politics of the hap

January 14, 2018, 2:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have recently started a new job as a Research Associate in Social Science in the School of Population Health and Environmental Sciences at King’s College London. In the role I am encountering, reading and working on new literature and research projects. Currently I am reading about big data and learning health systems in health care; epigenetics and ancestry markers; personalised medicine; and patient and citizen engagement in health care research. At the moment I am in a state of learning and absorbing the ideas across these fascinating cutting edge topics affecting the present and future of public health care and social science. My intellectual life for the past 3-4 years has been preoccupied with grief and bereavement, inhabiting spaces of death and dying studies or the sociology of the emotions. This new role is taking me into new areas and making me feel like a novice all over again. (though watch this space for *fingers crossed* a future book on my PhD research on grief, bereavement and recovery).¬†As I continue to digest these new ideas I hope to share some of them here, drawing connections with previous work and trying to develop some central lines of enquiry in this rather fluid postdoctoral phase.

I’m still getting my head around what the postdoctoral phase is and how best to use it, and I hope to share some of those reflections here too. My role allows for a fair amount of flexibility which is at once wonderful but then somewhat pressurising (a pressure imposed on my self) as I feel weighted with making the most of this precious opportunity. It’s a strange feeling. From my experience in academia you’re either in or you’re out; either you’re desperately scrabbling for the job, a published paper, acquiring some CV enhancing responsibility in order to ‘get in’ or else you arrive and suddenly the previously closed doors swing open. On the one hand my arrival feels mysterious or unwarranted (imposter syndrome returns) and on the other I recognise its the culmination of years of hard work, low pay and many failed attempts.

A lot of change has occurred in the past six years or so since starting this blog. I have been in and out and in and out of academia. That was the background story. At the forefront was a thinking through of ideas about living otherwise, a life worth living; about resistance, attachment to the wrong things, and loss. How this blog will evolve now with the new fields I am exploring I am not sure, but the spaces that are opening up right now seem hopeful, and exciting.

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