Universities as utopias

My presentation at the recent HERDSA conference was entitled Peer review of teaching: A showcase of messy practice. My co-author Rod Lane and I are redeveloping it as a book chapter, in which we will share our learning about the risks and complexities of ‘insider research’ (or researching practices within one’s own institution). Presenting about an … Continue reading Universities as utopias

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

In defence of book chapters

Writing book chapters is often discouraged in academia. Generally speaking, book chapters are less accessible for readers and do not generate as many citations. In quantified academia, they ‘count’ less. In a 2012 blog post, Dorothy Bishop analysed her publications and found her book chapters received a third the citations of her journal articles. Her … Continue reading In defence of book chapters

Institutionalised reading

In my recent post on reading theoretical work, I gave two sentence summaries of complex work from Foucault and Butler, among others. I had cause to reflect on this decision recently while reading Michelle Boulous Walker's Slow Philosophy: Reading against the institution.  She describes slow reading as: ... an attentive rereading rather than speed reading … Continue reading Institutionalised reading

A year in first lines

The work year is winding down—albeit slowly, with university information day lectures and advising on Saturday, an extended abstract to submit with a co-author, some editorial work and various administrative tasks. I am making peace with tasks left undone and readying to relax into summer. Without my daughter at school, it's a strange transition to … Continue reading A year in first lines