Preparing for Academic Wars

I have gathered a few useful quotes for academics who want to excel in their work. As our jobs become increasingly more competitive, I thought it was fitting to chose war-related quotations. The following are certainly applicable in Academia, so take them seriously and adjust them accordingly! “Work hard and become a leader; Be lazy and never succeed. – -Proverbs 12:24 You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war. — Napoleon Bonaparte D... »

How to Publish your First Academic Book

So, you submitted your PhD successfully and you received the coveted title. You also managed to get a part time teaching job, or a full time job for which you get paid only at a part time rate. Your ex supervisor, your friends, your relatives, your new colleagues, they all have very high expectations of you. They are looking forward to reading your first monograph. On the other hand, you are too aware of the difficulties of satisfying them. It is true that there are too many books out there. Eve... »

Relocation, Relocation: The Fate of an Academic Gypsy

Last Sunday I went for tango in Market Harborough. There, I have been introduced to a young dancer with excellent leading skills. Curious about his style, I asked him where he took tango lessons. He mentioned that he started in Paris and then he continued in Canada and the UK. Then it was my turn to reveal the whereabouts of my teachers: Ireland, UK, Italy, Germany and Greece. The next question took me by surprise. He asked me: Are you a Researcher? How could he have guessed? Was it my scholarly... »

Seven Requirements to get an Academic Job.

Ancient Historians are struggling to get their first post after they finish the PhD. The qualified candidates are too many, while the available jobs are always scant. In a previous article I insisted that the one prerequisite for getting a placement in a university is that the applicant should be a “good fit”. Even if this is essentially true for all cases, we should not forget that the competition is stiff and that the prospective candidates should meet also a set of other requirements. 1)     ... »

What jobs can you do with an Ancient History or Classics degree?

Contrary to the image I usually project, I do not expect my students to dedicate themselves to a life of poverty in their pursuit of learning Greek or Latin. Instead, I am a firm believer that a course in Ancient History or Classics is only the first step to achieve an illustrious career outside academia. Unfortunately, the direction they may take is not an obvious one. Up to now, when they asked me about the application of their degrees in real life, I tended to joke and claimed that “we are us... »

Academic Prostitution

I admit I was fascinated by the story of Belle de Jour, the high class call girl, who became famous through her blog, book and TV series. I may not have read the book but I was fanatic about, initially, the blog and, then, the series, in which a sassy Billy Piper lives the high life in vibrant London. Throughout this time I thought that Belle was a fictitious character born by the perverse imagination of a male author. You can guess my surprise and subsequent curiosity when I found out not only ... »

Academic Jobs in Ancient History

This week I took notice of a THES blog written by the Insecure Scholar. He lamented the fact that he is receiving invitations to teach at universities as a guest lecturer but none of these institutions is willing to give him a permanent job. At a moment of frustration I answered that he may be the best scholar in the world but this does not mean that universities are willing to pay money for his scholarly skills. Unfortunately, I have not expanded on this idea and this may have caused uncertaint... »

Academic Administration. Good or Evil?

Don’t you just love administration? And I do not mean “like”. I mean absolutely loving every minute you spend in front of your computer, downloading forms, filling them up and then sending them off to cyberspace. Did you ever wish you had more administrative tasks to complete? Did you ever look back at your long and arduous day hoping that you had one more report to fill before you went to bed? I know I did. No I am not perverse. I just came up with the perfect solution to a very difficult probl... »