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Speculative Diction

BY MELONIE FULLICK | September 16 2013

This post is about one of my favourite issues in education and various areas of knowledge policy: the attempt to use policy to reliably generate the unpredictable. As an example, one of the themes that recurs in certain kinds of policy design is the idea of creating a geographic hub of innovation, a golden patch […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | September 06 2013

In this week’s post I’m going to stay with the subject of media and higher education, since there’s so much to work with at the moment – ‘tis the season, as they say. Since I last wrote, there’s a new, strategically-timed CIBC World Markets report that has garnered a good deal of media coverage, because […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | August 23 2013

Howard Rheingold, the longtime Internet commentator and UC Berkeley lecturer, uses the term “crap detection” to describe the process of determining whether online information is credible or not. What Rheingold calls “crap detection” is also known as information literacy, and in my case it was acquired partly through a degree in communication studies with an […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | August 12 2013

Recently, the American Historical Association (AHA) posted a policy statement that caused some controversy among academics, because of its recommendation that universities should allow junior scholars the option of a 6-year embargo on electronic publication of their dissertations. The argument goes that younger or early career researchers (ECRs) need the option of an embargo because […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | August 02 2013

I first came across the term Critical University Studies (CUS) when it was mentioned in a 2012 Chronicle of Higher Ed article by Jeffrey J. Williams. The likely reason I hadn’t heard of this “emerging field” was that it seems the name hadn’t been used very much before, other than by Williams and Heather Steffen […]


The Times Higher Ed in the UK had a hit this past week, regarding the issue of doctoral supervision, with an article by Tara Brabazon titled “10 truths a PhD supervisor will never tell you”. Worth noting alongside that one is a recent article by Leonard Cassuto that appeared in the USA’s Chronicle of Higher […]


As my last academic event of the season, I attended Worldviews 2013: Global Trends in Media and Higher Education in Toronto on June 20th and 21st. I’m not going to write about the panel in which I participated (“Who are the MOOC users?”, with Joe Wilson, Aron Solomon, and Andrew Ng), since I’ve already spent […]


Later this week I’m going to be on a panel about the inescapable subject of MOOCs, so for this post I’m thinking through an issue I’ve been noticing since I last wrote a big post on this topic, which was during the peak of the media mayhem in July 2012. For many of those researching […]


There’s a lot of discussion among academics these days about how to use new media in ways that are productive and engaging, in ways that help us build networks and share resources. But last weekend, we got a taste of what happens when social media work to reveal and amplify the biases that are operating […]


Though it isn’t the topic of my current research, I’ve been interested in the Internet (as an object of study) for some time, in particular its possibilities for connecting people and helping them generate new relationships and forms of social support that might not otherwise have been available. I think this is because I’ve been […]


The term “talent market” has always seemed vaguely obnoxious to me. Maybe it’s the extraction and objectification of “talent” as something apart from those who might have it and use it, and transformation into a product available for sale. Maybe it’s the fact that “talent” used in this way reminds me of a circus or […]


This past weekend I attended HASTAC 2013, held at York University in Toronto. This was the first HASTAC conference held in Canada, and about half the participants were Canadian. In fact, it was the first time the conference had (physically) happened outside the United States. The HASTAC (“haystack”) acronym stands for Humanities, Arts, Science, and […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | April 19 2013

This past Tuesday afternoon I participated in another panel (‘tis the season!) about higher education, this time at the University of Toronto. The panel was part of a pre-conference event for the Worldviews Conference on Media and Higher Education, addressing how the “pragmatic agenda” is represented in media coverage of higher education. According to the […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | April 08 2013

On Thursday March 28th, I participated in a panel titled “The Future of the University in Canada”, at the University of Toronto. The discussion was hosted by Drs. Emily Greenleaf and Pamela Gravestock, who organised it as a part of their undergraduate course on “The University in Canada” (which looked like something I would love […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | March 27 2013

A recent post by David Naylor, the President of the University of Toronto, has been quite popular with academics and has generated a lot of commentary. Naylor makes the argument that Canadian higher education is dogged by “zombie ideas”, and he describes two of them: the first is that universities “ought to produce more job-ready, […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | March 15 2013

This week on Wednesday, my Twitter feed was swamped first with posts about the newly elected Pope (which I expected). What I didn’t expect was that by the time evening rolled around, the Pope tweets were being eclipsed by reactions to Google’s decision to “kill” its RSS aggregation tool, Reader. Now, I use Reader a […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | March 05 2013

Recently I wrote a piece for The Globe and Mail in which I argued that we should be encouraging Ph.D. students to learn how to communicate with broader audiences. One of the questions I couldn’t really address in that short article was: what’s it actually like to engage on those practices of communication, particularly as […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | February 21 2013

Today’s post is about “process/es”, in the somewhat abstract sense that refers to the ways we organize ourselves when we need to make things happen, particularly things that are work-related. I had to think a bit about this recently when I did an interview for Networked Researcher and was asked what my “workflow” looks like […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | February 12 2013

A recent article in University World News argued that internationalization has “corrupted” higher education in various ways. In spite of the strong term, I found myself agreeing with much of the article, and it also made me think more about how most of the articles I see about internationalization seem to focus on its economic […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | February 04 2013

A central part of my research project is the way organizations communicate, and the organizations I focus on are universities. So when it comes to undergraduate education and university experience, an important question I think we need to ask is this: what’s the message that students receive from universities? I’ve been thinking about this lately, […]