That holiday feeling

I've been back at work for a couple of weeks and school starts this week, which offers a welcome return to routines. In Australia, children have a six week (or longer, depending on the school) break over Christmas and January. It was a challenging time for many this year—bushfires across Eastern Australia constrained travel (at … Continue reading That holiday feeling

Shock to thought

This is a continuation of the previous post, reflecting on the 6th International Academic Identities Conference at the University of Hiroshima. The four papers I discuss here were among the highlights of the (too few) sessions I attended. (I plan to email several participants whose intriguing-sounding presentations I missed, in the hope they share slides … Continue reading Shock to thought

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