Well before I actually started my current role in university administration/management (whatever you want to call it - although there is a debate over the two terms - stay tuned for a post on that!), I blogged about how I was going to try to keep one foot in the door of academia in case I wanted to try to return to a more academic role in the future. You can read my (eager but naive) post here.
So, back in March this year I set three key areas to target:
- Writing, researching, and publishing
- Maintain academic relationships
So, how have I got on? I am lucky in that my current role is a relatively fixed working day with some flexibility so I can do things in the evening to keep that foot in the academic door. The following is a list of academic activities which I have done/am doing/will be doing over the course of my full-time job:
- I have submitted my thesis as a monograph to a publisher who has sent it out for review. All things going well, I will have edits/revisions to work on to get it out a published piece. Also, I am working on a collaborative translation with two other scholars which we also hope to have published within the next year or so. Articles I have been less proactive about I must admit, but I'm going to wait to hear from the book publishers before working on articles. I want to ensure that I don't bite off more than I chew and have too much pile up at the same time.
- I have conferences lined up for next summer. I will (hopefully) be presenting as part of a panel group on food and famine in the Middle Ages at the International Medieval Congress 2016. In addition, I will be presenting at the Harlaxton Symposium (2016) which is a smaller, more intimate medieval conference set in the impressive surroundings of Harlaxton Manor in Lincolnshire (I cannot wait!)
(seriously, look at it!)
- One thing I didn't factor on was an offer to continue tutoring. I have taken on one tutorial student this term and am teaching a series of tutorials on Anglo-Saxon England which I do mid-week after work.
One thing I haven't been so proactive with is maintaining academic relationships through attending events and seminars around Oxford. That is something I am very conscious of, and I am going to try to attend more events/seminars which take place after 5pm.
I might be insane trying to do all of this on top of my job. And believe me, this post is not written to garner pats on the back from readers. Rather it is to show how tough it is, and to try to find fellow people trying to keep one foot in! How do you do it and keep your sanity?!