Contra Mundum

Or, The Art of the Academic Jobsearch

I spent part of my morning finalising my application for a Research Fellowship in Griffith Uni’s Socio-legal Research Centre. All the advice that’s been around for years in HR is that cvs and selection criteria responses should be succinct, experiential and to the point. Everywhere but in academia, that is. Just as Dr Nelson’s micromanagement means that course proposals need to be approved in Canberra by DEST, and reporting and record keeping drives out teaching and research, so too do academic jobs regularly stipulate 7 or 8 selection criteria. The most egregious example of this in my experience was 18 selection criteria, many of which were nearly identical. My esteemed employer of eight years’ standing, Queensland University of Technology, until recently required 8 signatures on a leave application and a refund of $100 for cab fares at a conference required the Dean’s signature when I was in the Faculty of Business. This, in the University for the Real World. All the angst about po/mo and incipient commie-ism in tertiary education might be better directed at their seeming propensity to restore a museum like simulacrum of Kafka-esque bureaucracy.

It took me a few hours to respond to the selection criteria, and I lacked the energy to incorporate all this in my cv as requested (I hope it doesn’t matter):

Current curriculum vitae/resume which should include; full name, address, telephone number, email address and facsimile number if available; names, addresses, facsimile and email contact of at least three referees to whom the University may write; country of permanent residence (optional but required at time of appointment); employment history, including present position and notice required; details of education, professional training and qualifications; summary of undergraduate academic record; details of relevant professional, consulting or industry experience; research interests and list of publications; research grants awarded; any other relevant information, such as offices held in professional bodies, community services etc;

Not very vitae! It’s hard enough to ensure there’s an accurate list of publications. When you apply for a teaching job, you generally also need to include course outlines, teaching materials, sample powerpoints, copies of papers and book chapters, student evaluations, etc etc. It can take a day to compile and usually fills two B4 sized envelopes at least. I just emailed the thing off, and faced with the prospect of doing some study now, I’ve decided to take some advice a friend gave me via text – enjoy the rain, and read something fantastic and wonderful by Isabelle Allende.

Cv’s over the fold (as concise as I could make it – left out non-academic work and subjects taught) – apparently some bloggers get jobs this way… it would certainly save a fair bit of time!



Doctor of Philosophy QUT 2005 shortly to be submitted Political Sociology
Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) (First Class Honours) Griffith University 1998 Political Economy and Industrial Sociology
Graduate Diploma of Industrial Relations QUT 1996 Awarded diploma with Distinction
Bachelor of Arts University of Queensland 1995 Majors in Government and History

2002 Lecturer in Sociology, The University of Queensland

2003 Senior Research Officer, Centre for Learning Research, Griffith University

Associate Lecturer in Behavioural Studies, The University of Queensland


1997-2000, 2004 Sessional Lecturer, School of Management, Queensland University of Technology

2000-2004 Sessional Lecturer, School of Humanities & Human Services, Queensland University of Technology

A. Books

B. Book Chapters

Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (2002), ‘Political Subjects, Workplaces and Subjectivities’ in V. Walkerdine (ed), Challenging Subjects, Palgrave, London.
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (1999), ‘The Male Academic Body: Sex Inequality in Australian Universities’, in K. Biber (ed). Playing the Man: New Perspectives on Masculinity, Pluto Press, Sydney.

C. Refereed Journal Articles

Bahnisch, Mark (2000), ‘Embodied Work, Divided Labour: Subjectivity and the Scientific Management of the Body in Frederick W. Taylor’s 1907 Lecture in Management’, Body & Society, 6, 1.
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (2000), ‘The Third Way; Intellectuals and the future of social democratic politics’, Journal of Sociology, 36,1.
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (1999), ‘Gangland: The Political Abjection of a Generation’, Social Alternatives, 18, 2.

