Academia Obscura

By Glen Wright

The hidden silly side of higher education

Monday, 21 November 2016

Academics with Cats, and an update

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 type of book" (what type that is, I am not sure, but they seem to understand it better than I do) and that it is sadly too tight to turn it around in time for this year. 

I apologise for this - I know it is super frustrating to have to wait for something you already paid for, and I had hoped the publication date would be much sooner. It wouldn’t truly be an academic book if it was finished on time!

The good news is that:

  1. This gives me plenty of time to make sure that the book is absolutely and utterly wonderful, right down to the pesky last footnote (there are around 400 of them. I love a good footnote (and brackets, I love brackets(!))).
  2. The third annual Academics with Cats Awards has just been launched! Check out the blog post here and get your entries in by 30 November.

You may also enjoy these recent guest pieces on the blog:

  • On Commonplace Books
    • A "seventeenth century innovation... A notebook for capturing interesting quotes from reading, ideas, snippets of text for writings, diagrams, sketches, anything that comes to mind."
  • Shit I learned during my PhD
    • "I’m not gonna sugar it up, there is no work-life balance. Work becomes your life. Even when you’re not working on your PhD, you’re thinking about it. Trying to reconcile this with a love life is insane."
  • Sample Cover Letter for Journal Manuscript Resubmissions (this is absolutely hilmarious!)
    • "One perplexing problem was dealing with suggestions #13-28 by Reviewer B. As you may recall (that is, if you even bother reading the reviews before doing your decision letter), that reviewer listed 16 works that he/she felt we should cite in this paper. These were on a variety of different topics, none of which had any relevance to our work that we could see. Indeed, one was an essay on the Spanish-American War from a high school literary magazine. The only common thread was that all 16 were by the same author, presumably someone whom Reviewer B greatly admires and feels should be more widely cited. To handle this, we have modified the Introduction and added, after the review of relevant literature, a subsection entitled “Review of Irrelevant Literature” that discusses these articles and also duly addresses some of the more asinine suggestions in the other reviews."
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