Help me, I'm poor!
Here it is…I’ve ‘bitten the bullet’!
The title of this blog refers to work done in my PhD and is taken from one of my chapter titles. It relates to my methodology framework in the thesis, something I created almost like a metaphorical quilt – from bits of relevant methodology which has gone before, alongside my own experience(s) and reflexivity. It also relates to the practice-orientedness/scholar-activism I was trying to embody and explore in the work. I decided that I would also create this blog, with that work in mind, as an ‘experimental’ space for myself (and hopefully some others eventually…) to explore the scholar-activist approach while subverting the orthodox boundary-policing and strictures of the ‘publish – or – perish’ neoliberal academy.
The Thesis as a ‘Tapestry’ – ‘Weaving’ an argument together…
Increasingly I have become frustrated and jaded with the usual and orthodox academic conventions of free labour, narrow definitions of ‘knowledge’, and limiting of spaces for ‘critique’ – especially for work by women and ‘minority-identifying’ scholars. I have come to the affirmation that, if I must work for free (this will no doubt be explored in a post), then I will only do it on my own terms – rather than in service to the neoliberal academy and institutions upholding it. That being said, I will work in such an environment for fair pay and a respectful working environment – I need to work for pay – I am an unemployed PhD student/ECR.
Until I can find a paying job with a liveable salary, either within academia, or (*shudders*) outside academia, I will provide my free labour here as and when I can. Against my upbringing, values and principles, I have decided to also seek to include a link for readers to financially contribute, if they are so inclined, as I am unemployed and struggling financially. I cannot stop folks from reading for free, I can only hope you see the hard-earned expertise, training, skill, bravery, vulnerability, and creativity – and feel compelled to encourage my work with whatever you can give in support of my efforts. Whilst I would be incredibly grateful to anyone who can contribute, who does contribute – I am loathe to have to include a charitable giving link for my own personal purposes and needs. It is, what it is… C’est La Vie, I guess!
I have used a Paypal ‘Pay.me’ link inserted in each post (including this one), as I cannot afford anything more ‘fancy’ than the basic/free wordpress account – this does not allow me access to the typical Paypal link/button on WordPress, as I would have to pay for a more advanced account to access advanced advertising options. However, given my academic and political interests, and the aims of this blog – I am also resisting using any advanced advertising/monetization on this blog, as ads are irritating and counter to the concepts, theory, ideals and activism expressed here.
I may continue this blog, if I ever find employment, if the interest and readers are there…
What to expect?
After a long, arduous and traumatic PhD experience, I’ve finally decided to create a space for me to use the insights, experience and training I’ve gained – to explore recent and current events. This space may also serve to explore scholar-activism, higher education, IR-related content, film or other media reviews, possibly even International law related content (given my background). I’m not seeking to insist on a narrow remit of content or method here, as the blog is created by me, and based on my ‘transgressive’ research – I’m going to keep an open and creative mind, and see how it develops.
I hope to eventually host guest blog posts here too – if I can get anyone to contribute and offer freely their time and work. These guest posts may spotlight another scholars work, views, advice to PhDs & ECRs…as long as it is written in an engaging style, I’ll consider or invite the submission. As I do not wish to recreate the abusive environment of the neoliberal institution, which relies on the free labour of those lower down in the hierarchy (often women, ECRs, PhDs, minorities etc.), in the event of a guest post submission, I will either place the other author’s personal Paypal link in their post (as I have done with mine), so if contributions come from that particular post, all proceeds go directly to the one who wrote it, or make a separate arrangement with the author – to ensure any funds earned from their post get to them. I would prefer the former option though, as its less ‘messy’ and problematic. I will probably also still include my own Paypal link, clearly differentiating the two, so that in the event financial contributors wish to also give towards the wider aim of the blog, and to help keep the space running – they will also be able to do that separately in the post. As with my own posts here, it is likely that the post will not garner financial gain of any kind, but at least in this space there is creative freedom, academic integrity, and the faint possibility that your free labour ‘may‘ result in some ‘coins‘…just don’t rely on that being the case.
Expect controversial takes, ruminations, and scholarly insight, expertise and debate. This is a blog for those seeking a(nother) critical approach and a space to explore their ideas based in their critical scholarly training. As well as ‘showcasing’ aspects of my own work and ideas, I hope to also provide a place to enable others to showcase and explore their own ideas.