GenX women in higher ed from around the globe

Meet Me in St. Louis: #NAFSA13

In Uncategorized on 2014/02/04 at 03:57

This is my inaugural trip to St. Louis – my first time in Missouri, in the heart of the Midwest of the US. Fitting that it is for NAFSA, the country’s largest annual international education conference.  NAFSA 2013 has taken downtown St. Louis by storm with over 8,000 attendees from more than 120 countries. If you work in international education, this is the place to be.

Last night’s Opening Plenary Address was given by none other than Kofi Annan, Noble Peace Laureate and former Secretary-General of the United Nations. The room was packed and it was an inspiring presentation. He urged us all to do more, to listen to young people, to engage, to be global citizens. For the most part, the audience was captivated. NAFSA 2013 is an exciting place to be. International educators are generally pretty optimistic folks, usually focusing on the future and the potential for what could be.

I will be here through Friday morning tweeting and blogging about #NAFSA13. I would love to connect with readers and potential guest bloggers. You can connect with me on Twitter @mary_churchill or through NAFSA’s very impressive on-site Conference Connection Message Center.

So, if you are one of the 8,000+, why don’t you meet me in St. Louis!

Nothing Is Forever

In Uncategorized on 2014/02/04 at 03:56

Last month, during finals week, a week after the Boston Marathon bombings, after watching one of my favorite graduate students defend her dissertation, the Provost’s office hand-delivered a letter to me. The letter (or rather, the Provost) regretted to inform me that I had been denied tenure, but thanked me for my service to the university.

I was standing in the hallway in front of my new office, one with windows, one that had been assigned to me because my chair, my department, and even my dean assumed I’d be granted tenure, with no problems. I was chatting with some colleagues, who watched as I opened the envelope and turned pale.

I suppose if there had been any doubt about the outcome, I would have been able to accept that this was the final decision. But there hadn’t been, so it felt like a joke (a very bad one, indeed).  My world was falling apart—I was losing my job, my footing, and colleagues I had come to think of as family.

My first reaction, after the shock, was a feeling of, well, not anger. It was panic and humiliation. I considered not letting anyone know what had happened and just drifting off into the sunset of my “terminal year.” Instead, I got on the phone, and the response was overwhelming.

Here’s what I’ve learned from being denied tenure:

People Actually Pay Attention

Colleagues came out of the woodwork to tell me how shocked they were by the decision. One after another came to tell me about my work, what they valued, and why they considered me invaluable to the university. I had no idea many of them even knew what it is that I do, or have done.

It Pays to Get to Know Your Colleagues

Despite all outward appearances, I’m pretty shy. I come off as an extrovert, but it’s painful for me to put myself out there, and it’s rare for me to make the first move socially. Instead, I offered to serve on committees, where I could get to know people on a work level first, but also just to get to know their personalities a bit better so I would be comfortable knowing them socially. When crisis hit, I knew whom to call and whom to count on.

Teach Your Students Well

I teach social activism, and many of the students who have taken my courses have gone on to be incredible community organizers. When they discovered I had been denied tenure, they organized a campaign that included petitions, virtual days of activism, and letter writing campaigns—all without any input from me. Administrations may not pay attention to students (particularly in tenure cases), but knowing that I had touched so many lives, and that they were willing to help me was a gift in a very dark time.

Think of Your Karma

A colleague of mine, who had been denied tenure at another university, came to me with her own story of anger. She hadn’t been able to let it go, and it was clear that her bitterness was eating her up; she despised so many people and could not forgive. I thought a lot about what that kind of anger could do to me, and in discussing it with another friend, I decided that there were two things I wasn’t willing to sacrifice by turning to anger and bitterness: my dignity and my karma.  It’s too important, and I have a long life to live.

There may sometimes be reason to hope

Although it first appeared that the provost’s decision would be final, the support of my colleagues, department, chair and director may have turned the tide. The provost agreed to review my case again next year. And for that, I’m grateful, although wounded.

Figure Out How to Heal

I’ll get back to you on that one.

Boston, Massachusetts in the US.

