Monday, June 27, 2011

Breaking Ground

This blog is intended as a resource for burgeoning academics, especially folks in the humanities. After more than a year of following awesome blogs like Jonathan Mayhew's Stupid Motivational Tricks, Thomas Basbøll's Research as a Second Language, and Tanya Golash-Boza's Get a Life Ph.D., I've decided to launch my own blog project that discusses similar themes and strategies, and is geared specifically towards those of us who are in the process of building our academic careers.

Whether you're a new graduate student just beginning coursework, an overstuffed ph.d. student coming up on comprehensive exams, a doctoral candidate working on the dissertation, a liminal lecturer tracking down that full-time position, or a newly-established assistant professor, this blog is for you!

The blog's title, Constructing the Academy, and subtitle, "Blueprints for Academic Success," are meant to suggest two important ideas:

1. that the day-to-day plans and strategies discussed here must be considered in light of a much larger community;
2. that those of us in the process of building our own individual careers are beginning to constitute and construct that larger community.

Here you'll find posts on academic writing, studying, planning, organizing, chilling, networking, teaching, and most everything else related to becoming a member of the academy. I don't envision this as a place to bemoan all the things that frustrate us about academia, or as a place to commiserate. Given my own experiences, I think we all do plenty of that! Instead, I'd like this blog to be a venue for positive energy and excitement about professionalization.

Among the first few posts you'll find some entries that originally appeared on my other blog, Unstable Euphony, but have been repurposed for Constructing the Academy because they belong here much more than they belong there. Among the first of these will be a post entitled "Getting a Vision," which was inspired by an entry from Tanya's blog, and is especially appropriate at the outset of this project.

Welcome! Please comment, make suggestions for posts, ask questions, offer commentary and personal experiences, and generally just share your own responses to the various ideas you see presented here!

To celebrate this inaugural week, there will be posts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Beginning next week, we'll move to weekly, and sometimes biweekly, updates. Check out links to other blogs and links to helpful sites for time management, writing, and etc. over on the right hand side.

[special thanks to Jonathan Mayhew (University of Kansas) and Sandy Hartwiger (American University, Beirut) who were sounding boards for the blog's title and subtitle]


  1. Perhaps "Matt, Matt, he's our man, if he can't do it, no one can" would be a little lame. So, I'll just say, great idea.

  2. Fantastic idea, Matt! I'll be sure to check it out!

  3. Looking forward to the next installment! Great project!

  4. Special thanks to you first-day commenters! I'm excited about getting this blog underway as an interactive space.