Da Book, It Lives!

The collection is nearly done and the blog will be returning to its irregularly scheduled programming next week.

The book is nice and tight, at circa 83k words. It will soon be off to graze on greener pastures , with editor Melanie R. Nelson of Annorlunda Books. If all goes well, we might be looking at an April release date!

Here’s a tentative high-level table of contents (i.e., chapter titles only). Each chapter has a number of essays in it and at least one cartoon, but usually several. I am pretty clear in the foreword that this is about my experiences at a research university and in the sciences, so its applicability may be somewhat limited.

Foreword (What the Book is About)
What Professors at Research Universities Actually Do
Academic Job Search
The Tenure Track
Teaching and Service
Grant Proposals and Funding
Working with Grad Students and Postdocs
Technical Writing with Junior Scientists
Peer Review of Papers and Grant Proposals
Giving Talks and Networking
Colleagues, Collaborators, and Academic Politics
Work-Life Balance
Women in STEM

There were a couple of changes that I realized I would have to make.

One is that I need a real-name-sounding pseudonym for indexing purposes. I have come up with one, and it’s pretty awesome; Eldest grudgingly helped while munching on peppered pistachios.

Another, where I would appreciate people’s input, is the title. I wanted to call the book “Academic Jungle,” like the old blog, but last year somebody self-published a book by the same title (I won’t link to it, you can find it on Amazon if you want; based on what I read of it, I don’t feel like I can recommend it). However, the book blurb sounds, on the surface, similar enough to what my book is about, that we don’t want to go there and get the two mixed.

So we need a new title. The subtitle will be along the lines of “Essays and Cartoons on Being a Professor at a Research University in the US.”

Here are some title suggestions for the book, more or less silly.

1) Xykademiqz (obviously awesome, even if it doesn’t mean anything)
2) Confessing on Professing (even I say “ugh!” to this one)
3) Acadreamia (upon googling, found out there is a design firm with this name)
4) I Dream of Academe (there seems to be a blog or something similar with this name)
5) Funkademia (there is a night club with that name; also, I am not funky at all)
6) Adventures in Academic Science (my favorite, although vaguely resembling the title of Janet Stemwedel’s blog)
7a) The Research University (would require massaging of the subtitle to something like Essays and Cartoons on Academic Science in the US)
7b) Adventures at a Research University (w/ same subtitle as above)
8) Academic Confidential (there is a similarly titled post in Inside Higher Ed)
9) STEMcademics (too vague? )
10) Momcademics (I don’t want to lead with the momminess of my existence)
11) I Have the Best Job in the World (rubbing it in much?)
12) Glass Ceiling in the Ivory Tower (would be OK if it were all about women in science, but it’s not; also, someone thought about it, found upon googling)
13) Granting Wishes (Eldest’s contribution; would be great if it were focused on grants)

What say you, blogosphere? Thoughts, suggestions? Favorites, least favorites?


  1. How about something like this:
    “One academic’s answer to life, the universe and everything”

  2. I might go with a variant of #11 like “I have the best terrible job in the world” – gets at the love-hate relationship a bit.

  3. A peek in the life of a STEM prof
    STEM faculty career — it is not like what it seems
    Life of STEM faculty
    Tenure-track professor in STEM

    I think STEM needs to be in the title.

  4. Do post a link to the book once it gets published 😛

    How about: “What do you think Professor do all day” (and a smaller line which says “how much you might be incorrect” ) 😀

  5. I like #1 the best, but that’s probably just because I read your blog.
    The Paper Chase? Chasing the Dream? The Secret Life of STEM Professors?

  6. Ohhhh, I like the proposals here in the comments even better than what you had in the original list.
    Before reading the first comment I would suggest
    “The hitchhiker’s guide to academic life” but it sounds lame now.
    In any case, congratulations from a long-time lurker, here and at Academic Jungle before it!

  7. Awesome suggestion, everyone! Thank you so much!
    How do you folks feel about:

    Academaze/Lost in Academaze


    Adventures in Nutcademia/Hitchhiker’s Guide to Nutcademia/Impostor’s Guide to Nutcademia/Alice in Nutcademia


    Grantcademia: The Research University

    I am reluctant to use anything that has tenure in the title for two reasons: 1) I probably wouldn’t buy such a book since I am well past it and I imagine many senior folks wouldn’t either, and 2) tenure is what everyone who hates academia actually begrudges it, so I wouldn’t want to lead with it…

    We would like something fun, enticing, short and memorable, but ideally also indicative (when subtitle included) of the fact that this is about a STEM field and a research university (most academic books are not about sciences or engineering, or about research universities).

  8. I agree, leave “tenure” out of the title.

    And “Nutcadamia” is just too awesome to not use.

  9. Definitely use the first suggestion: “One academic’s answer to life, the universe and everything”. And then a subtitle.
    But if you go in a different direction: Not so sure about Nut… stuff. Sounds to nutty given how awesome the advice and insights are. Also one vote here against STEM in the title; wouldn’t want people in my field not to buy it.

  10. I like the Academaze one, with the “one academic’s answer to life, the universe, and everything” as a subtitle. (the other subtitle sounded boring to me).
    Not a fun of the “nut–” stuff—“nutty” isn’t really my humor style, nor does it seem to be yours. It sounds a bit cheesy to me!

  11. OK, if you don’t like Tenure Trekking, then here’s a 2nd vote for Academaze — for the same reasons as Ana’s.

  12. No thoughts on a title (I have always sucked at that) but wanted to say “congrats” to you! Love that it’s getting so close!

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