How to Clean and Organize Your Computer Desktop - Multicolored blocks with computer app icons, resting on a laptop keyboard
October 15, 2019

How to Clean and Organize Your Computer Desktop

Tips on how to organize your computer desktop, including building a file system that works for you, and utilizing your task bar and trash folder.

Practical Strategies for Taking Notes - Person takes notes by hand, with an open book, coffee cup, and laptop on the table
August 20, 2019

Practical Strategies for Taking Notes

Practical techniques for taking notes that ensure you can find, understand, expand, and use them later in your various projects.

Daily Self-Care Practices for Your Wellness Routine - Red teapot and white mug sitting on a wood table
January 22, 2019

Daily Self-Care Practices for Your Wellness Routine

Easy daily self-care practices to treat yourself with kindness, move a little slower, and find comfort amidst your personal and professional lives.

Academic Conference Presentation Tips - Person wearing blue blazer and colorful headscarf standing and clapping
April 24, 2018

Academic Conference Presentation Tips

Keep these academic conference presentation tips in mind to share your work with the clarity and confidence you need to connect to your audience.

Finish Your Dissertation - Yellow "end" sign
March 13, 2018

Finally Finish Your Dissertation: The Last Push

The last push is often the hardest. Here's how to finish your dissertation strong when you're down to the wire and just need the thing done.

Easy Lunches You Can Take to Campus - Close up of tomato, lettuce leaf, and peppercorns
January 30, 2018

Quick and Easy Lunches You Can Take To Campus

Here are our suggestions for some simple, affordable, and tasty lunches you can take with you to campus—no culinary skills required!

Leading a Discussion Section as a Teaching Assistant - Conference room with two conference tables and chairs
January 23, 2018

Leading a Great Discussion Section as a Teaching Assistant

How to lead a great discussion section as a teaching assistant that ensures your students better grasp the material, feel comfortable asking questions, and learn to think critically about the world around them.

Small Changes to Refresh Your Routine - Desk with open book, pitcher, cups, and plant
December 5, 2017

Small Changes to Refresh Your Routine

When you're feeling overwhelmed, a giant "reset" isn't always possible. Here are some small changes you can make to refresh your routine and help you feel more relaxed and ready to take on your writing, research, teaching, and service tasks.

Organization Tips to Get You Through the End of the Semester - Person sits on the floor holding a giant stack of papers
November 28, 2017

Organization Tips to Get You Through the End of the Semester

No matter how organized you are, things tend to pile up at the end of the semester. Here are some surprisingly simple suggestions for how to stay on top of your workload.

Rethinking Your Relationship to Reading - Person sits next to a lake reading a book
November 14, 2017

Rethinking Your Relationship To Reading

How to evaluate your reading practices, discover how you prefer to read, how to retain what you read, and how reading can enhance your life and work.

Passion Projects - Multicolored abstract painting with heart shape
October 31, 2017

Using Passion Projects for Inspiration, Self-Care, and Fun

In the face of busyness and stress, passion projects are a chance to reclaim your physical, emotional, and mental energy.

Maintaining Friendships When Things Get Busy - Hourglass with pink sand sifting through
October 10, 2017

Maintaining Friendships When Things Inevitably Get Busy

Academia requires a lot of your time and attention. But making time for friendships can mean the difference between surviving and thriving. Here’s how to make sure the people who matter to you don’t fall off your radar.

Creating a Self-Care Plan for the Semester - Colorful hammock hanging on trees outside
September 12, 2017

Making a Self-Care Plan for the Semester: Before, During, and After

Mapping self-care into your plan before, during, and after the semester can help you find balance, prioritize rest, and cultivate your energy.

Julia Jordan-Zachery wearing a grey patterned blazer and white button-down shirt
September 5, 2017

Grad School Mentorship: Julia Jordan-Zachery, PhD

Julia Jordan-Zachery shares how she helps mentees identify what they really need, find their truths, and stay true to who they are.

Clasroom ice breakers - Rows of pink classroom chairs
August 29, 2017

Classroom Icebreakers to Kick Off a Great Semester

What to do on the first day of class to ensure a great semester? Here are some classroom icebreakers that get students engaged and comfortable.

Kate Drabinski wearing a green shirt and glasses
August 22, 2017

Grad School Mentorship: Kate Drabinski, PhD

In our Rockstar coach series, we introduce you to the guides in our Grad School Rockstars community. This week, Dr. Kate Drabinski discusses carving a unique path from within the one you're on, biking as an act of bonding, and resisting the urge to hide behind being busy.

