Academic Racism: The Repression of Marginalized Voices in Academia

important reading… to Indigenous Standpoint Theory and also to Connells Southern Theory!

The Activist History Review

by Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre

Several years ago, during a tenure-track search, I asked two questions – two questions which I ask of every scholar applying for a position with our institution. The first is innocent enough: “How important is racial/ethnic diversity in your scholarship and teaching?” Not surprisingly, all enthusiastically answer in the affirmative. Then I ask my second question: “Which scholars and/or books from racial and ethnic minorities do you include on your syllabus and why?” Here is when the squirming begins, revealing the candidate’s lack of academic rigor.

During one particular search, two of the candidates from different Ivy League schools provided problematic responses. The first replied that regardless of a strong commitment to diversity, they were unable to think of any scholar of color at the moment. The second, grasping for straws, offered the name Paul Ricœur, and then proceeded to convince me why…

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The Differential Effects of Online Peer Review and Expert Review on Service Evaluations


SAGE Business and Management INK

feedback-2352516_960_720Professor Hean Tat Keh of Monash University and Jin Sun of the University of International Business and Economics, Beijing recently published an article in the Journal of Service Research which is entitled “The Differential Effects of Online Peer Review and Expert Review on Service Evaluations: The Roles of Confidence and Information Convergence.” We are pleased to welcome them as contributors and excited to announce that the findings will be free to access on our site for a limited time. Below they reveal the inspiration behind the research, as well as additional information not included in the final publication.

JSR_20_2_Covers.inddWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

In the Internet age, it is commonplace to find online reviews by both ordinary consumers and experts (e.g., Consumer Reports). Nonetheless, the majority of prior research tends to focus on the effects of either source of information but not both. In particular, we…

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Some problems with that productivity paper

gendering motherly research into the academy

Tenure, She Wrote

Last month a study was released* by Yana Gellen** of the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at The University of Chicago, “Motherhood and the Gender Productivity Gap.”

Some outlets, like the American Enterprise Institute and Wall Street Journal, have jumped onto the study and claimed this is the reason that working mothers don’t earn as much as men – they aren’t working as much or as productively.  But does the study really show that?  And what does all this mean for working mothers in the academy?

Does this study prove that mothers are less productive?

In short, no.  Digging into the methods – there are some major problems with how this study was done.

  1. Productivity as percentage. The study makes claims about women’s and mothers’ productivity as a percentage of single men’s labor.  This interesting methodological decision automatically norms whatever people coded as single men are…

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Peer Observation of Teaching – does it know what it is?

POT – peer observation of teaching


by Maureen Bell

What does it feel like to have someone observing you perform in your teaching role? Suppose they tick off a checklist of teaching skills and make a judgement as to your capability, a judgement that the promotions committee then considers in its deliberations on your performance? How does it feel to go back to your department and join the peer who has written the judgement? Peer Observation of Teaching (POT) is increasingly being suggested and used as a tool for the evaluation, rather than collaborative development, of teaching practice.

Can POT for professional development co-exist with and complement POT for evaluation? Or are these diametrically opposed philosophies and activities such that something we might call Peer Evaluation of Teaching (PET) has begun to undermine the essence of POT?

I used to think the primary purpose of peer observation of teaching (POT) was the enhancement of teaching and…

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Nurturing academic orchids

worth a ponder

The Slow Academic

Last post I promised more on acts of kindness that have the potential to change academia from a place marked by undercare to one that is nurturing (especially at times when people are not entirely productive or unencumbered). Here goes.

Image result for Australian orchid CSIRODancing spider orchid (Caladenia discoidea), photo: Mark Clements, CSIRO

I attended a panel discussion entitled Life: work, family, leisure – having it all? last week. The five members of the panel spoke openly about the challenges they face combining work, family and leisure in the contexts of precarious work, relationship breakdown, international moves, career progression and the life-changing impact of having a child. The session ended with a summing up of practical suggestions, and because they came from five different people, at different stages of work and family, these reflect a range of (sometimes contradictory) ideas:

  • Learn to disconnect from work
  • Take the email app off your phone and tablet…

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you expect what? hyper performativity and academic life

another brilliant comment on the hidden reefs of the academy


This is a guest post from Dr Julie Rowlands, Deakin University, Australia. Julie is concerned about problems created by institutional demands for academic hyper-performativity. Perhaps you are too. 


Recently my university’s central research office promoted a workshop for PhD students seeking an academic career and at early career academics. It was called something like ‘managing expectations about teaching and research’. The workshop organisers claimed it was aimed at encouraging participants to develop reasonable expectations of both teaching and research performance and workloads – not aiming too high and not aiming too low.

On the face of it, this is a good thing. However, positioned immediately below the workshop description was the presenter’s bio. In ten short years, and on a full teaching and research load, this academic had published more than 70 peer reviewed papers (that’s 10 per year), supervised multiple PhD students to completion and won many funded…

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