I’m a sociologist, PhD, publications and all. I see things differently because of that. I also ask questions that can help you see things in different ways.
I’ve learned that this way of seeing can help move projects forward. If you’re feeling stuck and frustrated in your academic career, I might be able to help.
I don’t follow rules very well. I prefer principles. Here are some of mine.
I believe that a lot of humanities and social science research is exciting and important.
I agree that raising questions, thinking big thoughts, and carefully considering language and form are important and relevant. Even in social science disciplines.
That not everything worthwhile can be counted and that not everything that can be counted is worthwhile, but that sometimes counting things is exactly the right thing to do.
I get all tingly when I talk to researchers who study poetry to understand things that are really hard to articulate, even though I’ve been scared of poetry most of my life.
I understand how the discourse of “relevance” really irks you.
I think it is perfectly acceptable to only write for an audience of other specialist academics.
I know you also feel deep down that what you do is relevant and important. That you want to change the world (or some small part of it) but not in a normative, authoritarian, “science knows best” kind of way.
I love that you want to make art, write novels, blog, or otherwise communicate your great ideas in ways that are not considered “academic”.
I sometimes even have ideas about how you can share your fantastic ideas with people that aren’t academics. I even have ideas about how you can be involved in that without it taking over your life.
I am not competitive
Although some people find competition motivating, I don’t accept that it works for everyone. In fact, some of us are demotivated by competition. It may make you want to curl up in a corner or have panic attacks. Just because you aren’t competitive doesn’t mean you don’t want to do excellent work.
I believe academic publishing is about having a conversation with other people that care about the stuff you care about. And that you need to publish with a press or in a journal that those people are likely to read and respect.
I believe that the best reason to apply for research grants and fellowships is to get the resources to do even more of the great research and scholarship that you love to do.
I know that there are excellent academics working in small colleges in out of the way places. I’ve worked with some of them. Working at a small university doesn’t mean you aren’t “good enough” to get a job “somewhere better”.
Your job is part of your life but it isn’t your life
I get that you might want to balance your academic work with maintaining a personal intimate relationship, maybe even having kids and actually spending time with them. That you have hobbies and a community that you might want to contribute to.
I also get that once your kids are almost finished high school you might be looking forward to engaging with your academic work in a more intense way, maybe travelling more or doing other things that didn’t seem compatible with being an involved parent. Who says you have to peak in your early career? Maybe you want to go out on a high note.
I believe that you should be able to earn a living doing something you love. Loving your job is not compensation for poor salary and conditions but rather the basis for claiming good salary and conditions on the grounds that you contribute more to the value of the institution. That when you love your job you do better work.
It may help you to know that my life includes homeschooling a teen, trying to live sustainably on a 24 acre farm, good food, good beer, knitting, and quilting. (That’s one of my quilts in the background.)
I want to help you be a better academic
… whatever that means to you. Even if that means starting by helping you work out what being a better academic might mean.
I look forward to working with you.
The gremlins are telling me that I should be all professional and tell you about my qualifications and experience. And they have a point. That kind of thing might be important to you.
For that kind of information the résumé was invented. The LinkedIn profile is also handy for this. Also, though I have not been an active academic researcher for a while, I do have publications which you can find more about on my Google Scholar Citations profile.