Denise Horn is an Assistant Professor of International Affairs at Northeastern University and a founding member of the editorial collective at University of Venus.  She is the author of Women, Civil Society and the Geopolitics of Democratization(Routledge 2010) and Democratic Governance and Social Entrepreneurship: Civic Participation and the Future of Democracy (Routledge 2013).

Digital Humanities as Cognitive Dissidence

In Uncategorized on 2014/02/04 at 03:55

It’s hard to believe but it was a year ago that the Primer Encuentro de Humanistas Digitales (First Meeting of Digital Humanists) was held  in the Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City (17 and May 18, 2012).

I participated remotely via a poster / flyer and a website entitled “HD/DC“, which I set up to provide further context and references, as well as to keep track if anyone had followed the links included on it from the event on the days it took place. (Some indeed did, according to the stats provided by, where I hosted the site).

It was a way of communicating that in the digital humanities it is also necessary to examine how we practice “academia”. For example, I wanted to say that not being able to be physically at an event in real-time taking place in a specific geographic location does not necessarily mean we can not participate on it. Digital/Web technologies do offer accessible means to participate remotely, if one is so inclined.

I know that “Cognitive Dissidence” sounds pompous and naïve, but the intention was to suggest that in my opinion “DH” should mean not only new ways of doing things but also new ways of thinking about them. What are academics event for? What are the minimum requirements to hold them? When we say “meeting”, what do we mean? Can digital technologies help us think/do academic meetings differently?

So, inspired by the Day of Digital Humanities in Spanish and Portuguese 2013  and by the next Postcolonial Digital Humanities Summer School (#DHpoco) I  have now uploaded to figshare that poster / flyer as a slide in PPT format  (not a PDF, which means it is editable by whoever downloads it, if such a thing were of interest).

This means that a resource which is already one year-old is given a new lease of life by making it available on another platform. Figshare allows me to see some metrics of who views and downloads the file, and most importantly gives me a Digital Object Identifier for this work that would otherwise be at the mercy of the fragility of a free blog, buried somewhere in the vast expanse of the World Wide Web and completely ignored by the forms current academic recognition.

Humanidades digitales: espacios para la disidencia cognitiva (póster para Primer Encuentro de Humanistas Digitales en la Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Ciudad de México, 17 y 18 de mayo de 2012). Ernesto Priego. figshare.

Retrieved 08:43, May 22, 2013 (GMT)

Ernesto Priego is lecturer in Library Science at City University London and editor in chief of The Comics Grid. Journal of Comics Scholarship.



Original Spanish (minus minor edits).

Reblogged from

Es increíble pero fue hace ya un año que tuvo lugar el Primer Encuentro de Humanistas Digitales en la Biblioteca Vasconcelos de la Ciudad de México (17 y 18 de mayo de 2012).

Participé remotamente a través de un póster/volante y un sitio titulado “HD/DC” que abrí para ofrecer contexto y referencias.

Fue una manera de querer comunicar que en las humanidades digitales es también necesario interrogar la forma en que “practicamos la academia”, es decir, el no poder estar físicamente en un evento en un lugar geográfico en tiempo real no necesariamente significa que no podemos participar en él.

“Disidencia cognitiva” suena grandilocuente e ingenuo, lo sé, pero la intención era sugerir que las “HD” en mi opinión deberían significar no sólo nuevas formas de hacer las cosas sino también nuevas formas de pensarlas.

Inspirado por el Día de las Humanidades Digitales y por la próxima escuela de verano de DH Postcolonial he ahora subido mi póster/volante en formato PPT (por lo tanto editable por quien lo baje, si es que acaso interesase) a figshare.

Esto quiere decir que ahora el recurso está accesible en otra plataforma que me permite ver nuevas métricas y lo más importante me da un Digital Object Identifier para este trabajo que de otra forma quedaría a merced de la fragiliad de la web y completamente ignorado por las formas de reconocimiento académico actuales.

Humanidades digitales: espacios para la disidencia cognitiva (póster para Primer Encuentro de Humanistas Digitales en la Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Ciudad de México, 17 y 18 de mayo de 2012). Ernesto Priego. figshare.

Retrieved 08:43, May 22, 2013 (GMT)

Ernesto Priego es catedrático en ciencias de la información en City University, Londres Inglaterra, y editor en jefe de The Comics Grid. Journal of Comics Scholarship.


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