Undercare in the academy

Sometimes a new (to me) word comes along that seems to perfectly encapsulate a whole lot of previously disconnected ideas. This week that word was undercare. Not neglect, just not enough care. I read the word in an article in The Australian magazine: What doesn't kill you about the impacts of chaotic childhood experiences. It … Continue reading Undercare in the academy

Doomed

This post was prompted by a sentence in Berg and Seeber's (2016) The Slow Professor manifesto: The language of crisis dominates the literature on the corporate university, urging us to act before it is too late. Yes, apocalyptic visions are alive and well in writing about universities and academics. Students (especially doctoral candidates), staff (especially … Continue reading Doomed

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)