#AskAnAcademicAuntie: Gratitude and Gifts

On this episode, an anonymous listener asks: “How do I pay my gratitude to my supervisor who has been my constant source of support. She has gone above and beyond to help me survive in graduate school, and continues to support me. Any ideas on how I can appropriately show my gratitude to her? I say and write thank you a lot, but I feel it’s not enough. I want to give her a small material gift, but I don’t want to make her feel uncomfortable as it can be considered inappropriate to give gifts to our supervisors. Any suggestions of this would be very helpful. Thank you.”

Joining us to answer this question is Dr. Tobin LeBlanc Haley (@tobinatrix), an Assistant Professor of Sociology at X University in Toronto.

The Chair

We take a deep dive into The Chair, the new Netflix series starring Sandra Oh about the first woman of colour chair of the English department at the fictional Pembrooke University. Everyone (or at least all academics!) are talking about this new show, created by Amanda Peat and Annie Julia Wyman, and we have lots of thoughts, from the moments that resonated with us to why many are finding the show a bit triggering. Joining us are Jamie Chai Yun Liew, an Associate Professor and Director of the University of Ottawa Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies, and Kimberly McKee, past Director of the Kutsche Office of Local History and an Associate Professor in the Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies Department at Grand Valley State University.

#AskAnAcademicAuntie: Playing the Game

On this #AskAnAcademicAuntie bonus episode of Academic Aunties, Dr. Shaista Patel joins host Dr. Ethel Tungohan to talk about “playing the game” in academia in order to get out and find a place actually respects us.

#AskAnAcademicAuntie: Finding Your Voice

How do you maintain your ‘voice’ as a writer and instructor when academic institutions expect particular structures, tones, and writing styles? And how do you maintain space for creativity and joy when doing work that is draining? Dr. Tobin Haley Leblanc joins us for our first #AskAnAcademicAuntie mini-episode.

Searching for Joy

It’s hot, it’s been a long year of COVID and we all need a break. But it seems as though we’re never given a chance to just be. From the fatal Islamaphobic attacks against a family in London, Ontario to the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves of Indigenous children at Canada’s residential schools to the anti-Asian shootings in Atlanta to police brutality against the Black community – white supremacy never lets up, does it? How can we keep working as though all is normal when we keep feeling like we’re constantly under attack? In this episode, we talk with Dr. Shaista Patel, Assistant Professor of Critical Muslim Studies at UC San Diego, and Krittika Ghosh, Executive Director of the Asian/Pacific Islander (A/PI) Domestic Violence Resource Project about searching for joy amidst trauma, the importance of celebrating friendship and communites of care, and the generative possiblities of #TrashyProfSummer.

Wait, was that racist?

From seemingly benign encounters that show how the academy doesn’t actually see us as belonging—like mixing up Asian colleagues, or mistaking us for students, or the constant compliments about our English—to actual harmful moments that we still need to heal from, one of the challenges of giving voice to anti-Asian racism is that it oftentimes feels like it barely registers. Yet, Asians in the academy experience racism everyday, while struggling with the acute rise of anti-Asian sentiments, which has been amplified since the start of the pandemic. We chat with Dr. Jessica Soedirgo, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam and Dr. Hae Yeon Choo, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, about our assorted encounters with anti-Asian racism.

Subversives in the Academy

For many women of colour, life in academia feels like a constant fight. As Dr. Rita Dhamoon writes, racism is a workload issue. So, when do we sit down and when do we fight back? And how do we keep fighting in the face of such intractible systemic hostility? In this episode of Academic Aunties, we talk to Dr. Debra Thompson (Associate Professor of Political Science and Canada Research Chair in Racial Inequality in Democratic Societies at McGill University) about the necessity of the fight, the value of stealing your time back, how creating subversives can drive change, and the importance of armour to survive the neoliberal academy.

A-holes in the Academy

Why are there so many in academia? Does the institution attract them or does the institution make them? What is institutional gaslighting? And how do we care for each other in this often toxic space? In this episode, we chat with academic aunties, Dr. Nisha Nath, an Assistant Professor of Equity Studies at Athabasca University, and Dr. Mariam Georgis, a SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Manitoba about coping with exclusionary academic norms, the messages that the neoliberal academy sends that breeds toxic behaviour, and the value of checking in.

Introducing Academic Aunties (Trailer)

Academia. A-CAAAHHH—DEEEMM–AIYA! ACA-DEEM-YAAHH. It is a site of exclusion. For those of us who are first-generation, who are racialized, who are women, and who inhabit social locations that are traditionally unrepresented in this space, academia is full of landmines. This is why we need academic aunties. This podcast will talk about how to navigate this … Read more