Academic and employment matters

2006-07-19

in Daily updates, Oxford, The environment

Kelly's knees

My intended ‘hard push towards academic targets’ week lost a bit of forward momentum today. I did finish reading one thesis, and some more chapters out of the increasingly dull book on environmental economics. I picked up liner socks and 50% DEET insect repellent for Scotland ($30 together!) and filled out paperwork so as to get paid for my RA work.

None of the three candidates for tutorial teaching in August with whom I have been put into contact are intent on studying areas in which I have much extant expertise:

  • A: Where countries get water from at present, where they are likely to do so from in the future, and the conflicts that arise as a consequence
  • J: Impact of the 1973 OPEC oil price shock on domestic energy policies in developing countries
  • K: The impact of corporations on the distributional justice of food in Latin America

In order to teach any of these, I would need to research them extensively myself. That would normally be a welcome prospect, but I have much to do before going to Scotland and the first tutorial would take place the day after I got back. Of the three, I think I could handle the second two at a lesser level of specificity: talking about the origin and consequences of the price shocks and about distributional justice and corporations in international relations generally. I’ve turned down the first option outright, and am conversing with the students to determine if common ground can be found for discussion on the latter two.

The pay rate is excellent for these tutorial positions, if you already know the material well enough to suggest sources and then evaluate and discuss papers with only limited preparatory work. When it involves researching whole new sub-fields, it becomes less appealing from that perspective. Given that there seems to be no shortage of research work coming in from Dr. Hurrell, which is much more directly relevant to my thesis, it may be a good idea to stick to that, the thesis, and these other projects that keep cropping up.

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