D. Conference Proceedings

Bahnisch, Mark (2003), ‘Social Change at the End of History: Theorising the Ends of the Political’ in J. Lyddon, (ed), Proceedings of the 2nd Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, Centre for Social Change Research, QUT, Brisbane.
Bahnisch, Mark (2003), ‘Sociology of Religion, Secularisation and Social Theory’ in P. Corrigan (ed), Proceedings of the TASA 2003 Conference, University of New England, Armidale.
Bahnisch, Mark (2003), ‘Deleuze and Guattari’s Political Ontology of Desire’ in P. Corrigan (ed), Proceedings of the TASA 2003 Conference, University of New England, Armidale.
Bahnisch, Mark (2002), ‘Against Globalisation as a Useful Social-Scientific Concept’ in B. Hanna (ed), Proceedings of the 1st Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, Centre for Social Change Research, QUT, Brisbane.
Bahnisch, Mark (2002), ‘Derrida, Schmitt and the Essence of the Political’ in Simms, M. (ed), Proceedings of the 50th Anniversary APSA Annual Conference,
Bahnisch, Mark (2001), ‘Sociology of Religion in Postmodernity: Wicca, Witches and the Neo-Pagan Myth of Foundations’, Van Krieken, R. (ed) Proceedings of the TASA 2001 Conference, University of Sydney, Sydney.
Bahnisch, Mark (2001), ‘Social Interests, the Public Good, and Contemporary Individualised Discourses of Public Organisation’, in Van Krieken, R. (ed) Proceedings of the TASA 2001 Conference, University of Sydney, Sydney.
Bahnisch, Mark (2001), ‘Contesting the Public Good in Contemporary Australian Discourses of Public Organisation’, in Weller, P. (ed.) Proceedings of the 2001 APSA Annual Conference,
Bahnisch, Mark (2000), ‘The Sociology of the Education Policy Text: Discourses of education, human capital and competition in TAFE reports’, in Pudsey, J. (ed) Sociological Sites/Sights, TASA 2000 Conference Proceedings, CD Format, 6-8 December, Flinders University, Adelaide.
Bahnisch, Mark (1999), ‘Towards a Realist Theory of Union Strategy’, G. Treuren & C. Provis (eds), Proceedings of the 13th AIRAANZ Conference, Vol. 1 Refereed Papers, Association for Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand, Adelaide.
Bahnisch, Mark (1998), ‘Misappropriating Sun Tzu: Management Discourses of Rationality and Anti-Rationality at the end of the millenium’, M. Alexander et al (eds), Refashioning Sociology, School of Social Science, QUT.
Hutchings, Katherine and Bahnisch, Mark (1999), ‘NAFTA and Employment Relations in Canada’, G. Treuren & C. Provis (eds), Proceedings of the 13th AIRAANZ Conference, Vol. 1 Refereed Papers, Association for Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand, Adelaide.
Walsh, M. and Bahnisch, M. (2000), ‘The Politics of Political Theorising in the New Millennium’, Ball, J. (ed), Proceedings of the 2000 APSA Annual Meeting,
Walsh, M. and Bahnisch, M. (2000), ‘Political Theory in the New Millennium: The Subject of Politics and the Politics of Subjectivity’, Rhodes, R. (ed), Conference Papers from the 2000 PSA 50th Anniversary Conference,

E. Other Professional Publications

Bahnisch, Mark (2001), History of Pay Equity in Queensland, Australian Centre in Strategic Management, Brisbane. Working Paper.

Griffin, R. and Davidson, P. (1999), Management, Australian Edition, Jacaranda Wiley, Brisbane. (author of Case Studies)

