bone picking | ugh twitter, international networks and academic housework

[this post was edited for typos and errors, july 11]

[edited again for NEWS july 12]


It is a good thing that Freya talked to me. When I looked, the feed broke down in late 2017, so even the small number of posts I have done haven’t been being pushed out by email via feedburner. Working on this technical problem as we speak and apologies to all the feed based subscribers, who probably aren’t reading this anyway!

so Freya Kodar of UVic law  just stopped me in the LSA2018 lobby and after some pleasant conversation about important and real things, said “I have a bone to pick with you”.   TL;DR, my heart restarted, i should figure out what i’m acting so guilty about, and the bone was just  twitter/communication from IFLS and the shift from blog-delivered-by-email to twitter.

So in the beginning there was a blog, and I was in a place in my life outside of work where sustained things were feeling highly disrupted by family responsibilities including but not limited to small kids.  Putting things on the internet about other people’s work and issues was a way for me to stay connected and au courant when I was worried i would never again be able to do sustained writing.  Then things shifted and twitter arrived and that was more mobile and i would sometimes remember to do roundups of the IFLS twitter feed (which is actually pushed through the IFLS FB page – otherwise not maintained) and clean out the chatter, leaving the links and announcements and things with at least some substance.  Those roundups were produced with Storify, which is no more (

I know i need a solution for this, because i do think that one of the things IFLS can/should do is highlight new legal feminist scholarship, to share interesting news,  to post items that might otherwise be hard to come by, etc. etc.    So it’s on my list of things to do this summer.   A partial solution (it isn’t really but) is this: if you want to see the IFLS twitter feed, i just opened up my google drive catalogue of the tweets which is a google sheets (google excel) file.  Access open here.  It seems likely that you need to sign in to google to do this which is why it’s not a real solution plus you have to read through a ridiculous amount of tweeting (i started this file to try to make sure i was paying attention to what a time suck twitter was, but it didn’t help).  It’s here.  And thanks Freya, for reminding me that this was something i was “dealing with”!

Here are two other issues that I’ve been thinking about because of the great people i met/met again at LSA2018, in case you have thoughts:


International networks between feminist legal scholars (and in particular the centres or nodes) that would be able to provide raw material for a solid “feed” of feminist legal scholarship.    H/T to the women of Monash Feminist Legal Studies Group for being the latest folks to remind me again that this is on my to do list.  Working on my list and the process for a VERY light touch connection/invite to institutional centres to loosely network institutionally rather than the personal connections which are great but can suffer in transition periods etc.   The point of the network is to provide public (but more of an academic/legal/feminist public)  access newsfeed about issues and scholarship.


Slow Professor aside, so many things aside, I can work myself into an incandescent rage about the level of service work in the Cdn Legal Academy. I’m also a person who doesn’t want to be an intrepid -and- misunderstood-person-always-toiling-alone-but-right-about-everything, a kind of Lone Scholar.  I want to be intrepid, i obv will sometimes be misunderstood, but i want to feel involved in constituting the community, the institution maybe, within which I work. So. Service burdens are therefore, to a certain extent, inevitable.  Is anyone aware of any work documenting the distribution of service work in the Cdn legal academy. I know the kinds of work that is generally out there (Nancy Fraser, “The housework of the academy”‘; generally concerns about audit culture, the growth of higher, non academic admin, cutbacks in administrative staffing to support service work, increasing burdens with respect to attention to teaching, research, grants, student wellness…. but is there anything re Cdn legal academy?  You know what i mean, folks have been talking about it since i joined in 2001 and probably before. Is it getting worse?  another lobby meeting at LSA produced the notion that instead of losing my cool (!!) about it maybe some research?  Cites, ideas, welcome.   I would like to talk about the interplay of Presumed Incompetence with Learned Incompetence.  I will credit the  research  idea person if she’s ok with it, i forgot to check.

two things you might enjoy:

[where i first encountered the idea of academic housework, just a minor bit of this great piece] Fraser, N. 2008. “From Redistribution to Recognition? Dilemas of Justice in a ‘Post Socialist’ Age.” In Adding Insult to Injury: Nancy Fraser Debates Her Critics edited by K. Olsen, 68–93. London: Verso.

[would be hilarious if it wasn’t true – solid work]  Kelly Coate & Camille Kandiko Howson, “Indicators of esteem: gender and prestige in academic work” (2016) 37:4 British Journal of Sociology of Education 567.

I can’t find an open access version of EITHER ONE OF THESE, which is making me slightly grumpy.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *