Lost in thought

I love those moments while reading when the mind drifts, when the reader's thoughts flow towards other ideas and become untethered from the text. In The Pleasure of the Text (1975), French literary theorist Roland Barthes writes of the experience of reading: “[A text] produces, in me, the best pleasure if it manages to make … Continue reading Lost in thought

Staying in place

I taught my first tutorial at my current university eighteen years ago. In academia, there's something shameful in admitting you've stayed in one university. Being deeply rooted is an anathema in higher education. I have been on the receiving end of this advice many times: if you want to succeed/ thrive/ stay employed, you must … Continue reading Staying in place

Wearing academic life

The prompt for my recent Making ShiFt Happen panel discussion with Catherine Manathunga and Janet Hope was: Reimagining academia ... Like [the pleasure of wearing] a loose-fitting garment – finding liberating and enabling ways to wear an academic life During the session I spoke of my maternal grandmother, a dress-maker who created garments for my … Continue reading Wearing academic life

Whose good university?

Last week I attended The Future of Academic Work: A deliberative conference at the University of Technology, Sydney. Its focus was a research project examining specific teaching-focussed, entry-level, continuing or fixed term (rather than sessional or casual) academic positions at Australian universities: The new Scholarly Teaching Fellow (STF) role was introduced into Australian universities in … Continue reading Whose good university?

Transformative learning

I am in two minds about transformative learning. Try this definition: "Transformative learning is the expansion of consciousness through the transformation of basic worldview and specific capacities of the self" (Elias, 1997, p 3). Or this: "Transformative learning involves experiencing a deep, structural shift in the basic premises of thought, feelings, and actions. It is … Continue reading Transformative learning

Impressions from the peaceful university

Greetings from Japan! I spent three days last week at the 6th International Academic Identities Conference at the University of Hiroshima. The theme was The Peaceful University: aspirations for academic futures – compassion, generosity, imagination, and creation.  This post offers impressions of the conference, its location, the theme and the presentations. The theme was described as … Continue reading Impressions from the peaceful university