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

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

Making sense

Today I read a short research methods paper entitled Using the Senses in Qualitative Interview Research: Practical Strategies (note this link is paywalled; I accessed it through my university library), in which Marilys Guillemin & Anna Harris (2014) describe the embodied context of research interviews: Sensory awareness means not only being attuned to potential moments … Continue reading Making sense

Less-than-perfect capabilities

I have a love/ hate relationship with university graduate capabilities statements. You know, those ubiquitous institutional claims about the attributes of their graduates, and the skills, knowledge, values and dispositions their degrees impart. For example: Our students will enter a globalising world of major environmental change and resource constraints, of scientific and technological advance and … Continue reading Less-than-perfect capabilities

Souls and universities

Feminist theorist Julia Kristeva begins New Maladies of the Soul with a provocative question: “These days, who has a soul?” Thinking about this, she writes, seems “frivolous and ill-advised” (1995, p 7); nonetheless, the question continues to worry at and excite her. In her search for a soul for our times, Kristeva proposes rereading sacred … Continue reading Souls and universities