Staying ‘academic’ with AWARe

Hello All!

Nothing very ‘academic’ at present! As some of you will be aware (excuse the pun), there has been some debate over the name of this network: ‘academic’ or ‘arts’. The debate has been because we don’t want to exclude people who are involved in the arts but work in other academic areas, and we don’t want to exclude those who write in the arts but not in the academic arena. However, given the areas and views of those who have so far contacted me, we are going to stay with ‘academic’.

Rebekah in England writes:

“I think it’s possible to write academically without a high level of formal training in academics, provided the ethos and intellectual rigour of academics is exercised… Perhaps ‘academic’ could be seen/presented not so much as an identity (‘I am an academic’) but a method or approach (‘I write academically’). In this way, arts writers who research and write in non-academic contexts can nonetheless share the values of thoughtful, careful research aimed as a contribution for the thoughts of others as well as for their own exploration of a topic.”

I agree with Rebekah and I like the way she has described an ‘academic’ approach to writing.

I have a number of ideas for ways in which we could work together, research together and/or support each other. But I thought that first up, you might like to introduce yourselves in the comments box below: about three sentences (name, country, area of work/interest) and tell us if there is some way we can support you (prayer, suggestions for solutions to problems?). Or, if you don’t want to give details in this context, then just say ‘hi’!

~ Debbie Bright, “Academic Writers & Researchers” Network Coordinator

4 thoughts on “Staying ‘academic’ with AWARe

  1. Jo says:

    Jo here in Canada. I’m finishing up my Bachelor of Education in July. I appreciated how Rebekah described “writing academically”, which has a beauty of its own. First, it shows critical reflection. Second, it’s supported by further research and peer-reviewed documentation. Third, it almost has its own culture which those of us in higher education, are used to.
    I look forward to deeper conversation with others on issues that hit the heart.

  2. Lucy Jarasius (@elkayapjay) says:

    Sydney-sider here checking in to say G’day and to support Debbie’s new venture in coordinating this fresh network. That’s me, Lucy Jarasius, who, like Jo in Canada, is a past Coordinator of ICDF! 🙂

    I would realistically class myself as more of a guest member than an academic writer/researcher, since it has been a while since I have had to write anything fit for “supervisory censure” or peer review at tertiary level. However, I do want to say that I am very grateful that a network of this nature has commenced! I am thrilled at the thought of its potential and very proud that ICDF is at a stage in its history to be able to provide a safe space and “room to move” in this particular area of specialisation.

    There is such a plethora of information available to people via today’s communication/information technology. However, as Rebekah and Jo have indicated already, informed critique, careful research, and academic authenticity are very worthwhile aspects to consider when exploring a particular topic. Future arts teachers/students/learners will benefit from those in such forums as this, who have “gone before”, kindly publishing their wisdom gained through deep engagement in their area of growing expertise, often at great cost of time, effort and resource. Through such legacy, subsequent questers will much more easily sift fact from fiction fused in the vast realm of e-information at their fingertips.

    Besides the value of deep and meaningful discussion, sometimes a throw-away line or witty quip from others in a conversation space like this can help to shed light on a vexing problem, or provide relief from the pain of a perplexing conundrum!

    I look forward to watching developments, participating in prayer support for the group in general or for any specific requests that may occur, and perhaps contributing to future discussions from time to time

  3. Rebekah says:

    Hi all! I’m Rebekah from the UK (currently England but soon to be Scotland). I’m working full time at the moment, but in September will be commencing interdisciplinary PhD research in the areas of theology, the arts and culture. What really excites me about the network is the possibility for collaboration, as well as the support it offers as I take the next step in my academic career. Can’t wait.

    • Debbie says:

      Thanks Jo. I’m enjoying how the life of this network is beginning to develop.
      Great to hear from you again Rebekah. Some of the work I have recently published and about to publish may be of use to you – arts-spirituality (including Christianity)-culture. My website is in process, so you’ll soon be able to see what there is.

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