This blog is about academia and me. It’s about academia and you. It’s about sharing my experiences of my profession, and about sharing knowledge and skills which are too often taken for granted. It’s about those academic voices which are either not heard at all, or are not heard enough. It’s about challenging dominant ideas of what academics should look like. It’s about redefining what it takes to be an academic and how academics are expected to present themselves, their lives, and their work. It’s about making ourselves and our profession simultaneously vulnerable and stronger, so that we can help change what makes us feel inadequate, ashamed, or unprofessional. So that we can help make academia more inclusive.
Tagged: higher education
From the day I launched The New Academic in 2012 to the moment I’m writing this post, my website has had 120,000+ visitors, and its number of monthly visitors has reached almost 7,000. It’s not much by some people’s standards, but it’s a whole lot more than I ever thought it would be. Its content has been shaped by 67 guest bloggers, ranging from doctoral students to early-career researchers, senior lecturers, and professors. They have shared stories that range from inspiring and heartwarming to devastating and dispiriting. Their posts reflect on the best and the worst aspects of academia, and of...
An anonymous blogger shares their experiences of being discriminated against and bullied due to their mental health issues. Is mental illness nothing more than an inconvenient expense for university departments?
This post reflects on the issues surrounding supporting students’ wellbeing, especially academic workload, the unequal division of emotional labour, and the lack of appropriate training for those involved in pastoral care. It also offers five main strategies that can help support your students’ wellbeing and provide good pastoral care.
Lucy R. Hinnie talks about her journey to and through self-funded part-time study and the challenges and benefits it brings.
In this post I reflect the ways in which we normalise and internalise potentially harmful levels of stress in academia, and how many of us are led to believe that if we’re not stressed we’re not doing our job right.
An early-career academic writes about their struggles with depression and chronic anxiety.
One of the hardest things about hearing about a PhD student who was harassed by a lecturer, and who then committed suicide while the lecturer kept his job, was that I wasn’t surprised. It’s not that I didn’t think the story was horrendous – I did. It’s that like most graduate students I am reminded on a daily basis – in corridors and, increasingly, in the media – of the degree of suffering, neglect and abuse in academic life. It seemed natural to me, almost, that an abusive faculty member should exist and go unchallenged – and that...
A blog post I wrote for Jobs.ac.uk on making yourself employable during your PhD, particularly for a career in academia.
6 March 2014, The Guardian Higher Education Network. I was invited to comment on academia and mental health for this article.
Some of the most common questions with which PhD researchers are concerned focus on how they should set their priorities during their doctoral studies. What else, and how much of it, should you do next to researching and writing your thesis? As so often, I can’t answer this for all PhD students in all disciplines, but I wanted to try and give you an overview of some useful starting points if you’re hoping to prepare yourself for the academic job market during your doctoral studies rather than after, particularly in the humanities and social sciences. So some of...