Thursday, September 25, 2014

Day 77 - I love it when a plan comes together

Today, I gave the inaugural lecture in my research centre's new series of open lectures entitled 'Music in a Globalised World'. Given the modest advertising I put out, I was actually quite pleased with the audience of around 15 who heard me speak and asked questions afterwards.

In the large scheme of things, that's not a huge number, but I'm not going to fixate on that right now. I'm very aware that everything has to start somewhere and we can't always expect the first event in a series to be oversubscribed. A reputation builds, and this is what I'm hoping for my little series.

The lecture was videoed, and, once I've edited it, I'm planning to upload it to iTunes U so that it is available to everyone with internet access. This is my plan for the entire series, should the speakers be happy, as it enables us to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, we are building a genuine research community within the campus that complements the existing research communities, but on the other, we are also dipping a toe in the water of open access online presence.

When I was an undergraduate student, I attended the department's guest lecture series and got quite a lot out of it. When I was a PhD student at the same institution, I was a regular fixture. When I came to my current institution to teach, I did really miss that. I think it's important for academics to continue to engage with what their peers are developing, and that research doesn't just stop with our own interests.

I think it is especially important to provide a platform for academics to hear their colleagues, within the same institution, speak about their research, as it builds awareness and mutual respect, and although I think that we largely share a lot of respect for each others' teaching, respect for research can only generally function on the basis of productivity and visibility rather than on interest and quality.

So today was a tiny step in developing this idea. I'm hoping that the audience will return in October for the next session and that they will grow.

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