Expressions of Interest: #whispercon 2016 (29 August, ANU)

 

whispercon

The way #whispercon works: each of the five key participants get to invite four people to the gig.

I have used two of my invites and wanted to gift the other two to my broader network of Twitter peeps.

I want to do this for a few reasons. The main one is that, even though I am a big cynic about many things, one thing Twitter has taught me is that there are many potential collaborators and #circleofniceness members out there I may not have had the chance to get to know better.

I love the friends who’ll be getting together in Canberra, and I recognise that growing this wise, positive, supportive bunch serves all of our interests.

My bias is towards those with interests in researcher development, digital communities, and effective, savvy ways for researchers to build non-academic organisational collaborations for the longer-term.

So, if you’re interested in being considered for one of my #whispercon invites, please:

  • Read about the format and aims of #whispercon 2016.
  • Know that the event is in Canberra + we offer no funding.
  • Email me (tseenkhoo@gmail.com) for a link to a short questionnaire. And, yes, I’m deliberately putting an extra step in there.

Expressions of interest welcome till MON 18 April 2016. 

My final decision will be based on entirely opaque personal preferences. I’ll let people know within a week of the closing date.

————————-

EDITED TO ADD: We’ll be welcoming four wonderful people to #whispercon in 2016 – 2 from my open invites, and another 2 from two of my colleagues each making one of their invites open. 

Thanks for your interest and excellent enthusiasm for #whispercon, Kath Albury, Roanna Gonsalves, Linda Kirkman, and Sharon McDonough. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming you to the event in August. 

Where RW can take me

ECUlibrary
ECU Library, Joondalup, WA  |  Photo by Tseen Khoo

I’ve just returned from a brilliant trip to WA – to Perth and Edith Cowan University. ECU – Joondalup, to be precise.

I was invited to ECU by Con Wiebrands (ECU’s University Librarian), to give a presentation to her Library staff and Research Office people, too. It was the first time I’d been invited to give a presentation to an audience that was not higher degree researchers or early career researchers.

It felt like a challenge, and my presentation on “What ECRs want” aimed to generate intra-university connection and collaboration to create an enabling ECR research environment.

There were several notable things about this gig, which came about because of The Thesis Whisperer’s advocacy and my work on The Research Whisperer with Jonathan O’Donnell.

One of things I realise repeatedly and gratefully since about mid-2012, is that RW is truly the gift that keeps on giving. We have had so many lovely opportunities to meet with excellent colleagues and try out new audiences, and to be able to share the experiences and wisdom of so many researchers.

Knowing how much rides on invited speakers, it’s always an honour to be approached as an event guest. We often find ourselves giving talks and workshops at society conferences, as part of professional development programs, and within ‘research week’ activities.

For 2015, Jonathan and I have been invited to present across many topics, around Australia. Here’s our speaking trail: RW live!

As well as being invited presenters at others’ events, Jonathan convened the first Whispercon, hosted by RMIT, in August this year. If you want to have a peek at what went on, here’s the Storify from Whispercon, and a post that Jonathan wrote afterwards, How the Whisper workshop works. The 2nd Whispercon is planned for Canberra in 2016.

The second thing that was notable about this WA trip is I got to meet Con face to face.  Continue reading

Where will I be?

Photo by Kim Tairi (https://www.flickr.com/photos/angels_have_the_phone_box)
Photo by Kim Tairi (https://www.flickr.com/photos/angels_have_the_phone_box)

I hadn’t counted on a hectic second semester after the hectic-ness of starting a new job in first semester, but it appears that’s what I’ve created!

As well as some exciting and somewhat daunting writing deadlines, I’ll be presenting at the following:

  • 1 October: Student workshop on communicating research through social media at the Australian Entomological Society’s 50th anniversary conference, Canberra.
  • 8 October: Webinar on ‘Getting savvy with your research audiences’ (with Jonathan O’Donnell) for the Australian Association of Gerontology/Emerging Researchers in Ageing.
  • 27 November: ‘Digital academic’ symposium convened by Deborah Lupton, Canberra.
  • 3 December: Breakfast talk for the Psych-Oncology co-operative research group (PoCoG), Melbourne.

