Greetings, and welcome to my little corner of the University Affairs web site. As the new blog on the block, I thought I might provide a short introduction of myself and the kinds of topics I’ll be addressing in future posts.
At the moment I’m writing from the perspective of a graduate student. I spend most of my time working on the research and writing stage of a PhD from the faculty of education at York University. My academic background is in a few different areas – prior to the PhD I earned a BA in communication studies from McMaster University and then an MA in linguistics from York. Immediately after high school I also spent two years working on a BFA in visual art. I’ve lived in Canada for about half my life, and before that I lived in the Manawatu region of New Zealand.
The topic of my dissertation is Canadian postsecondary education policy and its effects on the institutional environment in universities. I look at the changes universities try to make (to themselves) in order to “succeed” in contemporary political, economic, and social contexts. I became interested in this topic through the experiences I had as an undergraduate, which made me question what was going on with universities and why certain changes might be happening in Canada and elsewhere.
Some of you may have seen the previous version of this blog at a different web address. I originally started Speculative Diction a year ago, and in that time it’s developed into an outlet where I can write about postsecondary education topics in a way that brings together my interests – in communication and knowledge, pedagogy, governance, politics and history, among other things. Over the past year I’ve written about graduate education, teaching undergraduate students, socioeconomic class and faculty careers, technology in the classroom, national postsecondary policies in various countries, and the relationship between universities and the media.
The inspiration for content in Speculative Diction comes from a variety of sources, including the national and international higher education news; academic papers and books; reports from governments, think-tanks and other organizations; conversations with students and academics; and personal experiences I’ve had in the postsecondary environment as a student and as a teaching assistant.
I hope you’ll stick with me and come back to read further posts, and that you’ll consider contributing to the larger discussion by leaving comments as well. Looking forward to it!