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

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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

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

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

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

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