Cover of Academia Obscura

Latest updates

Academia Obscura book - published!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Dear lovely suppporters of academic obscurity,

The book is finally here! Like all good academic publications, it is way over the deadline, with excessive footnotes, and petty comments from Reviewer 2. (I just hope more than 3 people read it). 

First off, a massive thank you for pledging to make the book a reality (509 of you!). I am extremely grateful. I know it isn't easy to part with hard…

Academics with Cats, and an update

Monday, 21 November 2016

Dear lovers of academic obscurity,

It has been a while so I wanted to give you a quick update and some news, both bad and good!

The bad news (except for the Trumpocalypse, the loss of reason, and the coming death of expertise) is that the Academia Obscura book won’t be on your bookshelves for some time yet :( The publisher has decided that the holiday season is the best release date for "this…

Final daft submitted!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update from the Ivory Tower: the final draft of the Academia Obscura book has been submitted! It is now up to the lovely folks at Unbound to sort out copyeditors and proofreaders and the like. Very excited to share the finished product with you in the not-so-distant future.

One of my favourite parts of writing the book was slipping in amusing footnotes here and there…

An Update! An excerpt!

Monday, 7 March 2016

Dearest academic shed-folk,

First, some good news! I have been writing like a tenured prof on sabbatical and have just handed over the first draft of the book to Unbound. I’ve also seen the first crack at the cover art and it is looking great - it’s got cats and beards and penguins and everything! So excited to share it with you all (soon, hopefully).

The bad news is that publication will likely…

An Update!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Dearest backers of academic obscurity :)

First off, happy new year! May your coffee be strong, may your Mondays be short, and may your hard drives never fail.

I've been hard at work, condensing all the academic oddness into a lovely little book to make you smile and think "hey, maybe this isn't so boring after all". Things you are going to get in the book:

  • Awful Rate My Professors comments…

The Second Annual Academics with Cats Awards!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Academic cat lovers around the world demanded it, and here it is: the Second Academics with Cats Awards! 

How to enter

Simple! Check out the categories below and tweet your finest cat pics (with caption) to #AcademicsWithCats. We’ll collate them and our expert panel will shortlist the best. Public voting will open on 25 November 2015.


This year there are 5 categories…

Illustrations by RedPenBlackPen!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Dr. Jason McDermott is a Computational Biologist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He also happens to draw awesome academic cartoons under the alias RedPenBlackBen. Jason has agreed to grace the Academia Obscura book with his artistic flair and I am absolutely thrilled that he is on board!

In other news, we are currently working on the 2nd Annual #AcademicsWithCats Awards! Last…

The Weird and Wonderful World of Academic Twitter, and an update!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Hello lovely Academia Obscura pledgers :)

In case you missed it, Times Higher Education published a piece I wrote about the academic twittersphere a couple of weeks back. The response was great! Following the success of this piece, and the earlier article on the hidden silly side of higher education, THE have agreed to let me write this nonsense once a month!

Some great stuff has come across…

What’s in a Shed?

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Many of the lovely people pledging for the Academia Obscura book on Unbound have asked me what the shed is all about.

A shed can be many things. A shed “can be anything from a dunny-sized construction to an aircraft hangar covering an acre or two”. It can be virtual, hewn from 0’s and 1’s and existing only fleetingly on your computer screen. In other, very specific contexts, “the garden shed is…

First shed post!

Friday, 17 July 2015

Dear Academia Obscura supporters!

Wow! Just under 3 weeks in and we are at almost 40% funded! This is a great start - thank you so much for supporting the book and for pledging. The big news is that yesterday the lovely folk at Scrivener pledged for the ‘Tenure’ level, contributing a whopping £2,000! I absolutely love the Scrivener software and am thrilled that they will be the frontispiece in…

Publication date: November 2017
134% funded
534 backers