A Post Academic Syllabus

Photo: Marco Verch — Brille mit Buch

It’s that time of the year when school is heading back in session (if it isn’t already) and those of us who have spent a large chunk of our lives drumming to the rhythm of the academic calendar get that fall feeling. We see shiny new notebooks, watch colleagues prep for their lessons on social media and some of us start to feel conflicting emotions.

I still love all those brand new notebooks, clicky pens filled with ink and the optimism of a brand new semester. It’s just that academia and I are no longer… a thing. We broke up. I mean I still have a courtesy appointment so I can finish research papers that have taken way too long to get published. But there is no classroom for me to stress about, no syllabus prep for me to procrastinate on and no fears about messed up book orders.

Instead of feeling the pangs of longing for wide-eyed students this fall, I thought I’d try something new. I’m creating a Post Academic Syllabus.

There’s no ACTUAL class or anything it’s just that after a year of running the Athenas, I’ve started to realize how much support Post Acs need and how helpful it would be if there were places that had those resources organized. Plus I have opinions.

What better way to share these than via a document we all know and love: the syllabus.

The Post Academic Syllabus will have readings, links and resources on a variety of topics that matter to people who have left the academy. I’ll share my thoughts as well as the responses and feedback of those who contribute. And of course there will be homework too. Optional, but who among us post academics doesn’t love a good homework assignment?

Eventually this will be a freely-available online resource for anyone who needs it but for the first round, I’m selecting a group of folks who are willing to join my Contributors Team and receive the first versions of this document via an email list.

Interested? Apply here!

Why am I creating a Contributors Team? Well, I want this thing to be useful for Post Acs of all kinds and not just to reflect my experiences. I want to hear what resources you need/needed. I want you to be able to freely share your actual, real, unvarnished thoughts with the world without fear. I want to know what topics matter most to Post Acs. I want you to help create this thing with me.

Why would you sign up for this?

  • You know what it’s like to be a Post Ac and have to scrounge for resources.
  • You have a slew of links that helped you leave academia and want to share them.
  • You’d like to help other Post Acs, but you don’t have the time to put it all together yourself.
  • You like taking little quizzes that let you share your opinions with someone who wants to hear them.
  • You’re longing for a syllabus that might give you things you actually WANT to read.
  • You want to support the Athenas*.

Interested? Fill out this application form and I’ll check to see if you’re the right fit. Please know that you need to identify as a Post Academic or at least someone who is considering leaving the academy to be considered. All genders and backgrounds welcome.

I’d love to have you on my team!


P.S. Maybe you’re intrigued but don’t have time to be on the on Contributors Team. I understand! If you’d prefer to just be told when we’re finished and syllabus is live, you can give me your email on this form and I’ll send you ONE email saying “Hey, we finished the Post Ac Syllabus and here’s the link”.

*In the long run, I plan to turn this into an ebook that will be sold for a nominal fee. All proceeds will support the Athenas Post Ac Community.


More of my writing on post-ac life:

Beth M. Duckles is a researcher and ethnographer based in Portland, Oregon. Find her at bethduckles.com

Photo Credit: Marco Verch — Brille mit Buch