IPS Insights: Afroeuropean Studies Conference

by Chava Nerenberg, Graduate Programming Assistant
Thursday, May 06, 2021 3:00 PM

Have you ever wished you had support to take advantage of a professional or career development opportunity that lies outside the scope of your academic research? The UCSB Individualized Professional Skills (IPS) Program is designed to help graduate students and postdoctoral scholars fill in the funding gaps for pursuing opportunities that support your professional development in a variety of career trajectories.

IPS Insights: We are excited to continue our series, “IPS Insights,” where previous awardees share about their IPS-funded experiences in short, informational videos. Our latest featured video is by Jasmine Kelekay, a graduate student in Sociology.

Jasmine attended the Afroeuropean Studies Conference. The conference is a biannual gathering of scholars, activists, artists, and practitioners working within the emerging interdisciplinary field of Black European or Afroeuropean studies, and includes lectures, panels, workshops, various art shows, and tours of Lisbon. Watch her video to learn more about her experience!


In Jasmine's Words: What I Learned

"During the summer of 2019, I was able to attend the 2019 Afroeuropean Studies Conference. During the conference, I presented on a panel of Afro-Nordic writers, artists, and students - a setting and lineup which would not have been possible at a typical academic conference. It allowed me to gain a more interdisciplinary viewpoint of my own work, as well as engage with people in everything from architecture to philosophy to fine arts. I was also able to be part of more practitioner-oriented workshops, meeting people who work in civil society on issues concerning people of African descent in Europe. This provided me with some valuable insights to non-academic career prospects, as well as how academia and civil society can cooperate for the production of more socially relevant scholarship as well as more evidence-based policies and practices.

In addition to the immense networking opportunities, I also got to experience the city of Lisbon in a unique way. For example, I attended a walking tour highlighting the history of slavery and its continued impact on the Afro-Portuguese population. I also learned a great deal about Portugal's colonial history and the present post-colonial dynamics through the focus on Brazilian, Angolan, Mozambican, Cape Verdean, and Sao Tomean politics, poetry, music, art, and food. It was a unique experience that enriched me both personally and professionally, giving me new insights for future possibilities both within and outside the academy."

IPS Program Overview

Awards up to $1000 are granted to eligible UCSB graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from any discipline who wish to individually tailor their career paths with outside professional development opportunities. The purpose of the IPS program is to help grad students and postdocs take greater agency in their own career path by funding exploration of a range of professional development opportunities across a variety of career and skill interests.

The IPS Program is a collaboration between the Professional Development Series at the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships; the Graduate Division; the Office of Diversity, Equity and InclusionUCSB Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative and CNSI Technology IncubatorCareer Services; UCSB SACNAS Career Pathways Program via DoD HBCU/MI award W911NF-20-1-0294; UCSB's divisional deans; and external donors. Learn more about the program here!