Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 3, 2020
Ben Franklin once said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” As we start the month of April, the first full month of spring, the season of new beginnings, it’s important that we do something. Despite the worldwide call for social isolation and limited activity, we must continue to find ways to progress in our academic efforts.
To support those efforts, we have found the following collection of articles on the web this week. First, we offer advice on resetting your research agenda while working from home, core knowledge on the basics of theory, and tips for writing successful proposals. We then explore what to do now, storytelling, relational inquiry, and truth-listening, and how to prepare for an effective virtual interview. Finally, we explore noteworthy topics of the Internet Archive, who is allowed to talk about equality, diversity, and inclusion, and scholarly issues of COVID-19 racism.
This week, we hope that you continue to write something worth reading, that you advance your scholarly efforts, and that you do something to make your writing stronger. Happy writing!
While shifting face-to-face classes to online formats has been a major focus of colleges and universities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent Inside Higher Ed article notes that working from home affects scholarly productivity as well.
In the academic world, a theory is a kind of model. Some theories are created from careful research, while others are just confusing piles of speculation based on various assumptions. Much as you can create and change your assumptions, you can create a theory by doing research (you might even study the world of music). And, you can use theory to consciously guide your actions. Those may be small actions such as changing the channel to listen to different music or large changes leading to big changes in your community or the world. The key is that by understanding theory, we can better understand ourselves, our world, and what we can do to make our lives better.
Getting funding is hard. Receiving rejections for proposals is more common than receiving positive news – as many researchers are trying to go after the same funds. As I’ve been able to get some funding over the past years, both in Ecuador and the Netherlands (as well as a fair share of rejections), I wanted to share with you my tips for writing successful proposals.
I have put more apps on my screens during the last week than in the whole of last year. I usually try to keep my apps to an economical three screens or so (ipad, iphone). But no longer. Now I need more.
Storytelling is an intentional approach to engaging self-reflection and cultivating awareness as well as for learning in relation to the experiences of others; the intentional process of telling and listening to our individual and collective stories helps people make sense of our lives, stances, beliefs, and the broader social, cultural, and political spheres that shape them. Storytelling is a means of learning, confirming and contesting reality, building and preserving community, and conveying knowledge, values, beliefs, and emotions; it allows us to engage in contextualized self-reflection and to become constructively self-critical. Through sharing and taking in stories, which become narratives over time, we can identify, reflect on, and reexamine what we know, believe, and feel.
Here I offer tips that will help you prepare for an effective virtual interview (on Skype, Zoom or another platform). Virtual interviews are an important step in the evaluation and interviewing process. In my experience, the candidates who are well prepared for their first interview are the ones poised to make the best impression on a search committee and be invited for a campus interview.
Last week the Internet Archive (IA), a non-profit entity dedicated to “Universal Access to All Knowledge” decided that its answer to this clarion call is to open what it termed a “National Emergency Library.” The service is based on IA’s earlier efforts to offer “controlled digital lending,” the idea that IA loans one digitized version at a time for every print copy it sequesters — a concept based on fair use doctrine, but without legal standing.
I believe that inclusive and diverse work environments and cultures can enhance international research collaborations and ensure cultural relations are understood, embedded and strengthened globally. I know I have learnt much over my lifetime and in particular the last three years where I have explored equality, diversity and inclusion more closely. I know that I still have much to learn and will no doubt have made some mistakes along the way. Any mistakes, misunderstandings or miscommunications have been mine to own and I have learnt much about internal and implicit biases and other aspects of equality, diversity and inclusion along the way. I know that my own personal experiences are valid but I have also learnt that they are still not seen that way by everyone.
Scholars with expertise in Asian American studies, public health and other fields have a new urgent agenda for their teaching, research and outreach: confronting coronavirus-related racism.