As a researcher I find that the challenges are more straightforward than music because they’re more within my control. Academia in Australia is highly competitive, yes, but there also lots of opportunities. The PhD is like an apprenticeship and there are transparent and logical rewards for your efforts – pretty much the opposite of the music industry. The first challenge of research would be self-management. I’ve put in many all-nighters and have many times felt on the brink of insanity trying to solve some tiny but all-powerful problem in a huge pile of data and code. A lot of research work is very boring and difficult and you have to keep yourself motivated through the troughs. A second challenge with research is writing and keeping up output when you have a lot of different things half-cooked.
A third challenge with research is cynicism. Right now I’m in a good place now and enjoy my topic, research, and writing. But with time the academic ladder will no doubt get more slippery and more fraught. Academics inevitably get more critical over time, partly because they are open to ever more criticism. My Mum once came to a PhD completion presentation I did and was traumatised by the questions at the end – no-one handles you with kid gloves like in school or something. For me that was just how things work. But maybe I will get tired of becoming thick skinned, so for now I am just taking it as it comes and seeing how much I deliver on this post doctoral project. In general I enjoy going to work and could honestly say I’d still do it, or something much like it, even if I didn’t have to financially.
Dr. Elizabeth Taylor is an Australian scholar, working as an Urban Studies Post-doctoral Research Fellow. She is also a blogger, musician and Radio Broadcaster with 3 RRR program, “The Urbanists.” Here she discusses the difficulties of academia in comparison to the work of being a musician. The interview is conducted by Australian sociologist Dr Sheree Gregory.
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[H]onouring the achievements of black filmmakers by declaring it “their” year does them a disservice. Lumping together heavy dramas with lighthearted romcoms simply because of the skin colour of the actors or director prevents these films from being measured against the whiter counterparts that actually share their genre — inadvertently ghettoising the former and protecting the latter from scrutiny. It’s difficult to imagine pulling, say, Blue Is the Warmest Colour, The Great Gatsby, The Hangover Part III, and The Fifth Estate into a story declaring 2013 the year of the “white movie.” Continue reading Racism in Film Categorisation
Last week was also the 10th anniversary of White Ribbon Day in Australia, which begins a period of activism to stop violence against women, culminating on December 10th with Human Rights Day.
It’s disturbing to see this anniversary greeted not with encouraging reports of widespread activism and positive change, but with ongoing reports of male violence toward women. In a society where men are statistically the main perpetrators of violence against all genders, we need to accept some hard truths. The problem is whenever we try to accept anything, a raft of excuses and counter attacks arrive: violence is caused by monsters not men, the statistics are wrong, men suffer violence as well. Continue reading Ending Violence Against Women
When the white man first seen us, when they first said, “Well, there’s something wrong with these people here. They don’t have no religion. They have no judicial system. We have to do something for these people.” I guess that must have been what they thought because they totally screwed up what we already had.
They introduced new religion and there was nothing wrong with our old religion. They just didn’t understand it. We had our own ways of teaching our children, like the Elders and everything. There was nothing wrong with that way of teaching children. They just didn’t understand it.
The same thing with our judicial system. We had that judicial system and the white people, when they came here, they didn’t see that. They said, “These guys have nothing. We have to introduce all these different things to them so they can be one of us.” That’s exactly the problem that we have.
Chief Philip Michel, Brochet. Continue reading Justice for Aboriginal People in Canada
“Race” is called an ideological construction, and not just a social construction, because the idea of “race” has never existed outside of a framework of group interest. As a nineteenth-century pseudoscientific theory, as well as in ceontemporary “popular” thinking, the notion of “race” is inherently part of a “model” of asymmetrically organised “races” in which Whites rank higher than “non-Whites.”
Philomena Essed, Understanding Everyday Racism.
In solidarity, Happy International Women’s Day!
“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.” ― bell hooks
Continue reading Happy International Women’s Day
Hispanic women are fully aware that our culture is entrenched in misogyny, but not necessarily any less than American culture. Women in the United States are often expected to take their husbands’ last name. Many men still go to their bride’s father to ask for her hand in marriage; just because we see it as a sweet gesture it does not mean that it isn’t patriarchal in nature… Loving tradition and having pride in your culture does not mean these women cannot vocalize the gender issues of their communities. My mother’s feminism was the truest form of feminism for me; a belief in the potential upward mobility of all women.
Patricia Valoy, Civil Engineer, feminist blogger, and radio host reflects on gender politics and the sacrifices her stay-at-home mother made for her children after they migrated from the Dominican Republic to the USA. Valoy writes that Western feminism encouraged her to see her mother as being trapped in patriarchy, but she argues that we need to find a way to move past narrow conceptions of feminism:
Feminism cannot continue to exist as a monolithic block, or we will never be able to include women from all walks of life.
Via Everyday Feminism.