Terry K. Park wearing a light blue blazer and lavender button-down shirt. Photo by Elena Dahl
August 15, 2017

Grad School Mentorship: Terry Park, PhD

Terry K. Park talks about on building community through careful listening, and how good mentorship is driven by patience and compassion—on both sides.

Cathy Hannabach wearing a black shirt and teal glasses
August 8, 2017

Grad School Mentorship: Cathy Hannabach, PhD

Cathy Hannabach on the value of collaboration, holistic mentoring, and how she helps mentees figure out what they really want out of a career.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
August 3, 2017

Weekend Reading: Diversity, Inclusivity, and Transformation

What does embracing different perspectives, seeing things from a new angle, and imagining otherwise actually look like? What does it take to do more than talk about diversity, inclusion, and transformation? Our readings this weekend ask those questions--and propose some powerful answers.

Ideas on Fire's Favorite Films to Teach - Movie theater with Bollywood film showing on the screen
August 1, 2017

Ideas on Fire’s Favorite Films to Teach

Ideas on Fire's favorite films to teach in the interdisciplinary classroom: gender studies, ethnic studies, queer studies, and cultural studies.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
July 27, 2017

Weekend Reading: On Failure, Rejection, and Growth

What constitutes failure, and why are we so afraid of it? Our weekend reading asks us to consider how not reaching goals might in fact be an opportunity to reevaluate their worth, to forge a new and more worthy beginning. Failure reframed can become growth and making our own rules.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
July 20, 2017

Weekend Reading: Shaking Things Up and Unsettling Ourselves

On the importance of diverse mentors, restless summer breaks, and the groundbreaking work of Chicanx feminist artist Yreina D. Cervántez.

Writing a Kick-Ass Conference Abstract - Multicolored letterpress blocks
July 18, 2017

Writing a Kick-Ass Conference Abstract or Proposal

A guide for interdisciplinary scholars on how to best distill your research, theories, and ideas into a conference abstract or proposal.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
July 13, 2017

Weekend Reading: Going Deep

Academic life and the careers you can develop with a PhD are anything but one-size-fits-all. Unexpected relationships and unforeseen challenges regularly emerge, and sometimes to thrive, you need to look beneath the surface.

Networking & Informational Interviews - Two people sit at an office table talking
July 11, 2017

Networking and Informational Interviews

What to keep in mind when using informational interviews to craft an awesome interdisciplinary career within or beyond academia.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
July 6, 2017

Weekend Reading: Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries

Our readings this weekend urge us to consider, challenge, and resist the boundaries set by academia. They push us to recognize that setting boundaries as an act of resistance, and remind us that even the most revered boundary in academia—tenure—is not always what we imagine it to be.

Ideas on Fire's Favorite Literature - Open notebook with pages folded into a heart
July 4, 2017

Ideas on Fire’s All-Time Favorite Novels and Other Literature

The Ideas on Fire team LOVES to read. Here are some of our all-time favorite novels and other literature that make us see the world differently.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
June 29, 2017

Weekend Reading: Academic Mental Health

Academic life requires a considerable amount of emotional and psychological labor, but the academic conversation on mental health lags woefully behind. From mentorship to teaching to managing burnout, our readings this weekend address the mental health crisis in academia.

Crafting Your Postac Altac Career Narrative - Close up of multicolored rusted gears
June 27, 2017

Craft a Compelling Altac or Postac Career Narrative

How interdisciplinary scholars can create a compelling career narrative to build their altac (alternative academic) or postac (post-academic) career.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
June 22, 2017

Weekend Reading: Making Relationships Matter

A lot of academic life is focused on individual achievement. Consequently, a lot of advice for excelling in higher ed is grounded in knowing yourself—and how you work—better. What would academia look like if it focused on and valued relationships as much as individuals?

Self-Care Practices Beyond Relaxation - Person wearing jeans and sneakers jumps in the air, against blue wall
June 20, 2017

Self-Care Practices Beyond Relaxation

From time management and budgeting to navigating the free resources available to you, self-care practices go beyond just relaxation.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
June 15, 2017

Weekend Reading: Thinking Beyond Our Current System

Imagining otherwise means engaging critically with (and seeing beyond) our current reality. Our reading for this weekend collects pieces that ask us to shift our viewpoints, listen better, open ourselves up to the unexpected, and rethink what we mean by (and how we practice) inclusivity.

Ideas on Fire's Summer Scholar Spotlight - Multicolored stage lights
June 13, 2017

Ideas on Fire’s Summer Scholar Spotlight

Summer is a great time to explore scholarship outside your area or that is otherwise new to you. We decided to highlight some favorite scholars, people who are doing great work. Here are some of the scholars, academics, public figures, and all-around cool people who should be on your radar.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
June 8, 2017

Weekend Reading: On Not Just “Powering Through”

Resilience is more than endurance; how we recover, grieve, and exist “despite” it all matters. Our reading this weekend urges us, through different means and approaches, to shift away from plowing through all that happens “in the meantime,” and see life in the interstices.

