Tag: careers

  • The downward mobility of intellectuals

    This passage from Ian McEwan’s Machines Like Me (pg 108) resonated horribly with me at a time when universities are freezing their recruitment: There were a lot like me in the neighbourhood, but thirty or forty years older. I had seen them in Simon’s shop, reaching for the quality journals from the top shelf. I […]

  • The changing character of the academic game

    At a recent event, I heard an extremely distinguished professor make the argument that there was a certain sequence to career development which all academics who sought jobs in high status university ought to pursue. One ought to publish papers in well regarded journals before writing books. One ought to establish a reputation within a […]

  • “Scholar? Nah, I’m a grants factory…”

    From The Research Impact Handbook, by Mark Reed, loc 1575: Andrew Derrington, in The Research Funding Toolkit , tries to help by conceiving of research as a “grants factory”, in which researchers churn out proposals dispassionately on a production line, starting work on the next proposal as soon as the last one is submitted, and […]

  • Magical thinking as occupational opportunities contract 

    I just came across this sentence by Mark Granovetter on loc 721 of Ross Perlin’s Intern Nation: “There may be just enough cases around that people know about to give people encouragement, but not enough to really make it likely that that’s going to happen for any particular person.” This is another way of talking […]

  • Non-conventional academic career paths

    Over the next few months, I’m planning a series of podcasts with academics who have pursued non-conventional career paths. This is a remarkably clunky term: what does ‘non-conventional’ mean? The difficulty I’m having defining my terms is precisely why I think it’s so important to explore this topic. In essence, I’m planning to talk to […]

  • Life in the Accelerated Academy, part 2

    The idea that a part 2 to yesterday’s post would be less rushed seems rather naive in retrospect. Feeling rushed in the morning is different to feeling rushed in the evening but it is nonetheless feeling rushed. Much of my motivation for the Accelerated Academy project comes from a desire to understand this aspect of […]

  • Nightcrawler: or, the possibility of a vocation in late capitalism

    Lou Bloom is a petty thief, prowling Los Angeles by night while seeking some purpose in his life. He exists on the fringes of society, stealing to survive while also offering himself as an employee prepared to work under any conditions. We see the rejection he must have faced on many occasions, in spite of […]