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Saturday, July 07, 2007
  Branding scholars
Abélard and Héloïse depicted in a 14th century manuscript
Abélard and Héloïse depicted in a 14th century manuscript
Source: Wikipedia
Not a terrible plot by the powers that be to identify the stroppy and awkward with a new tattoo, but Charles Halton's post on Awilum about scholars as academic brands.To give you a taster his first paragraph reads:
Academics is not merely about reading, teaching, and writing–it’s also about brand building. Want to get your new book idea distributed by a top-flight publishing house? Want to be asked to participate in the invitation-only conference? How about writing a major article for a prominent dictionary or encyclopedia? Ever dream of editing a journal? Want to recieve an endowed chair? You get the picture. In order to do anything of these things you need to be bright, dependable, and have good ideas. You also need to be a one-person brand.
A different, but effective way to think about academic careers - particularly recommended to recent PhDs and scholars with an early onset mid-life crisis ;-)

At this point I think I am (almost?) thanking God that I've never had an academic career! I've been teaching at tertiary level for the last quarter century, but always my employers have had activities and qualities they value much higher than "scholarship". Faith, integrity, simplicity... But the scholar as brand is not a new phenomenon, the early European Universities of the middle ages (even while they were religious institutions and their teachers "Religious") had their "stars" - think Piere Abélard ;-)

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