Reading and wondering

This week colleagues and I submitted a journal article. Collectively and individually, we did a lot of reading.  The following papers will prove important for future writing, but they didn't make it into the list of citations this time. The process of writing together sent the paper in new directions. I was inspired by educational … Continue reading Reading and wondering

Which university? Which self?

Barbara Grant’s keynote from HERDSA has been haunting me. It was a pleasure to listen to, and has rewarded slow consideration. Entitled A Thousand Tiny Universities, Barbara challenged the audience to think about ourselves, our universities, hope and the future. In writing this post, I am relying on memory, my sketchy notes and some brief … Continue reading Which university? Which self?

Living academia

Chubb, Watermeyer and Wakeling’s evocatively titled article Fear and Loathing in the Academy describes an aspect of university life that will be familiar to many. With a lively turn of phrase, they explore emotional responses to the research impact agenda in the UK and Australia: The emotional state of academic labour ... [is] frequently portrayed … Continue reading Living academia

We need (to be) poets

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to hear Ronald Barnett, emeritus professor of higher education, talk at the University of Sydney. Based on his trilogy of books, he spoke about the university as a feasible utopia in an age of supercomplexity. One of his comments has stayed with me and I have … Continue reading We need (to be) poets

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

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