Skulking around in the altogether

July 27, 2007

Name : Paul Mason

Age : 38

Job : Senior lecturer/director of postgraduate research, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University.

Salary : We'd still be on strike if I had my way.

Practical training/education/ background : I've been tucked up under the academic duvet since doing my law degree at Southampton University. I started off in law, then criminology and now work in a journalism and media school, but crime and (in)justice is my love. My research is centred on prisons, crime and media. I also coordinate an Innocence Project that works to overturn miscarriages of justice.

Working hours and conditions : I think I've cracked the work/life balance thing now, but the guilt over the five books I've yet to write is never far away.

Number of students you teach/staff you manage/work with : I've been let loose to show off on a big first-year module (250 students) plus smaller modules (50 students) at undergraduate level. I run the PhD programme, which is about 50 students.

Biggest challenge/bugbear this year : The research assessment exercise. This is a useless divisive reduction of academia that merely encourages less and less public engagement and departmental citizenship.

How did you solve it? I haven't really. Publishing and talking outside academic circles, getting involved in activist groups certainly helps. And trying not to get too sanctimonious about it.

Worst moment in university life : A few dodgy seminars in my days as a postgraduate teaching assistant but nothing much beyond that.

What university facilities do you use? I skulk around early morning in the university gym, and when I take a shower after a bike ride, I am paranoid one of my students will see me naked.

Do you socialise with people at the university? A few, but I prefer to keep work and play separate really.

Who are the most difficult people you deal with professionally and how do you cope with them? Career-obsessed academics. In my dreams I slaughter them with cutting Wildean prose. In reality I talk about them behind their backs and smile at them at conferences.

Do you interact much with other departments? Yes, I wander about between my school, law and criminology looking for a home. I like the flexibility of interdisciplinarity - it keeps you on your toes.

Register to continue

Why register?

  • Registration is free and only takes a moment
  • Once registered, you can read 3 articles a month
  • Sign up for our newsletter
Register
Please Login or Register to read this article.

Sponsored

Featured jobs

Strategic Project Manager

Bpp University

Access to Finance, Project Assistant

University Of Greenwich

Workforce Planning Analyst

Durham University

Medical Statistician

University Of Southampton

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Kings College London