The Professor Is In

The Professor Is In answers all your questions about the academic career. Dr. Karen Kelsky and prod ... more

Latest Episodes

October 13, 2021 00:33:04
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Ep 3:5 Perfection Is Not Possible

It’s The Great Resignation, and people are departing their shitty jobs in droves. This includes academics, and not just adjuncts. Tenured and tenure track faculty are proactively departing to a degree never before seen. (Find many of them on the Professor Is Out private FB group!) Karen and Kel talk about ways that perfectionism–always the bugbear of academia–can hamper your transition out of the academy just as much as it might hamper your process of finishing that paper, dissertation, or book project. It’s all kind of the same thing: you feel like you have to know EXACTLY where you’re going and EXACTLY what you have to do, before you take a step. But, you don’t. You only need to take the first step. And that first step may well feel like a “misstep” but that is not a mistake, it’s just more information! Opening yourself to process – through Kel’s method of always asking, “….and…?” relieves you from the outcome-centrism of academic thinking, and frees you to move forward. [Become a subscribing member for just $3.99 a month and get access to our subscriber only goodies like free webinar recordings, AMAs, the chance to suggest topics, early access to the podcast video that we record in our house in Oregon, and — new from this week – live videos with Karen and Kel on Friday mornings, all on our dedicated podcast member page on Mighty Networks! Not ...

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October 06, 2021 01:02:50
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Ep. 3:4 - Five Reasons Your Work Gets Rejected with Dr. Jane Jones

We are joined by Dr. Jane Jones of UpIn Consulting (@JaneJoanne) to talk about 5 reasons that your article manuscripts might be getting rejected, drawn from Kel and Jane’s Art of the Article program. Here’s the list: 1) not finishing out of fear [of reactions, reviews, etc.]; 2) submitting to the wrong journal [meaning a journal that is a poor match for your work, discipline, or level]; 3) not demonstrating the import/significance of your work in relation to the field or fields prioritized by the journal [separate from “nobody has studied this before”]; 4) Clear and precise signposting of topic, methods, theory, questions, analysis and conclusion [this includes you, humanities folks!];  5) an excellent abstract, that in about 6 crisp sentences sketches topic, methods, conclusion and import [that you write first, but then revise as you complete the mss.]. On the way we remind you that publishing requires strategizing, that you are allowed to refuse some reviewer comments, that outlining works, and that abstracts are far from an afterthought–they matter! The upshot is: article-writing is a skill you can gain with training and practice, and rejections are not proof that you don’t belong in academia–they just mean you might not yet have mastered all the skills you need to get your work accepted. [Become a subscribing ...

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September 28, 2021 00:35:48
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Ep. 3:3 - Play To Your Strengths

What do you do when you get stuck? Kel has found that her coaching clients tend to devolve into a spiral of self-loathing. But that doesn’t work; it’s just not very motivating! So Kel asks: why does the academy tell us we must automatically be good at every single thing we try in the academic career, and how can we get past that when we find ourselves stuck? Drawing from their newfound love of lap swimming this past summer, Karen and Kel talk about taking an inventory of your strengths and your places needing development, and then learning to use places of strength to explicitly shore up and development the weaker skills. Basically, when you are pushing and pushing and getting no results, draw from a different set of resources. Both resources within yourself, and those offered by external sources of help. [Become a subscribing member for just $3.99 a month and get access to our subscriber only goodies like free webinar recordings, AMAs, the chance to suggest topics, early access to the podcast video that we record in our house in Oregon, and — new from this week – live videos with Karen and Kel on Friday mornings, all on our dedicated podcast member page on Mighty Networks! Not ready to subscribe? Donate here to send along some support.     ...

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September 23, 2021 00:35:27
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Ep 3:2 The Chair

Karen insisted that we watch The Chair, and insisted we devote a podcast episode to it. So here it is. At this point in time there are no more “hot” takes to be had, so in this episode we offer our tepid takes.  Even so, there is a lot to say. Karen and Kel talk the many painful accuracies of the show: the terror of senior faculty in the face of threats to their power; the overt and covert racism directed at Yaz, the sole Black faculty member; the puritanical dress code and terrible hair; cost-cutting as the department Chair’s #1 job; the Dean’s relentless gaslighting; liability avoidance as the university mission. We note in particular Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein’s point that Yaz is the only character with no interiority – she is rendered as a plot device and never shown, in contrast to all the other main characters, outside a narrow work setting. We have quibbles, inevitably: this Chair could not have been as naive as she was written; no tenured white male professor ever loses his job over racism; and it’s honestly doubtful this Chair would have thrown away her position for a man, least of all this man. Also: are we to believe Yaz turns down Yale to stay at Pembroke? Puleeze. But overall: wow. And suffice to say, as a former Chair of a humanities department, Karen came out of the series fairly traumatized. ...

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September 14, 2021 00:33:03
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Episode 3:1 Coming Back from Isolation

Karen and Kel are back from their summer hiatus, and they talk re-entry. Re-entry, that is, to a shitshow academic year in a pandemic that, in the US, has been mismanaged to a degree that almost defies belief.  Academics are coming back to campuses that are for the most part totally unprepared and unwilling to deal with actual student and staff vulnerabilities to COVID-19, and confronting a level of lethal indifference from many administration and students both that has shocked even the most jaded among us (ie, Karen). Drawing from a re-entry model developed by an Australian academic, Karen and Kel talk about ways that administrators can improve re-entry processes, and ways that vulnerable and burnt out faculty and grad students can think about how best to proceed. [Become a subscribing member for just $3.99 a month and get access to our subscriber only goodies like free webinar recordings, AMAs, the chance to suggest topics, early access to the podcast video that we record in our house in Oregon, and — new from this week – live videos with Karen and Kel on Friday mornings, all on our dedicated podcast member page on Mighty Networks! Not ready to subscribe? Donate here to send along some support.   ...

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June 07, 2021 00:37:37
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Ep 2:40 Resisting the Culture of Overwork

An episode recorded pre-pandemic but even more relevant now.  Karen and Kel talk resisting overwork, and recovering your joy.  The key here is detachment from your work: neither misery nor joy; just a set of tasks. Put another way:  it’s what you do, not who you are. Drawing from the work of Brene Brown, we dig into the culture of scarcity and the nature of resiliency. In our world of scarcity we wake up in “not enough” (sleep, work, time with kids, writing, etc etc.) and the competitive struggle of academia (“I only slept four hours last night!”).  But accepting the reality of finitude (ie finite time, space, and energy), and gathering your own No Committee, you too can reduce what you agree to do, trim excess, and prioritize your own well being. Put on your own oxygen mask first.   [Become a subscribing member for just $3.99 a month and get access to our subscriber only goodies like free webinar recordings, AMAs, the chance to suggest topics, early access to the podcast video that we record in our house in Oregon, and — new from this week – live videos with Karen and Kel on Friday mornings, all on our dedicated podcast member page on Mighty Networks! Not ready to subscribe? Donate here to send along some support.   ...

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