Planning and dreaming

I don't consider myself a great planner. I often enjoy unintended outcomes more than the predetermined. I love the happy discoveries of serendipity (even the word is a joy). Here's to creativity sparked by reading, unexpected calls for papers, conferences and conversations with colleagues! A ResearchWhisperer post by Tseen Khoo earlier this year made me … Continue reading Planning and dreaming

Learning to listen

I love reading memoirs. I enjoy the intimacy of an encounter with the defining event(s) of someone else's life. I recently read Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts on her experiences of becoming a mother at the same time as her fluidly gendered partner, artist Harry Dodge, underwent surgery and testosterone treatment. As someone who enjoys talking, … Continue reading Learning to listen

Small talk

Small talk is, by definition, unimportant, inane and non-functional. I'm actually a big fan. In large organisations such as universities, informal networks—fueled by everyday social interactions—have a greater influence on roles, responsibilities and behaviours than formal structures (Dabos & Rousseau, 2013). Small talk matters. (Image from Errant Science - the flow chart guide to academic gatherings … Continue reading Small talk

Teaching and mortality

I've been thinking about my approach to teaching lately. Several things have prompted this: I was recently awarded Senior Fellowship of the UK's Higher Education Academy (which involved writing a reflective teaching philosophy), and I am co-editing a special issue of Australian Universities' Review on activism and the academy (with teaching as activist practice a … Continue reading Teaching and mortality

Why slow (for organisations)

I have posted a lot on the benefits of slow academia for individuals and their families, especially for mental and physical health. But how do institutions benefit from slow academia? Universities are knotty organisations. On the one hand, they are what Lutz (1982) calls "organized anarchies". Collegial governance and distributed leadership are valued, as are … Continue reading Why slow (for organisations)

Ideal academics (and the women behind them)

A highlight of the week on Twitter has been the hashtag from @bruceholsinger #thanksfortyping which reveals the contributions of anonymous wives to the research of male academics: A peek at an archive of women's academic labor: wives thanked for typing their husbands' manuscripts. 1/5 #ThanksForTyping @TheMedievalDrK pic.twitter.com/yAf03lsweg — Bruce Holsinger (@bruceholsinger) March 25, 2017 This … Continue reading Ideal academics (and the women behind them)

Jamming the academic machine

I was awarded my PhD seven years ago. It performed an autoethnographic response to Luce Irigaray's philosophy of sexual difference, transcendence and the mother/daughter relation. Funnily enough, I had cause to revisit some of the ideas from my PhD this week. I listened to a wonderful podcast in the Changing Academic Life series, featuring Ali … Continue reading Jamming the academic machine