Hi-Res-Copy-17Hello! I’m popping my head above the parapet for the first time in — oh my goodness, nearly 18 months.

And what an 18 months it’s been. I feel like I’ve barely drawn breath, and have not had the headspace let alone time to write here.  I’ll not go into all the details, but the key highs and lows include:

  • getting started on the National Conversations project (yay!);
  • meeting generous – extraordinarily generous – current and emerging indigenous leaders around Australia and working to amplify their voices in the project;
  • working with the wonderful Núria Franco-Guillén to get the National Conversations analytic tools working – sooooo slow, but we’re getting there and starting to produce some initial results (more soon);
  • finishing the manuscript and proofing for Mapping and Measuring Deliberation with André Bächtiger — it’s out with Oxford University Press in December/January!
  • winning a contract for a book on the National Conversations project, also with Oxford — two chapters written, should be out end of next year;
  • a new research agenda taking shape that links ‘scripts’ and ‘culture as practice’ with deliberative systems and practices;
  • book chapters out on deliberation and constitution making, as well as deliberative systems in the new Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy, among other things…
  • …and going through a marriage breakdown, employment disputes, ill parents in another country, article rejections (yep, we all get those), three house moves and a move of school for the kids, and major depression (now under control, thanks for asking), the combination of which led to me transferring my Australian Research Council grant to the University of Canberra — thank you everyone in IGPA and the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance!  I have an intellectual and administrative home there until the end of next year, although still living and working in Brisbane, for the moment at least.

No wonder I’ve been a little quiet…

For the moment, this is just a quick hello, a quick explanation, and that’s all. But I will have more to say about corporate academia, teaching, and mental health; about academic precarity; about how colleagues react and how universities give little more than lip service to such issues. That, and more fun stuff 🙂

Anyway, ‘Hello again!’ The sun is peeking out…