I wrote a piece for the latest issue of NiTRO, an Australian publication interested in the creative arts and how they fit within and outside of academia. There’s been some great articles in there over the years and I am pleased to join in! My piece is titled: Interdisciplinarity in practice: Casual academics, regional universities and doctoral supervision.
The whole issue is about interdiscipinarity in the creative arts, and my piece discusses how in many ways I fell into being interdisciplinary through necessity rather than through choice.
Many of us academics who have emerged or are still in the world of casual, sessionalised contracts would have similar stories to tell. It’s often more important to earn money rather than think about how this particular job will feed into your academic career. It feels there is a burst in conversation about this precarious lifestyle currently, such as in this recent piece from Kate Bone and this powerful read by Kate Cantrell and Kelly Palmer. It’s only now, in secure employment for the first time in my academic career, that I can feel quite thankful for some of the casual jobs I had and how they have aligned with my focus areas now.
And, perhaps even more so for those of us who are based in regional universities, interdisciplinarity feels a way of life. As part of a small team with disparate and diverse students, I am often stretched a little outside my comfort zone. I enjoy it most of the time, and I hope I continue to do so! And I hope I will continue to work with people who inspire, motivate, and support me as often as I can.