Teaching During the Summer - Multicolored classroom rows of chairs
June 6, 2017

Teaching During the Summer: Challenges & Opportunities

Things to keep in mind as you approach your summer teaching and our best strategies for a creating a positive, productive educational experience.

Art-Based Research and Community with Aymar Jean Christian - Person dips a paintbrush in paint in front of a canvas
June 5, 2017

Arts-Based and Community-Based Research with Aymar Jean Christian

Arts-based and community-based research provides robust data and publishing opportunities, meaningful resources to communities, and experimentation in artistry.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
June 1, 2017

Weekend Reading: The Importance of Reflection

The most difficult part of academic life is pulling back and reflecting on the "why" of it all. Why are we working so frantically, and within systems that often erase and dehumanize people of color, queer people, women, and those of us with disabilities? Whose expectations are our efforts serving?

Ideas on Fire's Favorite Ways to Stay Motivated Over the Summer - Sunglasses sitting on a small sand dune on a beach
May 30, 2017

Ideas on Fire’s Tips for Keeping Motivated Over the Summer

Our favorite ways to stay motivated over the summer, including how scholars can get their projects done while also taking a much-needed rest.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
May 25, 2017

Weekend Reading: Practicing What We Preach

How can the lessons of graduate school help us in the world beyond the academy? Our weekend reading has us reflecting on the intersection of scholarly life, professionalism and the lived practice of social justice.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
May 18, 2017

Weekend Reading: Emotional Labor in the Academy

Academics are getting better at talking openly about the intellectual and physical work academia demands. But the requisite emotional labor is often more difficult to identify and manage. As we finally name the mental health crisis in higher education, our latest weekend reading reflects on its invisible emotional terrain.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
May 11, 2017

Weekend Reading: On Silences

Weekend reads on academia's silences—what remains unsaid, the open secrets, and the problematically taboo—and how we can better address reproductive labor, mental health, and true intersectionality.

10 Self-Care Practices for the End of the Semester - Fox lays curled up on top of a tree stump
May 9, 2017

10 Self-Care Tips for the End of the Semester

Easy and accessible self-care suggestions to help you feel physically and emotionally nourished at the end of the semester.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
May 4, 2017

Weekend Reading: Uneven Emotional Labor

Weekend reads about the emotional labor that academia demands, labor that disproportionately falls to people of color, women, queer and trans folks, and people with disabilities navigating academic spaces.

Manage Grading without Getting Overwhelmed - Giant jumbled pile of papers, notebooks, and books
May 2, 2017

Manage Grading Without Getting Overwhelmed

Grading is one of the most challenging, thankless, and important parts of teaching. If the prospect of wading through a pile of papers exams feels more than a little daunting, we’ve got some helpful suggestions for staying on top of grading without getting overwhelmed.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
April 27, 2017

Weekend Reading: Hidden Labor in Academia

Our weekend reading excavates the hidden labor—largely of women, LGBTQIA people, people of color, and other marginalized groups—that sustain the very spaces up for public debate. It also examines strategies for surviving the inevitably politicized space of academia.

Ideas on Fire Favorites Most Inspiring Classes - Person writes on a chalkboard in a classroom
April 25, 2017

Ideas on Fire Favorites: Most Inspiring Classes

The classes that have most inspired us. These are the courses that opened our eyes to something we'd never seen before or defined our trajectory in new ways

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
April 20, 2017

Weekend Reading: Achieving a Thriving Justice Ecosystem

What kinds of work do we recognize and value in academia, and what kinds do we ignore? This weekend’s reading addresses the emotional labor of the classroom, how introverted teachers risk burnout, and shifting the conversation from achieving diversity to achieving a thriving justice ecosystem.

Setting Healthy Boundaries in Academia - White boxes with blue and teal tile bottoms
April 18, 2017

Setting Healthy Boundaries in Academia

Why boundaries in academia are so important for work life balance and how to set and protect them amidst the hustle bustle of academic life.

Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book
April 13, 2017

Weekend Reading: Refusals

Refusal—to offer your time and labor, to accept superficial diversity efforts, or to hide work behind a paywall—should be recognized as both a necessity and a right. Weekend reads on parenting in academia, the myth of flexibility, setting boundaries, and diversity in higher education.

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation - Stack of handwritten letters
April 11, 2017

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for a Student

How to write a letter of recommendation for a student, including figure out whether you can honestly endorse them, where to begin, and how to follow up.