This is, of course, on top of my day-job as a research education and development lecturer at an institution with multiple regional campuses. I’ll be travelling to two of the larger campuses over the next few months…two times each.

We’ve also got a holiday planned during one of the school holiday weeks in September, something I’m looking forward to with equal parts dread and longing. Dread because there is nothing worse – nothing – than going on holidays when everyone else and their dog is going on holidays. Longing because it’ll be fun, and away, and I won’t need to commute for a whole week!

I’ll be ready to put my feet up for a short time come 4 Dec. Just a short time, before I’ll have to let the increasing madness of the silly season in.

Mid-winter soup

Thai style wonton soup (Photo by asiansupper - https://www.flickr.com/photos/asiansupper)
Thai style wonton soup (Photo by asiansupper – https://www.flickr.com/photos/asiansupper)

This post isn’t about real soup. Let me get that out of the way. Won ton soup is one of my all-time favourites, though, so I thought I’d treat you to this delicious photo.

It’s a potentially messy round-up of recent things that have happened, seeing as I haven’t written anything since April.

Those of you who pay attention to everything I’m doing (yes, so many of you) will notice that everything old is new again. I’ve swapped back to the blog template that I was using a couple of years ago. It feels cosy, and I like it. It makes me think of chocolate.

This week’s been a good one for writing and profile satisfaction. When I’m blogging away after a day’s work, when the kids are asleep or on the weekend (such as now, on a Saturday night, at almost 11pm…), I often ask myself why. Not in the sense that I think it’s pointless, because I don’t, but whether I’m investing time in activities that are more obligatory than enjoyable.

READ MORE

I said what in 2002?

Lost docs (Photo by Tseen Khoo)
Lost docs (Photo by Tseen Khoo)

I was lurking around the dashboard and stats at Research Whisperer recently, after our publication of Katie Mack’s (@astrokatie) hugely popular “Academic scattering” post (on the human cost of academic mobility). Jonathan and I are always interested in how people come to our blog, and where they go once they arrive.

A few of the pages readers went on to visit were at this blog – the slightly bitter’n twisted posts I’d written about research career opportunities and accommodating career interruptions.

Then a single click-through caught my eye.

It was to a Geocities site, which is positively ancient on the interwebs these days. I realised that the click-through was to a 2002 presentation about postgraduate futures that I’d uploaded because of one of the first blogs I ever started: the now-defunct Academia 101. That blog only ever ran to about 6 posts, and was very much like what I write for RW nowadays but in a more long-winded fashion (I think all the posts were at least 1000 words, with some at about 1500).

One of the first posts at Academia 101 was about academic networking, and how I did it (considering that I hate traditional ideas about networking). That post linked to this postgrad futures paper. That post also became my first post for Research Whisperer when we launched in 2011: Networking and other academic hobbies.

Anyway, the point of this post is to re-post and re-archive this presentation about postgraduate futures. I just re-read it, and so much of it still holds. I have a rant about why academic mobility is such an embedded (and loaded) part of the career, then go on to talk about academic collaboration and opportunities, and interpreting our skills for a general jobs market. I think it’s still got currency, even though it was written over 10 years ago.

Funnily enough, it doesn’t contain a skerrick of social media information or influence!

Here it is: No fries with that – TseenKhoo 2002 (.pdf)

And I’d have to extend my thanks again to the convenors of that UQ postgrad futures conference at which I presented, including @johngunders. Who knew it would have this much longevity?

WORKSHOP REPORT – NYU Global Arts Exchange workshop (by Tseen Khoo)

apa logo
On Wednesday 15 July 2013, ANU hosted a workshop that was part of the first phase in NYU’s Global Arts Exchange project. The bulk of the participants had only recently come through Shanghai, with a stopover in Perth for the NYU crew.

What is this project about?

This is the overview from the NYU website:

The exchange will bring together scholars, curators, and artists from each site and is meant to be generative for research, resulting in publications, exhibition development, and other research-based projects and programs to share and disseminate research, strengthen international networks of scholars and curators, and create ongoing dialogue between international colleagues, arts communities, and wider publics in the US, Asia/Pacific region, EU, Latin America, Africa, and Middle East in the expanding field of Asian/Asian Diasporic Art and Visual Cultures.

