Research Leadership
Stuart Taberner
University of Leeds
My Project
• Contemporary German-language literature and
transnationalism
• Fairly conventional literary project looking a...
Academic Activities
• Organising a series of interconnected workshops on
‘German-language literature and transnationalism’...
Impact Activities
• Working with the Cape Town Holocaust Centre on public
outreach with the SA heritage sector (how to pre...
Leadership Dimensions (Academic)
• To develop leadership internationally (working with US
and Canadian colleagues on the s...
Leadership Dimensions (Impact)
• Developing leadership in relation to non-academics – the
director and staff at the Cape T...
Initial Concerns
• What happens to the research if I am spending so much
time/effort being a ‘leader’?
• What kind of lead...
School of something
FACULTY OF OTHER
My Formulations
• Leadership definitely squeezes out research – embrace this!
• Try t...
School of something
FACULTY OF OTHER
What We May Lose
• Research projects become more complex and more ‘social science’
• ...
Further Questions for Discussion
• Must 'research leadership' always involve 'directing'
other people? I.e. can 'leadershi...
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Research Leadership - Professor Stuart Taberner

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Research leadership – Professor Stuart Taberner (University of Leeds) presentation at the AHRC Subject Associations Event September 2013

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Research Leadership - Professor Stuart Taberner

  1. 1. Research Leadership Stuart Taberner University of Leeds
  2. 2. My Project • Contemporary German-language literature and transnationalism • Fairly conventional literary project looking at the way transnationalism – the interaction between the renewed/continued importance of the nation-state and ‘global society’ – plays out in contemporary German- language writing. • Fairly conventional outcomes: a monograph, conference papers, and organisation of seminars
  3. 3. Academic Activities • Organising a series of interconnected workshops on ‘German-language literature and transnationalism’ at the German Studies Association Conference, USA, 2013 • Organising a series of interconnected workshops on transnationalism across literatures at the American Comparative Literature Association, USA, 2014 • Seminar series in Leeds with ‘big names’ in Comparative Literatures and World Literatures (David Damrosch, etc.) • Creating a BA programme for English and World Literatures at the University of Leeds, including European languages, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, etc.
  4. 4. Impact Activities • Working with the Cape Town Holocaust Centre on public outreach with the SA heritage sector (how to present trauma, cosmopolitanism, intercultural and transnational interactions in present-day globalised society) • Working with the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State (how to use literature, memorials, and other cultural ‘inputs’ to improve dialogue between diverse communities) • Exhibition on German/SA ‘coming-to-terms with the past’ in an era of ‘globalised/transnational memory’ discourses
  5. 5. Leadership Dimensions (Academic) • To develop leadership internationally (working with US and Canadian colleagues on the seminar series at GSA) • To develop leadership beyond my discipline (working with colleagues from across literatures on the ACLA seminars) • To develop a more intensive academic (rather than managerial) form of leadership across my own institution: ‘big names’ seminar series, often not relating directly to my own research • Developing more coherent and ‘joined-up’ leadership around research-led teaching: BA programme linked to development of research agenda in SMLC at Leeds
  6. 6. Leadership Dimensions (Impact) • Developing leadership in relation to non-academics – the director and staff at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre. • More broadly, developing leadership in relation to people working across a variety of heritage and public engagement institutions, developing an academic vision that can be translated into ‘impact’ • Developing leadership skills in relation to running a large, diverse and international team of academics and non-academics to produce an exhibition that will reach 25k+ people in the UK and SA. Managing the media and public aspects of this.
  7. 7. Initial Concerns • What happens to the research if I am spending so much time/effort being a ‘leader’? • What kind of leadership: academic (breaking new ground) or ‘managerial’ (organising other colleagues)? • What kind of leadership is appropriate for a senior academic, as opposed to an ECR? • How can I ‘do’ leadership in innovative ways (not just organise conferences...)? • How do I ‘insert’ myself as a ‘leader’ into other disciplines/international academic discourses? • How to I project credibility amongst non-academics?
  8. 8. School of something FACULTY OF OTHER My Formulations • Leadership definitely squeezes out research – embrace this! • Try to bring ‘managerial leadership’ in line with ‘academic leadership’: the ‘originality’ of my research relates to the tension between cosmopolitan idealism in the era of globalised memory discourses and the exigencies of nation-building: assembling colleagues at the GSA and ACLA to explore this notion across literatures; leading ECRs on developing its potential as a focus for impact work in SA • For a senior academic, ‘innovative’ leadership is integrating research with impact and creating teams of academics and non-academics. • Credibility: small steps, careful planning, broad discussion, willingness to learn as well as lead!
  9. 9. School of something FACULTY OF OTHER What We May Lose • Research projects become more complex and more ‘social science’ • Our ‘lone-scholar identity’ may be challenged and even undermined • We may become adept at ‘gaming’ the system: i.e. ticking the ‘leadership box’ without doing much actual leadership (or research) What We May Gain • The challenge of thinking differently, and the satisfaction of developing other people’s careers • Sustainability deriving from the creation of structures and teams • Bigger, interdisciplinary teams, combining academics and non- academics, research and impact
  10. 10. Further Questions for Discussion • Must 'research leadership' always involve 'directing' other people? I.e. can 'leadership' mean pursuing a lone-scholar project that opens up new ways of thinking while explicitly challenging other researchers to 'follow'? • What is the difference between leadership and facilitation? • How do we 'scale up' our own leadership (i.e. move from leading small groups to big groups; disperse leadership functions across others in larger groups)? • How do we continue as academics even as we become 'research leaders' School of something FACULTY OF OTHER

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