Not everyone has had a straight and narrow path into academia. Many higher education teachers, in fact, were professionals before they became part of the university or college where they work; and many keep one foot in both worlds even while they teach. Especially in programs designed to support students in a field of practice (education, nursing, and others), teachers find that being an academic or a scholar is supplementary to being a professional. And yet the demands of scholarship remain a component of their academic work—research, publishing, and the rest.

What does it mean to be a professional while also an academic? Whether part-time, sessional, or adjunct, full-time, or permanent, what are the challenges we face when transitioning to an academic job from our field of practice? How do our professional perspectives and experiences inform our teaching, our interpretation of curricula, assessment, evaluation, and grades? And what is the relationship between scholarship and work?

Tentatively titled Voices of Practice: New Stories of Scholarship, this collection of narratives will trace the scholarship journeys of educators whose work started outside of academia. Pulled from a wide range of voices, the volume will explore the latent, often unspoken challenges of teaching in academe when our experience is in the field.

Inspired by scholarly narratives like those from Ruth Behar, bell hooks, Jonathan Kozol, and others, Voices of Practice will inspect, interrupt, question, and reconstruct what it means to be a scholar, using deeply personal reflections, poignant vignettes, and carefully examined timelines of intellectual and professional development. The volume will feature teachers who may not at first call themselves “academics” and who have focused their careers on the practice rather than the publishing of scholarship.

The editors are seeking narratives that balance scholarship with personal experience. Chapters should be 1500-2500 words (some exceptions will be made). Themes for the volume may include:

  • The self as learner
  • The idea and reality of the “insider/outsider” positionality within scholarly communities
  • Reading for scholarship and for pleasure
  • Race, gender, and voice and their effect on scholarship and belonging
  • Encountering academia and scholarship online
  • Productive failure, and “failing better”

These are stories of personal growth, challenge, inquiry, and in some cases resistance to the expectations of what counts as scholarship, and who may be counted as a scholar.

The deadline for submissions is April 17, 2020. Please submit a partial or full draft of your chapter. After all submissions have been reviewed, accepted chapters will be included in a collaborative editorial process. There will be an informational session about the editorial process in May 2020.

Voices of Practice will be published by Hybrid Pedagogy Publishing, and edited by Sean Michael Morris (University of Colorado Denver), Lucy Rai (The Open University), and Karen Littleton (The Open University).

Submit your chapter as an attachment (or link, if cloud-based) to Sean at sean@hybridpedagogy.org.