Housekeeping (at home and work)

This post is a way of exploring some contradictory thinking about housekeeping. In my last post on strategies for working during tough times, the small, shallow, short-term tasks I identified can be understood as a type of academic housekeeping. At work, as at home, women tend to do more of it, and it holds less … Continue reading Housekeeping (at home and work)

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Strategies for working during tough times

Last year, while the centre I worked in was being disestablished, I watched an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine with my son. My daughter was railing against the absence of girl trains on the show. I replied: 'those carriages being shunted are the girls.' In that mundane moment, I had a startling insight: the … Continue reading Strategies for working during tough times

Mark one box only

International readers will find themselves happily distant from the ridiculousness of same sex marriage postal vote here in Australia. At my university, Academic Senate issued a carefully worded statement: The Academic Senate respects the diversity of opinions in relation to the issue of marriage equality. The Academic Senate encourages and advocates respectful debate around the issue … Continue reading Mark one box only

The liminality of graduation

I love graduations. I celebrated my first graduation—from a humble Bachelor of Arts—in 1999. From memory, I first participated in an academic procession in September 2012. I enjoy the pomp of graduation: winged gowns, polyester mimicking the textures of velvet and silk, the ceremonial mace, graduands’ inappropriate shoes for cobblestones, an operatic intermission, the occasional … Continue reading The liminality of graduation

Bad feelings

This post returns to an idea from Rosalind Gill's review of Les Back's Academic Diary. She asks about bad affects: Academic Diary is ... overwhelmingly positive ... Where are the other, less palatable, affects and behaviours? Where is the envy, the rage, the nastiness, the bullying, the bad behaviour, the competitiveness, the mean-spiritedness, the colleagues who dump on … Continue reading Bad feelings

Complicity

Like many of you, no doubt, I have been watching The Handmaid's Tale. The first episode includes a scene of (what Atwood called) particicution (combining the words “participation” and “execution”) where the handmaids kill an alleged rapist with their bare hands. I struggled to fall asleep afterwards for thinking about brutality and complicity. So, ever … Continue reading Complicity

Nurturing academic orchids

Last post I promised more on acts of kindness that have the potential to change academia from a place marked by undercare to one that is nurturing (especially at times when people are not entirely productive or unencumbered). Here goes. Dancing spider orchid (Caladenia discoidea), photo: Mark Clements, CSIRO I attended a panel discussion entitled Life: … Continue reading Nurturing academic orchids