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How to be an Academic : The Thesis Whisperer Reveals All - Inger Mewburn

How to be an Academic

The Thesis Whisperer Reveals All

Paperback Published: 1st September 2017
ISBN: 9781742235073
Number Of Pages: 288

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Welcome to the world of university academics, where the Academic Hunger Games, fuelled by precarious employment conditions, is the new reality - a perpetual jostle for short-term contracts and the occasional plum job. But Inger Mewburn is here to tell you that life needn't be so grim. 

A veteran of the university 'gig economy', Mewburn - aka The Thesis Whisperer - is perfectly placed to reflect on her experience and offer a wealth of practical strategies to survive and thrive. Here, she deftly navigates the world of the working academic, from thesis and article writing and keeping motivation alive, to time management, research strategies, new technologies, applying for promotion, sexism in the workplace, writing grant applications, and deciding what to wear to give a keynote address. 

Constructive, inclusive, hands-on, and gloves-off, How to be an Academic is a survival manual for aspiring and practising academics that will confirm that no matter what your experience in academia, you are not alone.

About the Author

Inger Mewburn is an associate professor and research educator who is the managing editor of the Thesis Whisperer blog. She has been working with PhD students for over a decade, and in her role at the Australian National University she provides training to students of all disciplines and studies the experience of research students.

Insightful, moving, and keeps me moving forward


This book is like sitting down with the Thesis Whisperer for a cup of tea and receiving the well-thought-out advice of someone who has both seen it all, and who still cares about each individual case anyway. It's funny, which is important because when you're in crisis mode, sometimes the shock of a senior academic being satirical is exactly what's needed to jolt you out of your head and give you some perspective. It's thought-provoking, because no matter what you're researching or what kind of research you do, you may not have thought about your own work processes in Foucauldian terms, or considered how your habitus was affecting your play on the field. So the author does that for you, and shows you how to do it for yourself, to give you a bit of distance. It's a friend to take with you on your academic journey - read it again and again.



Great practical advice


Fantastic for new entrants to academia or if you think you are alone. You're not!

Cooranbong, NSW


Great blog, pity about the book


I bought this book because I know the author and have found some of her learning advice invaluable. She has started numerous learning tools, blogs and shut up and write events, that have been invaluable tools for students of higher education to be focused and motivated and to adopt new strategies to thier practice. However this book is a bit of a memoir and one that exposes her opinions as mere adopted biases rather than self formed opinions. So she is a rusted on Whitlamite, a post-modern Foucault nut, free education believer and adopts whatever the latest leftist political opinion is without much reflection or evedential support. She reminds me of the days working in a record shop where she was an ardent fan and could not seperate her fangirl behavior form an examination of the content and value of the art. Clearly good to open up some learning ideas but she forgot that she is not the story but the techniques of learning that she has successfully instilled into populations of sudents is what her game is actually about.




4.3 3



The Academic Hunger Games

1 Becoming `The Thesis Whisperer'

2 Being academic?

3 Being productive

4 Being a writer

5 Being employed (or not ...)

6 Being political



ISBN: 9781742235073
ISBN-10: 1742235077
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 1st September 2017
Publisher: NewSouth Publishing
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 13.5  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.35