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Episode 2.24: Being a Little Bit Bigger and More Awesome than you Feel Most Days with Jennifer Askey

We’re getting deep into academic corner this week with academic coach Jennifer Askey. Together we talk about how grad school does or doesn’t prepare you for the work of being a professor (spoiler alert: it doesn’t), the relationship between academic coaching and the neoliberal university, and how to build space for yourself and others from within large institutions. And, because we’re feminists, we also contemplate burning everything to the ground. Here are some links!

  • We mention a couple of other prominent academic coaches in this episode, namely Jennifer Polk aka From PhD to Life and Karen Kelsky aka The Professor Is In.
  • Our conversation turns to the tension between the perception of universities as liberal enclaves and their actual deeply conservatism, about which the very brilliant Tressie McMillan Cottom has written.
  • On the topic of systemic racism in Canadian universities, scholar Malinda S. Smith has compiled a huge reading list on Twitter that you should definitely bookmark.
  • Not sure what we’re talking about when we discuss the neoliberal university? Here’s a good starting point, including a handy definition of neoliberalism: “the university as a market-driven system, which employs modes of governance based on a corporate model.”
  • You can read a bit more about the complex relationship between race and tenure in this excellent interview.
  • If you don’t already know about Zoe Todd’s work, you can check it out here.
  • Finally, a non-paywalled piece on David Graber’s new book Bullshit Jobs.


The podcast theme song is “Mesh Shirt” by Mom Jeans off their album “Chub Rub.” Listen to the whole album here or learn more about them here. Jennifer’s theme song is “Das Rehlein” by Hiss.

Secret Feminist Agenda is recorded on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.