More Career Tips for Young Academics

I’m finally back to blogging here (which I hope will happen more frequently from now on) and hopefully I’ll be able to present some of my new research on Flusser pretty soon.  However, I decided that my first post after vacation time should be something rather light and humorous.  So in order to keep up with the series “Advices for a Successful Academic Career”, I thought it might be interesting to give our young graduates some pointers on how to promote their careers.  Of course, since I can only talk about my own experience, what you’ll read bellow applies primarily to the Brazilian context and, more specifically, to the field of media studies.

1. Never read or discuss any work that is less than twenty years old; that will make you extremely unpopular. Instead, try to quote and analyze only authors or theories that have already been canonized by your peers.  As a matter of fact, the more canonical, the better;

2. If you can choose, do applied rather than purely theoretical research. ” Teoria da Comunicação” is a very unpopuplar line of work in Brazilian media studies.  Also, some people tend to give you a funny look when you begin inserting too much philosophy in your talks or wander too far off the beaten tracks (of the so called “field of communication studies”);

3. If your proposal for a research project gets a rejection, don’t even think of writing an appeal.  You know this will be just a waste of your time, specilaly if you’re dealing with institutions such as Capes and CNPq. It would be wiser to seek psychological help or get hammered over the weekend.

4. People in academia tend to be very touchy, so always be extermely careful with what you say and do, as you might unintentionaly offend someone. Even better: don’ts say or do anything unless you absolutely need to. When in an administrative position (althought there is actually no such thing in Brazilian public schools), avoid confrontation at all costs.

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