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Chairside Drama

Of the things I never expected from being an administrator, bearing witness to dramas is at the top. I had my fair share of dramas from working with artist-colleagues before, but outside of academic settings. My past year as Division chair was replete with stories of conflict that made me appreciate the personality and emotional maturity required for a job that puts me in charge of 32 faculty members, 2 academic programs with 6 specializations and 470+ students (not to mention academic bosses who expect you to deliver). As drama goes, they produced a mix of happy and sad endings that were tough for the conscience and for relationships.

What’s New at University of Venus - Week Ending 26 November 2011

What’s New With Our Writers: Janni Aragon spoke at the Occupy Victoria encampment on Sat, Nov 19th. She also attended...

Post-Ph.D. Life

In the last ten months, I started a long process of getting used to the idea that my Ph.D. work is over. I am (finally) done and I can do nothing more – except to start another Ph.D. on a different topic, maybe. There is no sadness, no regrets, not even the feeling of fighting an addiction; but there is one question repeated over and over again: “Now, that your Ph.D. is done, what will you do next?”

Lest We Forget

Six months ago, we here at University of Venus wrote passionately about our reactions to the beating and blinding of Rumana Monzur by her husband and in front of their daughter. We hoped that this would shed light on the issue of violence against women and the power imbalance that still exists between men and women. But we also feared for her academic career, her and her daughter’s safety, and her future more generally. How is she?

Maturity in Academia or What is Knowledge For?

Many of you may think that this post is going to be about the different stages of professional maturity as academics progress in their careers, but no, this is not what I intend to write. My point will be the about the personal maturity of academics and the way it affects how they handle both their social and professional lives.

Word Watching

Often when writing blog posts or papers, I end up dissecting not just a policy or educational issue but also the specific terms in which it is being described and discussed. I start to pick apart the terms and limits of the discussion alongside my engagement with the argument. Far from being a quirky habit, this kind of attention to language is a key element of much of the work I do.

When He Trumps She

I spent the day grading my midterms, never a fun task. Usually I get into a vague kind of automaton state; as I read for key phrases, look for definitions and the critical use of concepts, and references to key authors and guest speakers. Check, check, check, grade. But this time, I noticed a pattern that I’m sure I’ve seen before but just ignored. It is the gendered attribution that says so much about how students view “authority” (in the author sense) in academia.