The Graduate Student Caucus of the ALA (GSCALA) is a relatively small group of MA and PhD students from around the world that organizes graduate student-oriented events and panels at the annual conference. The purpose of the caucus is to facilitate and strengthen graduate student participation in the ALA, providing students with opportunities to advance their research, professional development, and relationships with scholars in the field.

2016-2017 GSCALA Leadership

Chair: Matthew Omelsky, Duke University
Vice-Chair: Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu, Clark University
Secretary: Magdalena Pfalzgraf, Goethe University
Media Officer: Molly Slavin, Emory University
Treasurer: Kaelyn Kaoma, University of Toronto

Members at Large
Emily Chow, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Aubrey Collins, Austin Peay State University
Kerry Manzo, Texas Tech University
Shane McCoy, University of Washington
Ann Reading, Indiana University of Pennsylvania


Atlanta 2016 Updates

We encourage all graduate students who presented papers at the 42nd annual conference in Atlanta to submit their papers to be considered for the 2016 Graduate Student Best Essay Award. The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2016.

In Atlanta, GSCALA hosted a roundtable for graduate students, adjuncts, and pre-tenure faculty on strategies for academic advancement. The stellar lineup of speakers included Laura Murphy (who discussed social networking), Ato Quayson (publishing), Eileen Julien (institutional service), and Nasrin Qader (teaching). If you missed it or want to listen back to something in the discussion, email Matthew Omelsky ( to receive a digital copy of the audio recording.


Join Us

GSCALA welcomes all graduate students who wish to be part of a community of like-minded students studying the literatures and cultures of Africa and the diaspora. And we are always looking for motivated students to help out with our organizing efforts. To learn more about the caucus please contact Matthew Omelsky at

Click here to join our Facebook page.

GSCALA Constitution