Overthinking a tweet

Photo by Andre Mouton | unsplash.com
Photo by Andre Mouton | unsplash.com

This is a quick lunchtime post because something’s been haunting me since yesterday afternoon.

I had ended the day’s work with a tweet listing the things I’ve managed to get done so far this week. Most of them are things that had a much longer life in the pipeline (#AlbatrossPaper, for example, has been hanging out in my publication drafts for years), and this week just happened to be a culmination of editorial deadlines. It was also a chance to flag a Year of the Ox reference and use a cute GIF.

A little while after I posted it, I almost deleted it again. Continue reading “Overthinking a tweet”

First workshop of the year

Opening slide for the workshop | Tseen Khoo

I taught my first workshop for the year yesterday. It was a big one: a 4-hour session with researchers from the Okinawan Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) on ways to grow a community around your research using social media. It covered platforms that weren’t social media exactly but that worked well with establishing a strong online presence and complemented active social media use (e.g. LinkedIn, Google Scholar, figshare).

This was a gig that was a long time coming. Irina Filonova (@irina_filonova) had invited us (the Research Whisperers) to OIST in 2020 and we were slated to be there in May. It would’ve been my first time in Okinawa. I hadn’t been overseas in many years. I was excited. Continue reading “First workshop of the year”

Top 3 reasons why I liked 2020

Still from The Fall (2013-2016) | en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fall_(TV_series)
One of my lockdown habits | Gillian Anderson in a still from The Fall (2013-2016) | en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fall_(TV_series)

The pandemic rages on around the world and, here in Australia, we are lucky to have an almost-normal existence. 2020 undoubtedly sucked in many ways. Undoubtedly. I have written about its suckitude through the year – in blogposts, emails, and on Twitter.

That said, there were elements to it that I found really positive and I want to talk about the Top 3 of these in this post. Yes, I remain a sucker for listicles. I should preface all that follows with the caveat that I am (for the moment) in a continuing academic job and cushioned from many of the financial ramifications of living in lockdown and not being able to travel. Continue reading “Top 3 reasons why I liked 2020”

6 months in 1 post

Image created by Carolina Iplinsky as part of United Nations Global Call Out to Creatives | unsplash.com
Image created by Carolina Iplinsky as part of United Nations Global Call Out to Creatives | unsplash.com

It’s my last day of work for the year today.

It has taken the writing of a couple of end-of-year posts for me to build enough momentum to give this blog some love. The two other posts I’ve contributed to in the last few days are:

  • Surviving 2020 (final post for Research Whisperer; co-authored with Jonathan O’Donnell)
  • Looking at 2021 (final post for RED Alert; co-authored with Jeanette Fyffe, Dan Bendrups, and Jamie Burford)

If you read both of these posts, you’ll get an idea of how I’m feeling towards the year and what’s transpired. There was plenty I didn’t say, though, because of space and also the types of forums those blogs are. There are things I’d say on this personal blog that I wouldn’t as part of RW or RED Alert (and I realise there’s a whole blogpost in the whys/wherefores of that statement…). For a start, this post is really quite long… Continue reading “6 months in 1 post”

When more = more

Nerd Nite snap by Nerd Nite photographer James Verhoeven.
Me hidden behind Clare’s hand, Steven in front, Jamie and Lise behind. Nerd Nite snap by Nerd Nite photographer James Verhoeven.

I’m a home-body. Have been my whole life. This has waxed and waned, though, and I’ve stumbled across journal entries from my late teens/early 20s where I seemed to go out just about all weekend – going from one thing to another, hanging out at various friends’ places, out to dinners and parties. That seems a long time ago, and I remember these heightened social times balanced with plenty of flaking out in my room and a richness of solitude or quietness with just my partner.

In my 30s, I travelled and did a lot academically – I spent almost a whole decade as a research fellow. This was pre-babies. Once babies hit, it was a different ballgame and kettle of fish. Yes, both of those. Continue reading “When more = more”

A January post

Photo from ‘Crossing Lines’ exhibition, Jan 2020. http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/keith-haring-jean-michel-basquiat

I’m getting in early this year with a post to set the tone, if not the pace.

Realistically, with running two other blogs that publish weekly (and have much more invested in their regular schedule), this blog will not get more love in 2020. I published five posts here last year. If I can match that this year, I’d be OK with it. Tseen’s life lessson: low expectations = frequent happiness.

