10 Fascinating Books About Academia

May 28 , 2018

Academia has been around for a long time, and it has changed quite a bit over the years. If you want to learn how to navigate it in the modern world, try picking up one of these fascinating books that look at the pursuit of knowledge from a variety of different perspectives.

10 Fascinating Books About Academia

Title Author(s) Description
1. Social Media in Academia George Veletsianos How to use this new technology for education and networking
2. A Guide to Academia Prosanta Chakrabarty Getting into and surviving grad school, postdocs, and a research job
3. Surviving Sexism in Academia Kirsti Cole & Holly Hassel Strategies for feminist leadership
4. Higher Calling Scott C. Beardsley The rise of non-traditional leaders in academia
5. Educators Queering Academia sj Miller & Nelson M. Rodriguez Diverse memoirs about experiences in education
6. The Future of Ideas Lawrence Lessig The fate of the commons in a connected world
7. Mothers in Academia Mari Castaneda & Kirsten Isgro Testimonials from women who were either students or educators while also raising a child
8. Reconstructing the University David John Frank & Jay Gabler Worldwide shifts in academia in the 20th century
9. Academia Obscura Glen Wright The hidden silly side of higher education
10. Social Media for Educators Tanya Joosten Strategies for how to incorporate social media into the classroom

How to Demystify Academia

More Information

The pursuit of intellectual advancement and mastery of a field of study is inherently tied to the constantly evolving nature of society. For students and educators alike, being aware of and adapting to the changes in the modern world is essential for educational development. Here are 10 contemporary books about academia that introduce new concepts and approaches to learning and teaching, and examine innovations and relevant social issues that affect the modern academic experience.

#1 on the list, is "Social Media in Academia: Networked Scholars" by George Veletsianos. This text provides students with a look at the realities of using social media and online networks to further expand their means of learning, as well as the advantages and possible conflicts to expect in this digital world. Since this technological advancement is an emerging tool for academic use, its efficiency for scholarly purposes is still in question. The book aims to give an analysis and better understanding of how to use it properly without getting distracted by it.

At #2, we have "A Guide to Academia" by Prosanta Chakrabarty. This book reflects the challenging nature of the pursuit of higher education, and is based off of Chakrabarty's first-hand experience. Using examples from his job applications and interviews, the handbook provides students with an overview on what to expect, and what road bumps they might encounter. It gives a walk-through of each stage of academic advancement, from undergraduate studies, up to assistant professorship.

Coming in at #3, is "Surviving Sexism in Academia: Strategies for Feminist Leadership," edited by Kirsti Cole and Holly Hassel. This collection raises the issue of gender biases that plague academic life. It brings to light the harsh reality of male chauvinism that is still prevalent in modern times, and delves into specific day-to-day discrimination. The book contains stories of true accounts with personal reflections, and offers women a survival guide in dealing with social injustice.

At #4 is "Higher Calling" by Scott C. Beardsley. As the dean of Darden School of Business in the University of Virginia, Beardsley explores the emergence of non-traditional leadership, and the strengths needed in modern-day learning. The book highlights the evolving skills of a leader in today's higher education, and how they are affecting academic institutions. The text provides an analysis on this development, as well as strategies that aim to help leaders effectively adapt to change, and improve their abilities in the process.

In at #5, is "Educators Queering Academia: Critical Memoirs" edited by SJ Miller and Nelson M. Rodriguez. This book is a collection of memoirs of queer individuals from different walks of life, sharing their experiences in dealing with the struggles of expressing their true selves in the conventional environment that permeates many educational institutions. The stories touch on issues revolving around sexual orientation, socio-economic status, culture, ethnicity, and gender identity. They also reveal how the authors challenged traditional methods of teaching and thinking.

Up next at #6, is Lawrence Lessig's "The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World." In this book, Lessig brings awareness to the possible dangers that plague the future of cyberspace, where freedom of thought and expression is cultivated. He takes a look at the history of technology, and introduces certain legal developments that can regulate the use and accessibility of public spaces. He sheds light on the negative implications of government and corporate interests behind these laws, which enable them to control information shared online, and may threaten people's privacy and rights to Internet democracy.

Coming in at #7, is "Mothers in Academia" by Mari Castaneda and Kirsten Isgro. This is a collection of women's testimonials of their journey as mothers while pursuing their studies, or as faculty members and administrators. The text follows their experiences in academia as they go through varying stages of motherhood, and the challenges they encountered. Their stories reveal social disparity issues, including gender biases and racism, among others. The book also provides solutions on how female scholars can fit well into the academic life.

At #8 is "Reconstructing the University" by David John Frank and Jay Gabler. This work examines the current state of educational institutions and the changes in university teachings and academic core priorities, which the authors believe are deteriorating in quality. The text provides an analysis of the scale of perceived damage, areas of study affected, and how these changes came about. The authors relate financial and political interests as factors that gravely compromise certain branches of learning and disciplinary fields.

In at #9 is Glen Wright's book called, "Academia Obscura: The Hidden Silly Side of Higher Education." This text offers a peek at the peculiar and lighter side of the academe, with stories of actual events and studies that are seen as trivial or frivolous. From a cat accidentally signing a manuscript, to another one becoming a co-author of a physics paper, experiments involving rats wearing trousers, and observing how penguins defecate, Glen Wright breaks the conventional approach to higher learning with his book. It provides comic relief and aims to bring a sense of excitement to the otherwise serious nature of academic studies.

Last but not least at #10, is Tanya Joosten's "Social Media for Educators: Strategies and Best Practices." It explores the emergence and importance of social media, which has paved the way for the expansion of information resources and networks. This book provides faculty members with tips on how to maximize the use of the medium for higher education, with a step-by-step guide on improving the design of course content and learning activities. The handbook aims to show teachers how to adapt to this modern-day advancement that the younger generation is accustomed to, in order to help enhance student engagement and promote collaboration.

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