Category: Academia

University presses as rentiers

By: | Post date: November 11, 2017 | Comments: 6 Comments
Posted in categories: Academia

In days of yore, before computers, books were how knowledge was disseminated. And a knowledge economy had developed in the humanities, that went like this: A humanities scholar got tenure in a university by producing one or more published monographs. Because published monographs are still goods, there had to be suppliers and consumers of the […]

In defence of

By: | Post date: October 23, 2017 | Comments: 4 Comments
Posted in categories: Academia

Sarah Bond has published an article on Forbes, titled: Dear Scholars, Delete Your Account At Academia.Edu. Dear Sarah Bond: How about—No. arose as a response to the exclusive distribution of articles by journal publishers—whose money gouging is orders of magnitude more obtrusive, and more obstructive to disseminating scholarship, than’s. (And the money gouging […]

What are some stereotypes about linguists and linguistics majors?

By: | Post date: May 10, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Academia

In my experience in Australia, we slotted readily into the stereotype of Arts students in general. (Well, I didn’t: I was a refugee from Engineering.) Leftie do-gooders, dressed down, partial to cheap wine, mostly laid back. Answered 2017-05-10 [Originally posted on]

I thought I was over not becoming an academic…

By: | Post date: March 24, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Academia

… but this comment triggered me, I guess. I have written on this before as an answer. Yasin Karahan: Well, f**k…the thing is: Wouldn’t it suffice to excell at what one does? With all due modesty: I’m pretty f’ing good at what I do and my professor agrees. Might be a tough nut to crack, […]

Is University of Melbourne better for electrical engineering?

By: | Post date: January 25, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Academia, Australia

My experience in studying Elec Eng at Melbourne as an undergrad was 25 years ago, so it would be monstrously unfair of me to answer this question. I’ll do it anyway. See how my bio says “former Sessional Lecturer at University of Melbourne”? That was in Linguistics, not Elec Eng. 🙂 That’s on me: I […]

What is the purpose of a university education? Is it primarily to learn or to acquire credentials for a future job?

By: | Post date: December 30, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Academia

Habib le toubib, how do you manage to keep breaking my heart so with your questions? (Ah, by sending A2A’s that I leave in the too hard basket for weeks.) I admire and love the ideal of liberal arts education. I do. Really. It makes you a better person. But we live in an age […]

The Decalogue of Nick #2: I’ve trained as a linguist, and I have done computational linguistics stuff

By: | Post date: December 27, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Academia, Language, Personal

For Audrey Ackerman and Brian Collins and Zeibura S. Kathau. Ask a Greek what they can tell you about Byzantium, and they won’t tell you what the millennium of the East Roman Empire achieved. They won’t tell you about the Palaeologan Renaissance, or the ambivalence about the Classical past, or the edifices of Roman Law, […]

The Decalogue of Nick #1: I’m Greek-Australian

By: | Post date: December 23, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Academia, Greece, Personal

For Kaan Kılıçaslan. I was born in Launceston, Tasmania, in 1971, to a father who had migrated from Cyprus and a mother who had migrated from Crete. We moved to Crete when I was 8. We moved back to Melbourne when I was 12. I’ve lived there since, but for 6 months in Greece in […]

What are some common mistakes PhD students make in graduate school? Are there any common pitfalls or bad habits that separate unsuccessful students from successful ones?

By: | Post date: September 25, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Academia

To narrow down Cheri Thomas’ answer: failing to scope down your thesis as you go. You are always more ambitious at the start of the thesis than you need to be, and you will need to say less than you thought you would. Cheri says: Another is that they set too high a standard for […]

How many books can an Academic expect to sell?

By: | Post date: August 29, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Academia

With monographs, you’re pretty much selling to university libraries. And the books are priced to match: north of $150. If you still 300 copies, you’re doing well. Answered 2016-08-29 [Originally posted on]

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