I’m using this first post of 2020 to report back on my “Recharge wishlist” from our  last post for 2019 at Research Whisperer. In that post, Jonathan and I talked about how we were going to exhale and recharge over the holiday break. Continue reading “A January post”

The summit that was

Photo by Stephanie (@yiduiqie)
Photo by Stephanie (@yiduiqie)

I attended the second day of the Asian Australian Leadership Summit recently. It was a 2-day event, with a ‘next gen’ focus on the first day (that I unfortunately couldn’t attend – it looked fab and listed some excellent speakers).

The event on the second day that I attended, held in the SLV’s Roadshow theatrette, drew a big crowd. I was appreciative of the invitation, and the opportunity to be part of such an ambitious project. I am glad I attended and (re)met some fabulous people; people I probably wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for this kind of gathering. It was a huge undertaking and I’m thankful to the organisers for creating a space for these conversations and cross-sector perspectives.

This post is a reflection on my experiences and the conversations that took place through the day. The intention is to examine the way issues and tropes manifested during the event, and is in no way intended to diminish the achievement of staging this important, complex, milestone summit. I am speaking from the position of an academic and long-time activist in Asian Australian Studies.

Continue reading “The summit that was”

The why of #sadchairsofacademia

This post started life as an interview. A writer from the US had approached me to talk about my #sadchairsofacademia project. This was in late 2016. The interview is still unpublished so I thought I’d rejuvenate it. Thank you to Drew Z. for getting the ball rolling.


What started the project?

I’ve worked in universities most of my adult life, and there’s a real contrast between the old and new faces of any institution. There’s the flagship multi-million dollar edifices that feature in all the university advertising and where international delegations are toured through, then there’s the solid, older work-horse buildings and rooms that carry the weight of the classes and staff offices.

The idea of the #sadchairsofacademia came to me when I was temporarily located in a section of a building that used to house academics who were now gone because of organisational restructuring. This process, always a traumatic one for those who go or stay, is never a clean one. The traces of the absent staff – their sticky-notes, stationery, old event flyers – were still in the offices, and the corridors had discarded furniture with piles of old books and journals stacked on them. This is the chair that brought the idea into being:

Photo by Tseen Khoo | Source: http://sadchairsofacademia.tumblr.com/post/150893321509/could-things-get-any-worse-for-this-example-of
Photo by Tseen Khoo | Source: http://sadchairsofacademia.tumblr.com/post/150893321509/could-things-get-any-worse-for-this-example-of

It wasn’t one of the first posted images because it was covered in old journals and books. I went back to that corridor about a year later and the poor thing was still there, without its carapace of unwanted journals and books. Continue reading “The why of #sadchairsofacademia”

Things to spruik 1

Comic Sans - issue 2 | Photo by Rachel Ang
Comic Sans – issue 2 | Photo by Rachel Ang

I wrote ‘Asian Australian Voices‘ in July 2016 and, since then, I’ve had so many things to add.

This is because I missed things out, they started after that last listing, I came to things later, or I just feel like more people should know about the fab work that’s going on with these peeps. If I had done my PhD around now, I would’ve been spoilt for material to study and critical takes on so many cultural works, and I’m saying that knowing full well that there’s a long, long way to go in terms of representation from, and opportunities for, Asian Australian writers, performers, artists, and other cultural workers.

Note that this listing is highly subjective and testament to the wonderful bubble of networks I have around me. I should also mention that my ability to categorise consistently is also rubbish. Caveat emptor!

I realise there’s plenty of other top-shelf stuff out there (please share them in the comments if you’d like!).

I have titled this post ‘Things to spruik 1’ in anticipation of more to come – I would love to write a series of these posts, noting the uber-fab things that you all get up to. Continue reading “Things to spruik 1”

New year, new Facebook Page?

Photo by Andre Mouton | unsplash.com
Photo by Andre Mouton | unsplash.com

I’ve set up a new Facebook Page as one of my first goals for 2019.

I did this despite being constantly told that Facebook is dead and, even if it’s not dead, it’s where all the old people are (which is, apparently, as good as being dead).

I beg to differ, and it’s probably because I use Facebook for different reasons, and am old.

I’m not there to gain a mega follower count, or launch a start-up, or create a professional presence. I already have a significant online profile. Continue reading “New year, new Facebook Page?”