CFP: Communication and Critical/Cultural Mentoring: Experiences from Higher Education

Edited by: Ahmet Atay (College of Wooster) and Diana Trebing (Saginaw Valley State University)

Mentoring occupies a major role in higher education. We mentor students and fellow faculty members, many of whom come from diverse backgrounds, such as first-generation, LGBTQ, and other countries among others. Perhaps as scholars and educators we do not spend or have enough time thinking about mentoring. It might also not be something that we formally discussed in graduate school. As we find ourselves mentoring various groups of people in higher education, we try to model our own mentors who helped us as students or faculty. Due to lack of formal training, perhaps we might use a trial-error approach or simply find spontaneous ways to mentor. Additionally, we might also spend hours trying to solve a problem or deal with issues regarding students or new faculty colleagues. We mentor these people, despite the fact that we might not be trained, knowledgeable or prepared for specific mentoring situations. Similar to undergraduate and graduate students, junior faculty also need guidance in their teaching and research. However, in some instances, mentoring becomes a secondary issue when, as scholars, we are too busy working with students, teaching our classes, and conducting our research. Thus, we might neglect our responsibilities to mentor students outside the classroom or new faculty who might be struggling with different issues, such as maintaining a research agenda, becoming a good educator, or balancing their work and personal lives. Therefore, mentoring is one of the most crucial aspects of our academic lives.

This book will tackle two interrelated issues: The role and importance of mentoring in our discipline as well as critical/cultural studies and the ways in which we mentor students and junior faculty with diverse backgrounds. We invite authors who will present a position or an issue in regards to mentoring students and faculty or the lack of it in higher education, especially in mentoring new faculty and minority students. Our goal is to generate a scholarly discussion by utilizing different theoretical models, highlight some of the important issues in mentoring as a form of critical and intercultural communication pedagogy, and finally to present guidelines and examples to mentor more effectively.

In this project, we see mentoring as a form of critical communication pedagogy, outlined by Fassett and Warren (2007), and intercultural communication pedagogy, outlined by Atay and Trebing (2017) and Toyosaki and Atay (2018). Hence, borrowing from communication pedagogy and critical cultural scholars, Calafell (2007), Calafell and Gutierrez-Perez (2017) and Chrifi and Calafell (2016), in this book we argue that mentoring as a commitment and practice builds on the ideas of critical dialogue, embodies critical love and intercultural and transnational sense-making, and promotes a web of community that cultivates care and commitment.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

- Theorizing mentoring

- Critical/Cultural mentoring 

- Queer mentoring

- Feminist mentoring

- Mentoring vs. advising 

- Mentoring international students and faculty

- Mentoring special populations

- Mentoring junior faculty

- Mentoring in the digital age

- Mentoring as dialogue

- Mentoring as critical love

- Mentoring in times of crisis

- Mentoring as a community act

- New ways of mentoring 

- The good, the bad, and the ugly sides of mentoring 

- The role of mentoring in tenure and promotion

Abstracts are due by Thursday, March 15, 2018, with a word length of no more than 500 words, along with pertinent references, contact information, and a short biographic blurb of no more 300 words. Full-length manuscripts are due on October 1, 2018, with a word length of no more than 5,000-7,000 words and in APA style, including references, endnotes, and so forth. Please email your abstracts as Word documents to both Ahmet Atay (aatay@wooster.edu) and Diana Trebing (dtrebing@svsu) for an initial review.