Speculative Diction: Shameful Self-Promotion vs. Meritocracy [August 16, 2011]

Meritocracy is a theme to which I keep returning in my blog, mostly because as a core feature of academic culture it never seems to lose relevance. In this post I discuss the relationship between the academic disdain for (certain forms of) self-promotion, particularly social media, and how this is related to assumptions about “merit” and the intrinsic worth of one’s research.


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.

Speculative Diction: Myths and Mismatches [January, 2011]

This series of posts was written as a response to – and a means of thinking through issues raised by – an e-course by Jo VanEvery and Julie Clarenbach called “Myths and Mismatches“. According to Jo and Julie, the “goal with this series is to help you understand your experience [in academe] as both personal and structural.” This was a helpful series for me, since I was in the process of thinking through the implications of seeking a tenure-track job (hence the in-depth blog responses).

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Time, place, and opportunity
Part 3: Assessing your qualifications
Part 4: Structural faults?
Part 5: The myth of academic meritocracy
Part 6: Getting priorities straight
Part 7: How to apply yourself
Part 8: Are you at home?
Part 9: Finding your place
Part 10: What it takes, for what it’s worth
Conclusion: Where from here?