There’s two kinds of scholarship today: there’s Titanic studies and there’s deckchair studies.

— McKenzie Wark
And as the smart ship grew
            In stature, grace, and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too
— Thomas Hardy

I’m an academic at an Australian university. I’ve led an educational design team through an institutional LMS transition, and I’m currently Associate Dean International in our Law, Humanities and Creative Arts Faculty.

I’m interested in the assumptions that regulate work, innovation, profit and risk in higher education, and in the way that the system shaped by these assumptions affects those of us working in universities.

As someone once put it in the search that led them here, this is a blog about:

“shared governance consensus bullshit.”

I’m not writing any of this in any official capacity, obviously.

As a narrative researcher and educator, I’m committed to exploring open practices of teaching and learning amplified by hospitality rather than marketisation. Jesse Stommel’s proposals for a reflective hybrid pedagogy make sense to me.

The intellectual bravery we need right now is to believe that we can imaginatively rebuild something valuable in digital space, something that has what we value most about education: the protections, the safety, the excitement, the moments of ecstatic learning, the epiphanies, the collaborations, the debates, the discoveries, and the moments of quiet reflection.

For three years this blog had a banner image adapted from a famous photograph of a New York 3D cinema audience posing for photographer J R Eyerman in 1953; the version I used was taken from a pencil case, photographed by my friend R J Thompson in 2011. At the centre of the crowd, there’s a stern-faced woman, who put on her good hat to go out and meet the technological marvel of her age. She keeps me thinking about what it means to show up and watch, from inside the spectacle.

The new banner images in 2018 include a sketch report of the sinking made by John B “Jack” Thayer, Titanic survivor; some bits and pieces from surviving Titanic menus; a photograph of a wrought iron bench end still bolted to the deck of the Titanic; a photograph I took of a sign in a cafe where customers were invited to help themselves to hot sauce; words that were on a whiteboard when I walked in to a room to teach; and the detail from something I made at Mary Freer’s Compassion Lab workshop in 2017.

You’re warmly welcome to leave comments here or get in touch via Twitter: @KateMfD

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Thanks for stopping by,

— Kate Bowles