University as workplace: new directions

On 4th September I presented at BAAL 2015 (Aston University), a paper entitled “The University as a Workplace: New Directions in the Study of Academic Writing” .  There were a lot of nods in the room while I was talking, which suggests we are on to something!  Further to Sharon’s reflections on our autoethnographies of email, many of the questions afterwards picked up on the issue of emails, and how the reading and writing of emails integrates with and affects people’s working lives and experiences.  In particular, people were interested in the idea that the singular notion of the practice of ” doing email” actually brings together tasks, and therefore practices, of many different kinds: quick or complex, boring or challenging, potentially emotionally disruptive and definitely out of one’s control.

This was also the first time I had used our handy little project logo in public:


Someone who had come in after the start of the paper said to me afterwards, “I saw the logo at the bottom – are you part of a skills centre or something?”  I still have to figure out what that means about the semiotics of branding ….