Being a Scholar in Public

On Thursday, February 13, from 12pm to 1pm at The Graduate Center (Room 3317), FI Fellow Siqi Tu will be joined by FI Co-director Katina Rogers, FI Fellow Cihan Tekay and PublicsLab fellow Robert Yates to explore the intersection of scholarly work and public engagement. The discussion will be followed by a workshop, from 1pm to 2pm, where attendees will develop their academic work into op-ed articles. RSVP is free and lunch will be provided.  

At this two-part event co-led by the Futures Initiative and the PublicsLab, we will discuss the following questions: What is the public —or publics? What does being a scholar in public mean to you? And more importantly, how can we develop a public voice as early-career scholars?

With the help of panelists experienced in engaging with public audiences, we will brainstorm answers to these questions and come up with concrete and measurable plans to develop a public voice this semester. We strongly encourage attendees to come to the event with ideas on how to engage with the public in connection with their scholarship.

This event is part of the The University Worth Fighting For, a series of workshops that tie student-centered, engaged pedagogical practices to institutional change, race, equality, gender, and social justice.



Katina Rogers is co-director of the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she guides and mentors graduate fellows, develops programming, and exercises administrative oversight over all aspects of the program. She is also Director of Programs and Administration for HASTAC, the online scholarly network, and co-director of a new $3.15 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the Humanities Alliance, a partnership between the Graduate Center and four CUNY community colleges. 

Dr. Rogers’s scholarly work focuses on many aspects of higher education reform, including scholarly communication practices, professionalization and career development, public scholarship, and advocacy for fair labor policies. Her first book, titled Putting the Humanities PhD to Work: Thriving in and beyond the Classroom, will be published by Duke University Press in July 2020 and is available for pre-order. Rogers holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Cihan Tekay is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the Graduate Center and a graduate fellow at the Futures Initiative, where she is the Institutional Leadership and Administration Specialist. She is interested in the global emergence of novel forms of citizenship, and how people’s engagement with science, technology, and popular political ideologies shape visions of the future. She is currently writing her dissertation on the political economy of electrification in Turkey during the early 20th century. Cihan is committed to public scholarship, academic freedom, and imagining fair and equitable futures for the university. She has been engaged in various public scholarship projects in Turkish and English for the last decade. Recently, she started recording podcasts for the Status Audio magazine, where she interviews fellow anthropologists working in Turkey. She has been a co-editor of the Turkey section on since 2013.

Siqi Tu is a PhD candidate in Sociology and a Futures Initiative Graduate Fellow at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her work focuses on the areas of urban sociology, immigration, education, elites, and contemporary Chinese societies. Tu was born and raised in Shanghai, China and moved to New York City in 2012. She developed her interest in immigration and urban neighborhoods as a keen observer of diverse communities in different metropolitan areas. Her dissertation, “Destination Diploma: How Chinese Upper-Middle Class Families ‘Outsource’ Secondary Education to the United States”, investigates why and how Chinese upper-middle-class families make decisions to send their children to the United States to attend private high schools, some as young as 14 years of age, and it analyzes the actual lived experiences of the students of this “parachute-generation”. She has served as a guest speaker on Sinica Postcast and wrote op-eds for Sixtone and Chinafile

Robert Yates is a PhD student in the Department of English. Robert’s research focuses on early modern literature and culture, with particular interests in drama, embodiment, and popular festivities. As a public scholar, Robert continues to work with educational institutions to develop curriculum and systems of professional development for teachers of literature and writing. Before arriving at The Graduate Center, Robert worked as a Graduate Associate at Georgetown University’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), as well as a curriculum designer of English courses at D.C. Public Schools. Robert holds an M.Phil. in Education from the University of Cambridge and a M.A. in English from Georgetown University.


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309