The Junior, the Transient and the Real: Challenges of pre- and post-appointment teaching

  • Caroline Oliver University of Hull


This paper considers the diversityof experiences that confront first time lecturers over a number of years. Comparing the author’s experiences as a postgraduate/lecturer and lecturer at two different universities, it stresses the need for an awareness of the wealth of different scenarios or stages facing new lecturers. The paper compares the author’s experience of temporary, insecure, short-notice but invaluable ‘in-house’ experiences with experiences at her first proper appointment achieved through the rite of passage of the successful interview. The paper analyses how overlapping but nonetheless distinct pressures and relative comforts and discomforts govern each stage. It documents from an ethnographic perspective how casualisation of employment prolongs the initiation process. In particular, casualisation renders difficult the ability to meet the conflicting and contradictory expectations of the institution, both on a day-to-day level and in the long-term.

Author Biography

Caroline Oliver, University of Hull
Caroline Oliver is a lecturer in anthropology in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Her research interests are in the area of migration and ageing, reflected in her PhD thesis, an ethnographic study of the community of older leisure migrants in the South of Spain. Whilst completing her PhD thesis at Hull University (1997-2002), she also taught there as a Graduate Teacher Assistant, and later, as a lecturer.