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

Always interruptable

I'm halfway through reading Sarah Knott's Mother: An Unconventional History (published elsewhere as Mother is a Verb). This was initially homework for the academic identities cultural history project—each member of the team read a different book (there's a cultural history of almost everything you can imagine: sex, food, weather, places, objects, actions)—but I have become … Continue reading Always interruptable

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

On this side

I've enjoyed reading recent blog posts on how to say 'no' in academic work contexts from Research Whisperer Tseen Khoo ('Leveling up in saying no') and Conference Inference's James Burford ('Saying no to conference opportunities'). Saying no is invaluable, and I liked the intentionality Tseen and James demonstrate. Our time and energy are finite, even … Continue reading On this side

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

Reading friends

I spent last week in the bushland setting of the Melbourne campus of La Trobe University in the company of the Academic Identities project team, writing, thinking, reading, talking, eating and walking. Taking a break from an 'in-your-head' morning, we walked around the 30 hectare wildlife sanctuary on campus (images © Film Victoria): While at La … Continue reading Reading friends