Mission & Context
In recognition of the challenges facing early career linguists in the current climate of precarity, this group supports the progression of a diverse community of scholars. The Group seeks to extend the principles in Vitae’s updated Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (2019) – designed to increase attention to wellbeing and inclusivity through regular reviews of academic environments – by soliciting contributions from peers, senior colleagues, and the wider discipline regarding good practice in institutional, community, and sector terms. The Group’s goal is the universal uptake of quantifiable actions to improve conditions within an acceptable timescale.
This group champions the interests of Early Career Academics in Modern Languages. Members are self-identifying early career linguists, who are likely to be late-stage postgraduates, postdoctoral researchers, teaching fellows, and new lecturers (usually no more than 5 years into a permanent contract). Organisational partners include the Arts and Humanities Alliance, the Association for German Studies, the Association of British and Irish Lusitanists, the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland, the British Academy, the Institute of Modern Languages Research, and the Society for Italian Studies.
Call for Representatives
For the University Council of Modern Languages Early Career Academics Special Interest Group
The ECA SIG at UCML seeks representatives from a range of areas to boost our representation of languages and pedagogic disciplines. We are calling for self-nominations from early career academics (including PhD candidates) for the following roles. The new representatives may remain members of the ECA SIG until they choose to step down.
- Language Teaching (any language specialisms)
- Germanic and/or Low countries
- Middle Eastern
- SOAS/East Asian
- Middle Eastern
- East Asian
- Wales (Welsh and/or area studies)
The ECA SIG meets every six months, in person or online, to discuss new initiatives and support programmes for early career academics in the disciplines of languages and cultures. Each representative is in charge of their sub-discipline or nation and is asked to update the SIG at our meetings. We address the challenges facing early career researchers and teachers in the current climate of precarity, organising workshops and events, and feeding back to UCML as an organisation.
To nominate yourself, please email Liam Lewis (the UCML ECA Rep: firstname.lastname@example.org) with the following information: your full name, your current or most recent affiliation, the area you would like to represent from the list above, and a brief summary of your current teaching and/or research activities (max 100 words).
|Dr Hilary Potter||Royal Holloway, University of London (until end of June 2021)||Co-Chair|
|Dr Ashley Harris||Queen’s University Belfast||Co-Chair|
|Dr Dominique Carlini Versini||Durham University||Previous Co-Chair|
|Dr Liam Lewis||University of Liverpool||UCML ECA Representative|
|Dr Kate Foster||King’s College London||Mentoring|
|Dr Sara Al Tubuly||Al Maktoum College of Higher Education||Arabic|
|Dr Caroline Laurent||The American University of Paris||French|
|Dr Mavis Ho||University of Edinburgh||Translation Studies|
|Dr Serena Vandi||University of Oxford||Italian|
|Dr Cathy McAteer||University of Exeter||Russian/Slavonic Studies|
|Maria Roemer||University of Leeds||Japanese|
|Brigid Lynch||University of London|
School of Advanced Study
|Hui Hua||University of Exeter||Mandarin|
The Group will work closely with the Early Career Representative on the UCML Executive Committee.
- Six-monthly meetings, involving knowledge-transfer workshops on topics such as applying for jobs/grants, developing career strategies, producing high-quality publications in varied forms, and teaching/designing modules.
- A nationwide survey into early career experiences in Modern Languages, with results conveyed in a co-authored article.
- An Early Career Code of Best Practice for universities to incorporate into their environment submission for the Research Excellence Framework.
- A mentoring scheme designed to support early career academics in two ways: ad hoc support for specific activities (conference papers, grant proposals, book proposals, etc.), and more substantial year-long mentoring. For more details including how to apply see here.
- A Symposium for Early Career Academics
The UCML Early Career Academics Special Interest Group kindly invites you to the first of a series of workshops taking place this academic year to support ECAs in Modern Languages. If you would like the Zoom link for any events, please email Liam Lewis at email@example.com
UCML New Research in Modern Languages Seminar Series
On 20th April 2022, we held our first seminar series to showcase the new work of Early Career Academics in Modern Languages, starting with a seminar series on French and Francophone Studies. Recordings are available to watch below.
Adapting Research in Medieval French for Academic and Non-Academic Audiences
Charlotte Cooper-Davis on her monograph Christine de Pizan: Life, Work, Legacy (Reaktion Press, 2021)
Liam Lewis on his monograph Animal Soundscapes in Anglo-Norman Texts (D. S. Brewer, 2022)
Memory, Trauma and Exile in Francophone Literature
Antonia Wimbush on her monograph Autofiction: A Female Francophone Aesthetic of Exile (Liverpool University Press, 2021)
Multimedia and Contemporary French Fiction
Ashley Harris on her book project L’Écrivain médiatique: Media Authorship in Contemporary French Literature (Peter Lang, European Connections series)
Dominique Carlini Versini on her book project Le Corps-frontière: figures de l’excès chez Marie Darrieussecq, Virginie Despentes and Marina de Van (Brill, Faux Titre series, 2023)
“Understanding the REF”
Our first workshop “Understanding the REF”, was led by Dr Ann Kinzer on 08 December 2021. Ann is an ECA in German Studies and she has been working in Higher Education for several years – as a teacher (for German and Comparative Literature), researcher and as an administrator. She became a REF Impact Officer in 2019 (initially holding this role concurrently with a teaching focused lecturer position).
As a REF Impact Officer, Ann is contributing to the development of a research impact culture at the University of Kent. She has been working on our impact case studies for submission to REF2021, and post REF continues to focus on facilitating impact development (eg. developing workshops and impact resources, supporting impact funding applications etc.). The recorded talk and the Powerpoint slides from Ann’s presentation are available to download below.
Previous members include:
Dr Hannah Scott
Dr James Illingworth
Dr Karunika Kardak
Dr Catherine Barbour
The ECA SIG is made up of volunteer members. If you are interested in joining the group or would like to get in touch, please contact the co-chairs of the Group’s Steering Committee, Dr Hilary Potter (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr Ashley Harris (email@example.com).