Speculative Diction: Degrees of Certainty

In the Canadian press there was a lot of discussion about the “skills gap” in the weeks preceding the federal budget announcement, so I wrote this post (from March 27, 2013) about the way the discussion is informed by the politics of funding and the increased amount of risk that universities are expected to manage.

Inside Higher Ed: Lazy Higher Ed Journalism [January 17, 2012]

I started the piece that turned into this essay after reading one too many news items about the same themes in higher education. it’s amusing to read it now, since certain ed-tech themes have come to dominate the discussion so heavily throughout 2012 and 2013. But much of this I’d say is still the same, including the points about rankings, the obsession with whether higher education is “worth it” (and exactly what it’s worth–forms of proof), and the concern with competitive recruiting of (the best) international students.

Conference: Worldviews 2011 – “Liveblogged” [June 16 – 18, 2011]

The blog posts listed below, from the first Worldviews conference in 2011, are very long and more in the form of notes than actual posts. I created these posts before I had taken to the practice of live-tweeting and then making Storify archives of the tweets.

Worldviews – Day 1

Worldviews – Day 2

Worldviews – Day 3

Conference Presentation: Most Excellent Dudes – Gender, Meritocracy, & Media Coverage of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs [June 1 2011]

This is the first Prezi I ever tried using for a conference presentation. Thankfully both the Prezi interface and my skills at using it have improved since 2011. The presentation is about the media coverage of the announcement about the Canada Excellence Research Chairs in 2010. There were protests that no women were even shortlisted for these prestigious and lucrative awards, and the ensuing debate reflected some of the major themes in the arguments about women and (their absence from) science. I discuss two of those themes, the one being “meritocracy” with as idea of excellence as transparent, and the other being essentialist and binary notions of gender.

Panel: Worldviews Pre-conference Event – War on Knowledge? [Upcoming-April 16, 2013]

This Tuesday, April 16th, I’ll be on a panel at the pre-conference event for the Worldviews Conference on Media and Higher Education, in Toronto. This should be an interesting event; the other members of the panel are: Tony Burman, Janice Gross Stein, Clifford Orwin, and Scott Jaschik, and the moderator will be Rick Salutin.