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Tag: academia

The Myth of Academia

Academia’s great. It’s a job where you get to do something about which you are passionate, read/write/think for a living, and have a flexible schedule. And if all else fails, it beats working in an office, right? Well, sorta. Let’s break it down: You get to do something about which you are passionate: Not all the time, unless you are passionate about teaching, research, grading, committee meetings, faculty meetings, advising, and everything else academics do. And if you’re not at the right kind of institution, you may rarely get to do what you love. If you love to research, but…

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Another day, another debate

Another day, another blog post on the whole why you should/shouldn’t go to graduate school. I’ve harped on this before but I am so sick of hearing people talk about graduate school as if it’s a place that is only a waste of time with no job prospects whatsoever or as if it’s a religious calling for “intellectuals.” So a quick disclaimer: I am sure David Z. Morris has much more nuanced views than he posted on his blog. And I agree with many of his basic points. I agree that many people are too cynical in their discussions about…

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Am I a Historian?

The question “am I a historian?” first bothered me after reading a blog post written by colleague Jason Heppler, in which he writes: I am a young historian — heck, I barely even qualify for that title when I have no book to my name and don’t hold a PhD yet. But as a researcher very early in my career… In fairness to Jason, I talked with him about it and he backs off of calling himself a historian in this post as more of a rhetorical device. However, when Sara Mayeux did the essentially the same thing, tweeting I’m…

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Creative Academic Writing

[This post stems from one of my courses this semester. Like UNL_DHS, reflections from and on this course UNL_H951 (Comparative History of Women and Gender), will appear relatively frequently for the next few months.] On the first day of my Comparative History of Women and Gender course taught by Margaret Jacobs, she asked us to discuss our writing habits. This question made me think of something Thomas Andrews said when he visited UNL last fall. He said that when writing a dissertation you need to move beyond “binge” writing. By “binging” he was referring to exactly what I do when…

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Alone Together

[This is a post for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar. The week’s readings was Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together.] In Alone Together, Sherry Turkle explores human interaction with technology, concluding that as technology provides companionship it also isolates individuals. Turkle presents this argument in two parts, first looking at “tomorrow’s story” of sociable robots and later examining “today’s story” of online networks and connectivity (17). Turkle suggests that as people and technology become closer, people grow further apart. While Turkle’s use of extensive examples make her point clear and understandable, as a historian, I found her analysis lacking genuine reflection on comparing…

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Going to Grad School

I have been neglecting posting links to other articles (“scribbles”), but here is a short (ok, not so short) round up (I briefly comment at the end as well) of a very interesting week of blog posts about deciding whether or not to go to graduate school and proposed reforms to graduate school. Larry Cebula’s “No, you cannot be a Professor” provides an overview of some of the main reasons that students ought not to go to graduate school. The reason you are not going to be a professor is because that job is going away, and yet doctoral programs…


Four Stages of DH

[This mostly serious look at the four stages of DH reflect my own journey in learning about the digital humanities/digital history. The experiences of others may vary and I reserve the right to add stages at a later date.] Practical-ist You see DH as another way to make yourself stand out as a job applicant. While not really knowing what DH means or how to go about practicing DH, there is curiosity. What you should do if you are a practical-ist: Learn more about DH. Some good starting places are Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig’s Digital History, Stephen Ramsay’s On…


The DH Delusion

[Brian goes to a dark place after reading Evgeny Morozov’s The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom and Jaron Lanier’s “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism” for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar.] Evgeny Morozov examines the Internet’s relation to authoritarian states, arguing there is a Western misconception, rooted in the Cold War, that the Internet, and information systems more broadly, create political change. This “cyber-utopianism,” as Morozov dubs it, assumes that the Internet inherently favors democracy and works against oppressive governments. Morozov warns that cyber-utopianists, combined with a misguided strategy he calls “Internet-centrism” creates the “Net…

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The Medium is the Massage

[This post is a reading reflection written for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar. This week the reading was The Medium is the Massage] The pictures, unusual layouts, and other visual irregularities of The Medium is the Massage seek to shock the reader. In a book focused on examining the importance of new media, adhering to the traditions of old media, print, would have been irresponsible. Though occasionally employing what occasionally seem to be over the top measures, the book upsets the normal print media to drive home the point that the medium is the vital to the content. However, for all…

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Work-Life Balance

ProfHacker: So, don’t “expect” work-life balance, but please do take whatever steps you can to achieve it. Work together with others when you can, and support policies that are flexible and inclusive about work-life balance–but don’t ever expect anyone to give it to you.

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