The #ECASurvival Podcast is a new series dedicated to sharing advice and resources for Early Career Academics and those navigating post-PhD life. It is produced by Derek Dunne in collaboration with Toria Johnson, and is sponsored by the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Episode 1: Patrick Gray

Patrick Gray is Professor of English at Durham University. He is the author of Shakespeare and the Fall of the Roman Republic (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) and co-editor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

1.55 The job apocalypse
3.33 From the Platonic ideal of an education to working the ranch
8.20 Popping caps on Heineken with a PhD
12.00 Expectations vs Reality of Grad School
14.10 Pushing yourself (with bonus near-death experience)
19.30 How does UK compare to US for an ECA
25.00 Submitting applications without burning through your social capital
28.50 Time Traveller Question
33.35 Alternative lives
36.50 What would  you like to see change/stay the same in academia?
40.30 ‘Are you the widget that we are trying to produce?’


Episode 2: Michelle Deininger

Michelle Deininger is Lecturer in the Humanities at Cardiff University, with responsibility for the Continuing and Professional Education division. She came to our attention after her piece Working Class Voices (Wales Arts Review, 2018). She is the co-author of the forthcoming book, Scholarship and Sisterhood: Women, Writing, and Higher Education (University of Wales Press).

1.40 PhD Training Day: Feeling isolated in a room full of students
5.00 Not belonging as a working-class academic
6.25 We don’t talk enough about the material realities of the job market
9.10 Working with non-traditional students/adult learners
11.10 “You are the first point of call” – Dealing with students’ mental health support 
16.35 Mentors are angels in disguise
18.45 Needing to know when to turn down a job
25.50 Being interviewed about family responsibilities
28.45 Out in the Wilderness, i.e. Unaffiliated
31.30 The Time-Traveller Question
35.00 Plus: Giving back via co-authoring
37.45 Minus: Universities have a responsibility not to cut PhDs off post-viva

Episode 3: Will Tattersdill

Will Tattersdill is Senior Lecturer in Popular Literature at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of Science, Fiction, and the Fin-de-Siècle Periodical Press (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

0.40 Acknowledging privilege
3.45 The Waste of talent in academia right now – “the pipe is leaking so badly”
6.30 Job applications – Putting yourself in an envelope of belief
16.00 Not setting PhDs up for disappointment (while developing their broader skill-set)
20.20 Back to Privilege: “Luck isn’t really luck”
30.50 The academic job market: Complete control is a myth
37.20 Telling stories to help friends and family understand what’s going on
41.30 Textual analysis as an immunity jab against gullibility
42.30 Plus: Preserving “the miracle of the seminar”
44.45 Minus: We need a culture of care

Episode 4: Erin Sullivan

Erin Sullivan is a Senior Lecturer at the Shakespeare Institute (affiliated with the University of Birmingham). She is the author of Beyond Melancholy: Sadness and Selfhood in Renaissance England (Oxford University Press, 2016) and co-editor of numerous volumes including The Renaissance of Emotion: Understanding Affect in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (Manchester University Press, 2015) and Shakespeare on the Global Stage: Performance and Festivity in the Olympic Year (Arden/Bloomsbury, 2015).

5.20 How a PhD is different from a Masters
8.55 The Many (Many) Skills required to go from PhD researcher to Effective Academic
11.40 ‘I’m a really practical person’ – Hunting for opportunities
17.00 From Viva to Job in 24 hours:
‘I’ve never been as nervous in my life’
25.38 Precarities plural
30.05 Visa worries on top of a tough job market
35.30 Time Traveller Question: ‘Learn your contexts, and enjoy the small pleasures’
39.00 The Desert Zone post-PhD & Universities’ role in creating oases
41.00 Minus: The Constant Ramping Up of Expectations
42.30 Plus: The Benefits of Slow Thinking

Episode 5: David Webster & Nicola Rivers

David Webster is Director of the new Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at SOAS London, and has a background in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics in addition to his expertise in Teaching and Learning. Nicola Rivers is a Lecturer in the School of Liberal and Performing Arts at the University of Gloucestershire, and the author of Postfeminism(s) and the Arrival of the Fourth Wave: Turning Tides (Palgrave, 2017).

Summit Keynote address

Prof. Stefan Collini, ‘Survival for What? Scholarship as a Vocation’

Stefan Collini portrait by Chris Glynn

Summit: Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Roundtable

Part 1

Part 2 – coming soon

Featuring Claire Jowitt, Radhika Mohanram, Nicola Rivers & Amy Burge.

Recorded at Cardiff University #ECASurvival Summit, Nov 17-18, 2018

Check back for more updates soon, and follow us at @ECASurvival