Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Self-mortification

A new post from the Institute on the academic CV and lifelong self-assessment. My own variant of this social pathology is a relentless updating of my CV, driven probably by a certain dull narcissism and a compulsive hope for recognition. With the new discourse in UK academia of knowledge transfer and knowledge dissemination, coupled to the integration of "creative work" in the RAE framework it now appears that there is virtually nothing that one does that cannot be registered on the CV. As the Institute points out this is linked to a deliberate ideological obscurity in exactly what is required to meet the terms of the plan. Constantly shifting demands, and the movement into a metrics-based system based on research funding, produce a fundamental disorientation. This is reproduced within institutions by the conversion of Professorships and readerships into promotion strategies, with their own set of "targets". Hence, as measurability expands so do the terms of the role, with academics now expected to function as entrepreneurs, journalists, teachers, administrators, managers, and researchers.

3 comments:

it said...

...and social workers.

John said...

I know all too well what you mean about constant updating of one's CV. I can also understand the idea that in current academia almost everything might become in some way worth noting down. However, I strongly advise resisting the temptation. My own CV looks much much better when edited down, stripped of all the possible padding and trivial publications. Many people in very strong institutions often have surprisingly short publications lists - quality not quantity! Too much rubbish makes it harder to spot the genuinely good things.

Benjamin said...

"Better less, but better"
Lenin

Perhaps I need CV therapy, although the problem is it's often the "trivial" publications I really like...