Programme, keynote speakers and abstracts


Mentors and Mentees Conference 2016 programme


Mentors and Mentees Conference abstracts

Keynote speakers

Keynote speakers include:

  • Dr Jennifer de Vries, author of Mentoring for Change (2011)
  • Professor Madeleine Jeay, Macmaster University (Canada), a specialist of French medieval literature
Dr Jennifer De Vries
Dr Jennifer De Vries, author of Mentoring for Change

Dr Jennifer de Vries


Looking back, looking forward: Reflections on two decades of mentoring research and practice in higher education

In this presentation Jen will reflect on her two decades of experience working with all facets of mentoring programs for staff in higher education. Weaving her own research and practice in with key trends, changes and influential research in the mentoring field, she casts a critical eye over what has been achieved, and what may be lacking.

Jen's presentation is book-ended by two movements. It begins with the movement from informal, naturally-occurring mentoring relationships within organisations, towards the formal, program-based mentoring that has occurred over the last two decades. Following the highs and lows which the research and practice journey has brought us, she will argue the need for a second movement, back towards informal mentoring and sponsorship practices. However this does not take us back to where we started but to a new form of informal practice that will ensure more equitable career outcomes. Jen will argue that mentoring and sponsorship are so integral to the building of academic careers that they cannot be left to programs or to chance.


Dr Jennifer de Vries is an academic and a consultant, who weaves together scholarship and practice in the area of gender, diversity and organisational change, with a particular focus on mentoring and leadership development. Jen is a Senior Academic Fellow, Organisational Development with the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Melbourne.

Mentoring has been a major focus of her research and practice in recent years, with her 'bifocal approach' being adopted and adapted by Universities and Research Institutes in Australia, Europe and New Zealand. Jen is the author of Mentoring for Change, a scholarly resource for mentoring programs in Australian universities, with a particular focus on mentoring for women. She is currently completing a research project examining the role of sponsorship (as distinct from mentoring) in academic careers.

Professor Madeleine Jeay
Professor Madeleine Jeay, Macmaster University (Canada)

Professor Madeleine Jeay


From Disciple to Mentor: Christine de Pizan’s Exemplary Journey

The mentor-mentee relationship is central in Christine de Pizan's work. Her first model is her father who introduced her to the world of learning. Then, after having been guided by female allegorical figures, she assumes herself the role of mentor. Her intention is to provide counseling and instruction to women targeted by male discourse, but also to the whole society and its leaders in the troubled times of the One Hundred War. In the Chemin de long estude (The Long Road of Learning), Christine is the disciple of the Cumaean Sibyl, a feminine transposition of Virgil, Dante's guide in the Divine Comedy. In the Livre de la Cité des Dames (The Book of the City of Ladies) and le Livre des trois Vertus (The Book of the Three Virtues) she is lead by Reason, Rectitude and Justice in her mission of promoting women and their education. In her last political and moral treatises, she speaks in her personal name for the education of princes and of the whole body politic. Through its various combinations, the topos of the mentor-mentee relationship, as Christine features it in her work, bears witness to the ways she established her authorial authority.


Madeleine Jeay is Professor Emerita at McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada), specialized in medieval literature. She has been a long-time member of the SATOR Society. Her more recent book, Poétique de la nomination dans la lyrique médiévale. "Mult volentiers me munerai" (Paris, Garnier, 2015) is a study of the poet's name im medieval poetry. It is a development of her book on the poetics of lists, Le commerce des mots. L'usage des listes dans la littérature médiévale (XIIe-XVe siècles (Genève, Droz, 2006). She is now working on an essay on Christine de Pizan.