Category Archives: Individual post

Our blog is 1 year old! Cadeau – les statistiques!

Dear Readers,
Today is a joyful anniversary – our blog is 1 year old! Our first post appeared on March 14th 2016, and since then we’ve published 11 more which is almost 1 per month.  Want to know more about how ‘Academic wor(l)ds’ fares in term of numbers and stats? Read on…

To celebrate l’anniversaire de notre blog we prepared a little cadeau – a bit of data on how the page is doing in terms of statistics. Perhaps this will be of interest for other science bloggers or academics who are thinking of setting up their own blogs and are wondering what kind of traffic they can expect.

Continue reading Our blog is 1 year old! Cadeau – les statistiques!

Academics like actors? Different stages of academic performance

So this happened back when I was an undergrad Philosophy student.

After our first ever lecture on Heidegger we wandered out into the corridor in a state of stunned amazement – the theory seemed so deep and complex, touching on the most intimate experience of everyday being and yet it was so difficult to grasp… also because the lecturer made a point of quoting the most crucial fragments and concepts in German…

Regardless, we were deeply impressed – both with Heidegger and with our professor who appeared to have read the 800-page “Sein und Zeit” with pleasure, and even understood the oeuvre (apparently, it is all very simple if you read it in the original). When we were already on the doorsteps of the building, lighting our Gauloises cigarettes (mandatory attribute of young philosophers, in case you didn’t know) and exchanging whispers full of reverence, a fellow student approached us, with a strange look on his face.

Continue reading Academics like actors? Different stages of academic performance

A linguist in a roomful of sociologists

I wrote this post thinking about my Phd journey so far. Like many novice researchers, I struggle with finding out who I am in this new world called academia, where everyone ‘speaks funny’ and seems to be able to identify with some expertise in a certain field of knowledge.

Continue reading A linguist in a roomful of sociologists

Academic names

Names are important, even more so when you are an aspiring researcher. Marta writes about her experience in academia and identifies three possible ways of dealing with ‘name trouble’.

–So, what’s your name?

–It’s Marta.

–Oh, Magda! I have a friend…

–No, that would be another popular Polish name. But mine is Marta.

–Manga? Well that sounds Japanese!

–No, actually it’s Marta. M-A-R-T-A

–Oh! Ma-ta!

–You know what? Just call me Martha.

Continue reading Academic names

Outsiders and insiders

Belonging to a group is very important to people. Even people who claim to be loners and deliberately live in the most isolated locations would still belong to a family unit, a community and/or a nation. We all seek belonging be it with other people or on a more abstract level, with a school of thought or belief.

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Mapping the field – What makes a professor in linguistics?

Analysing academic worlds is very straight forward – that’s at least what one might think!

There are these researchers doing their research in a particular way depending on their discipline and their research field, working in strong international networks and publishing in journals of global renown. However, once our team started to dig into this we weren’t sure, any longer, if there is only one academic world or rather multiple worlds, depending on the administrative culture and the institutional structure of academia in a particular country. Continue reading Mapping the field – What makes a professor in linguistics?

On the limits of academic freedom

Researchers often struggle with how they are categorized by others

Researchers should be free from constraints that prevent them from the pursuit of scientific truth – this is an idea that universities all over the world like to pride themselves on. However, even the purest, most basic research is subject to pressures which are never exclusively scientific. Researchers are subject to a number of social constraints as they compete for resources, pursue careers, and network with others. In a nutshell, research is a social practice – a practice which does not only turn around ideas.
In my own career, I am often reminded of the social aspects of research when I interact with other researchers:I find it painful to be defined by a limited set of academic career parameters!

Continue reading On the limits of academic freedom