The tangible things about LDR with an academic.


Yesterday, I read this article about people who live with/are married to academics.

This morning, I woke up missing my person more than usual.

I was trying to get through speed-writing two papers this morning (will I ever meet tonight’s ICA deadline?!) but realized I couldn’t concentrate until I affectdumped.

I have the most amazing person who loves and supports me in all aspects of my life, but today I want to honour all the tangible things he does to support my academic career in particular (intangible gross mushy emotive things for another time, maybe). We’ve been together for 12 years now, and some practices have emerged as a routine. Continue reading The tangible things about LDR with an academic.

Young People and Grief in Digital Spaces


Where do young people go to when they grief? Do they cry alone in their bedrooms? Do they logon to the internet? How do young people in grief find each other? Do they phone a friend? Do they enter a counselling centre? Do they search through hashtags and websites?

Death has never been more public than in the age of the internet. Alongside waves of #RIP[insertcelebrity] tributes and #[nameofvictim] police shooting activism proliferating on social media are viral posts of everyday people approaching grief and documenting their experience on the internet: recounting a person’s final days, parting words and gratitude from the deathbed, captures of assisted suicide and “right to die parties”, and families commemorating the deceased.

These experiences of death and loss have been augmented and prolonged with the growth of social media use. More specifically, the ways in which a social media platform is structured and the dominant culture of its users has allowed people in grief to process their loss in innovative ways – new spaces of affect are created, new paralanguage vocabularies are innovated, and new transient networks of care are formulated.

Continue reading Young People and Grief in Digital Spaces

Conference camaraderie.


I always appreciate my good friends in academia extra much during conferences:

1) I like that there is always a backchannel or conversational thread in which we muse about little happenings to unload our brains, and to wish each other well before our talks.

2) I like that these threads collate our plans and whereabouts for the day so we know where to find company when we need it.

3) I like that amidst learning intelligent things and serial networking with semi-strangers, we find pockets of time to reunite across a crowded room for mutual care and to destress before going back to the watering hole.

4) I like that we can read each others’ facial expressions and glances and glares from across the room and help to extract people from difficult situations.

5) I like that we have cultivated a good balance between serious game face mode and pure afterhours frivolity and fun without the stress of needing to activate work persona all the time.

6) I like that we check in with each other to make sure everyone has gotten back safely after a wild night.

7) I like that all this social labour is a genuine, reciprocal friendship that operates out of care rather than pragmatism.

8) I like that I will get to grow up and grow old with these folks throughout my career.

Image: Last panel on the last day featuring #teamaustralia on sexualities. Image kudos to Brady Robards’ Instagram via Sonja Vivienne’s cellphone via Paul Byron’s expert framing skills.

Pen Pineapple Apple Pen and the Lifecycle of Internet Virality


This is the Pen Pineapple Apple Pen (PPAP) song that started amassing virality around 25 September 2016, despite being published on YouTube a month earlier on 25 August 2016. This is the tutorial from its original artist, published on 26 September 2016 in response to volumes of covers, remixes, and parodies being produced as the song approaches the climax of viral fame.

The ‘official’ backstory, according to the wisdom of throngs of popular media articles churned out this week, is that the artist in the video is Piko-Taro, a fictional character played by entertainer DJ Kosaka Daimaou, whose is actually a 51-year-old Mr Kazuhiko Kosaka. His character Piko-Taro first began life as a stand-up comedian at live shows. (For those of you who are in-tune with YouTube or Influencer culture, think Miranda Sings as the fictional character played by microcelebrity Colleen Ballinger who goes by the handle ‘PsychoSoprano’ on the internet. See also here.)

Piko-Taro started his YouTube channel on 23 August 2016, posting short songs while dressed in his now-signature gaudy fashion and wig, with flamboyance in tow. The virality of his debut PPAP video was facilitated by digital user-generated humour platform 9GAG on its Facebook page. In the wake of his recent virality, Piko-Taro has been retweeting and responding to some followers in a smattering of English on his Twitter, which was created just months prior in June 2016. He is on Facebook here.

In this post, I discuss the circulation of PPAP, the value judgments made about it, its characteristics and predecessors, and the potential future of Piko-Taro.

Continue reading Pen Pineapple Apple Pen and the Lifecycle of Internet Virality

Procrastiprogress updates from the cave VI.


Moshimoshi folks,

I can’t believe it’s already the end of September. This month has been hectic but fulfilling.

I finally attended my PhD Convocation ceremony, 13 months after I had submitted my thesis and seven months after I had passed. (Yes the grading did take that long!) I still have mixed feelings about graduation because four years of research was literally casually commemorated in a five-second walk on stage to shake the hand of an important-looking academic in front of a bunch of strangers. To me, the real fun was the honour of getting to graduate with my good friends – it was a bumper crop of five anthropology PhDs this time – and spending precious time with all the people I miss and love. So yes, all the officialdom of postgrad life is done and dusted, I have been Lord Voldemort once more, and my DECRA clock has begun!

Continue reading Procrastiprogress updates from the cave VI.