Workshops are the lifeblood of the GEA, and are designed to provide useful information to graduate students in the Department of English concerning not only their degree program, but how to thrive in an academic setting in general.  The workshops are casual gatherings that encourage open dialogue, and they also aim to provide reassurance and guidance in the often stressful environment of graduate work.  In the past, the GEA has run workshops on external fellowships, applying for permanent residency, special fields, transitioning to ABD, professional self-presentation, comprehensive exams, and parenting in academia.

Brown Bag Lunch Talks

This series, which is scheduled on Thursdays from noon to 1:00 pm throughout the academic year, aims to create a social space in which faculty and students can come together around themes of current research in the department, learn about one another’s projects and, mostly importantly, get to know one another, whether within or across fields of research. In these sessions, faculty members discuss their current research with colleagues and graduate students. This year, faculty presenters are also welcome to invite a graduate student co-presenter. While people may certainly opt to deliver papers, the hope is that these sessions will provide informal opportunities for sharing recent and ongoing scholarship and for socializing.

Pre-Modern Research Symposium

The Pre-Modern Research Symposium (PMRS) provides a venue in which medieval and renaissance scholars in our department can present and discuss works in progress. PMRS aims to foster conversation across what was once conceived as a rigid period divide. In fostering this conversation, PMRS will highlight both the continuities and disjunctures between medieval and renaissance literature. PMRS will meet four times in 2014-15.

Coffee Hour

Every couple of weeks, the GEA Coffee committee runs a coffee hour for students, faculty, and staff. This is a wonderful chance to take a quick break from work and enjoy casual conversation, coffee or tea, and delicious baked goods.

Pub Night

Every month, the GEA social committee will host a gathering at a local watering hole. These events are a great way to make social connections with students from all levels of the program outside of an academic setting, as well as to have fun and de-stress. There will also be regular social events that aren’t centred around drinking.

Research Roundtable

Held on the day before the new Fall Break in the Jackman Building’s snazzy sixth floor seminar room, the Research Roundtable is designed to foster conversation and cross-pollination across fields and research areas, and to provide an opportunity for faculty and graduate students to share their work with each other. A wine and cheese reception will conclude the day.

Cook the Books

Graduate students and faculty are invited to cook a dish detailed in or reflecting a favourite work of literature. In addition to an array of no doubt delicious and creative recipes, there will be a cash bar. The event is a fundraiser: it includes a silent auction that provides a fund (the Karma Travel Grant) to help students with travel expenses for conferences and research.

Graduate Conference

Every May, we organize a conference for graduate students. Presenters in the past have come from several different departments aside from English within U of T, as well as from many different other universities across North America. For a look at what went on at 2014’s conference, take a look at the conference website. Those who are interested in getting involved are encouraged to join the Conference Committee, which will be chosen in September’s GEA meeting.