(NYU Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange)

That all sounds great, but what did this creation of ongoing dialogue look like on the ground?

This post is my take on the event, viewed from a perspective that is extra-institutional (I’m into my third  year in a non-academic role, though I’ve kept up convenorship of the AASRN).

The workshop took place in the European Studies Centre at ANU, where the Chair of AASRN, Professor Jacqueline Lo, is based. The team from NYU was led by Alexandra Chang, and included Tom Looser, Dipti Desai, and Francesca Tarocco (NYU – Shanghai). It was my first time meeting them all as the NYU collaboration is focused on the visual arts (which is not my field).

Dean Chan and Jacquie have led this initiative from the Australian end, and it is a part of INDAAR (International Network for Diasporic Asian Art Research) activity. INDAAR was founded as part of our ARC Discovery project, as was the AAFFN (Asian Australian Film Forum Network). One could justifiably think of them as two off-shoots of the AASRN that have gone on to create their own momentum and projects.

The workshop felt primarily like a familiarisation meeting, bringing together artists and academics who are working in the field of visual arts from the US/China/Australia. Most of the workshop was about introducing Australian material and context to the NYU crew, with input from the broader academic, vis.arts, and curatorial community in Canberra.

READ MORE

Fear of death by 1000 cuts

William H. Taft / Helen Herron Taft Silver-plated Portrait Scissors, ca. 1908 [Cornell University Collection of Political Americana, Cornell University Library]
William H. Taft / Helen Herron Taft Silver-plated Portrait Scissors, ca. 1908 [Cornell University Collection of Political Americana, Cornell University Library]
I’ve been ranting on Twitter over the weekend about the higher education cuts that were announced on Saturday by the federal government. Yes, on Saturday. I was gratified that the response to the announcements was immediate, vociferous, and diverse.

In summary:

Over the next budget period, the Gillard government wants to cut $2.3b from the university system. Many others have already responded, and these pieces provide the detail about what is being cut:

Professor Richard Teese, from the University of Melbourne, believes the cuts to universities are particularly cynical because Labor can bank on the fact there will be minimum electoral backlash. He says university funding has traditionally been something few voters have cared about. “They can raid university tills with electoral impunity and get marks for funding schools, which are seen as far more important,” he says.

These cuts come on top of the $1b or so in research funding that was taken from the system in the latter part of 2012.

Australia does not invest in the university sector in a particularly competitive way; it certainly isn’t investing in universities and research with the fervour necessary to keep up – let alone surpass – our ‘competitors’. I scare-quote that word because, really, we need more, and we needed it yesterday.

READ MORE

Love the smell of ARCs in the morning…

Australia Research Council (ARC)

It’s that time of year again!

And I don’t mean the flogging of horses or despicable amount of money spent on inane bits of fashion (yes, I’m looking at you, fascinators).

Two of the most anticipated sets of results from our nation’s key research funder, the Australian Research Council (ARC), are now out!

For Asian Australian Studies, and our members in general, it’s an interesting and celebratory swag.

Many enthusiastic congrats to the successful awardees! May you have a fabulous week of celebrating and feeling relieved!

Similarly, enthusiastic exhortations to those who were unsuccessful in this round to pitch it in again next year. What they say about grants often getting up on 2nd or 3rd attempts is true.

Here’s a quick breakdown of results from a skim (on my day’s leave today…):

READ MORE

A simple story

Photo sourced from shaundon (http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaundon/)

This is a simple, possibly simplistic story, about being a mother and having a career that’s invested in universities.

I believe the rhetoric about universities being good employers for women.

I have benefited twice from generous maternity leave provisions and a phasing-in period of part-time work before becoming full-time once again.

Those who came before me fought long and hard for parental leave entitlements. These entitlements meant the jarring transition from being a non-parent to parent was smoother.

I was a research fellow at the time I had my kids. I had an office to myself at the university with a lockable, opaque door. I could quite easily express for my babies, and kept an ice-blocked esky with me at work. It was a private and self-sustained system that turned out OK. Would I have preferred a formal room that was set aside for mothers that had all the right plumbing and a comfy chair? Of-bloody-course.

READ MORE