world's second largest economy.     <br />
  9. 9. THE ABSTRACT: Paragraph 2: The How <br />How will you go about exploring your topic?<br />State your thesis or research question.<br />Provide an outline of your paper.<br />Be specific.<br />
  10. 10. THE ABSTRACT: Paragraph 2: The How<br />This paper examines the conflict between the private and public spheres, especially as it is presented in those novels that are set in China in the forty or so years following the establishment of the modern Maoist state in 1949: Waiting (1999), The Crazed (2002), and War Trash (2004). Thematizing Maoist bureaucratic sclerosis, Party privilege, the social conservatism of Confucianism, and the backwardness of rural China, Ha Jin demonstrates the traumatic consequences of the private sphere's near total subsumption under the public, as well as the broader implications of this subordination for national and personal identity. In modern China, economic freedom has not been matched by civil liberties, whether at the electoral or even the most immediate, most personal level for China's citizenry. <br />
  11. 11. THE ABSTRACT: The Title<br />Titles are very important!<br />Spend time on developing your title.<br />Come up with three or four possibilities and “sleep” ON them.<br />Ask others their opinions on your draft titles.<br />
  12. 12. TIPS<br />Discuss your ideas for your paper with a professor knowledgeable in the area.<br />Ask people—e.g., a professor, a student peer, etc.—to read over your abstract.<br />Your paper may originate from a term paper in which you have ongoing interest after the course.<br />
  13. 13. TIPS<br />Work to a deadline that is at least one week before the Call-for-Papers deadline to allow for calm reflection and revision.<br />Do not dash off an abstract of paper that you will not be able to write and will ultimately have to either abandon or significantly revise.<br />Remember that your abstract becomes your contract with the conference organizers and participants.<br />

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