Old-Time Accomplices: Mentors & Mentees

220px-Age_Teaching_YouthIn his essay De auditu (On Listening to Lectures) Plutarch warned that ‘the correct analogy for the mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting – no more – and then it motivates one towards originality and instills the desire for truth’. Once sparked, this fire requires feeding and care, a task often fulfilled by mentors. Already appearing in the Odyssey, the idea of mentoring owes much to the figure of Socrates but has lost none of its force in the contemporary world where mentoring and coaching abound in all professional organisations. The University of Melbourne is therefore organising a conference, Old-Time Accomplices: Mentors & Mentees, on 25-27 August 2016 to explore the theme and the practice of mentoring in literature, history, art, performing arts, social sciences, and in the professional world. We are now calling for paper and panel proposals, to be submitted by Monday 16 November 2015.

Papers can – but do not have to – address the following themes:

  • Famous mentors & mentees
  • Fictional mentors & mentees and/or the theme of mentoring in literature, cinema, history, music and performing arts
  • The evolution of the mentor–mentee relationship
  • Differences and similarities in the relationships between mentor-mentee, master–disciple, sponsor–sponsored, and master–apprentice
  • Gender and mentoring
  • Power and mentoring
  • Mentoring and/for children
  • Mentoring, creative ownership and intellectual property
  • Rituals and ceremonies
  • Access or elitism?
  • Mentoring in context: differences across disciplines/workplace environments


Submission of proposals for individual papers:

  • Length of proposals: 250-300 words (list of references excluded)
  • Include your name and affiliation, contact details (including preferred e-mail address), title, and a 50-75 word bio-note
  • Indicate whether you will be requiring A/V equipment
  • Indicate whether you wish to be considered as a potential mentor for a mentoring session with a postgraduate student (session to take place during the conference)

For submission of proposals for panels, besides the above information, please also include the title of the panel and the details of the panel chair.


In line with its theme, the conference will host a special workshop and mentoring session for postgraduate students.

Interested postgraduate students are encouraged to submit a description of their PhD thesis and a written statement explaining what they expect from mentoring. A maximum of 10 applications will be selected and postgraduate students paired with the most appropriate mentor, selecting from the list of participants to this conference who wish to join this initiative.

If interested, please apply by submitting the following details:

  • Name, affiliation, contact details
  • Thesis (provisional) title
  • Discipline and specific field (if applicable)
  • 5 Keywords
  • Description of PhD topic (250-300 words)
  • Stage of candidature
  • Your written statement (70-100 words)


All proposals should be sent to Gregoria Manzin by Monday 16 November 2015.

Notification of acceptance will be sent by e-mail before the end of the year.


Prof. Véronique Duché-Gavet, Dr Gregoria Manzin, Ass. Prof. Lesley Stirling


For more information, please contact Véronique Duché-Gavet or Gregoria Manzin.

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