F. Book Reviews

Bahnisch, Mark (1998) ‘Globalising Australian Labor?’, Overland, 152
Bahnisch, Mark (2000) ‘Employer Associations and Industrial Relations Change’, Journal of Sociology, 36,3
Bahnisch, Mark (2001) ‘Rethinking Australian Citizenship’, Journal of Sociology, 37, 1 Bahnisch, Mark (2001) ‘The End of the Accord’ Journal of Industrial Relations 43, 4
Bahnisch, Mark (2001) ‘Institutions on the Edge: Capacities for Governance’, Journal of Sociology, 37, 4 Bahnisch, Mark (2001) ‘Social Policy, Public Policy’, The Public Interest, September
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (1999) ‘Australian Politics in the Global Era’, Journal of Sociology, 35, 1
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (1999) ‘The Politics of Sex’, Journal of Sociology, 35, 2
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (1999) ‘The Politics of Child-care’, Journal of Sociology, 35, 2
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (1999) ‘Queerying Social Theory, Journal of Sociology, 35,3
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (2000) ‘Activism and the Policy Process’, Journal of Sociology, 36, 2
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (2001) ‘Inventing Ourselves’, International Journal of Critical Psychology, 1, 1


Seminar papers presented:

Bahnisch, M. (1998) ‘Changing Modes of Regulation in the Black Coal Mining Industry, 1983-1996’, paper presented to the Staff/Postgraduate Seminar Series, School of Industrial Relations, Griffith University, 3 September
Walsh, M. and Bahnisch, M. (1999) ‘The Political Subject at Work’, presented to Cultural and Policy Studies Seminar Series, School of Cultural and Policy Studies, Queensland University of Technology, 14 April
Bahnisch, M. (1999) ‘Weber and the Foundations of the PubliclPrivate Distinction’, presented to an Australian Centre for Strategic Management/School of Management Research Morning Tea, May 12
Bahnisch, M. (2002) ‘Virtual Wars of Empire after 1989: Towards a Macrosociology of War, Settlements and the Shifting Political Imaginary’, presented to the School of Social Science Staff/Student Seminar Programme, August 23

Conference papers presented:
Bahnisch, Mark (1997) ‘Trade Union Strategy under the Workplace Relations Act 1996’ presented at Popular Education in Hard Times Conference, Centre for Popular Education, University of Technology, Sydney, 14 April
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (1998) ‘Analysing structures of gendered inequality in three Brisbane Universities’, Playing the Man Conference, Department of History, University of Sydney, 4 November
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (1999) ‘Solidarity and Public Morality in the 1998 Waterfront Dispute’, paper presented at the Future of Solidarity Conference, Centre for Applied Philosophy, Flinders University, 6 February
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (1999) ‘The Politics of the Subject at Work’, paper presented to the Millennium International Critical Psychology Conference, UWS, 2 May
Walsh, Mary and Bahnisch, Mark (2000) ‘Theorising Political Theory: The Politics of the Political’, paper presented to the Austra.lian Association of Philosophy Annual Conference, UQ, 4 July
Bahnisch, Mark (2000) ‘New Narratives of Political Economy for a New Millennium’, paper presented to the Narratives for a New Millennium Conference, University of Adelaide, 10 February
Bahnisch, Mark (2002) ‘Sociology of Religion, Secularisation and Social Theory’, paper presented to the TASA Conference, QUT, 6 July


Politics, Sociology, Criminology, Industrial Relations, Human Resource Management


Coordinator, Masters in Social Science (Criminology & Legal Studies), UQ, 2002
Assistant Programme Director, Criminology, UQ, 2002


The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)
Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC)
Industrial Relations Society of Queensland
Australian Political Science Association
American Political Science Association
American Sociological Association


2004 Awarded QUT Online Teaching Compassionate Pioneer Award
1999 Awarded Faculty of Business Supplementary Scholarship
1999 Awarded AIRAANZ Postgraduate Scholarship
1998 Awarded QUT Postgraduate Research Award
1998 Recommended by Faculty of Commerce & Management, Griffith University for University Medal (ineligible because had not completed undergraduate study at Griffith)
1998 Awarded Faculty of Business QUT Scholarship
1997 Awarded Bill Stone Honours Scholarship Griffith University
1996 Awarded Suzanne Lines Memorial Scholarship – QUT


2000 Industrial Relations Policy Branch, Department of Employment, Training and Industrial Relations, Queensland consultancy on history of pay equity in Queensland for State submission to Queensland Industrial Relations Commission Enquiry on Pay Equity $3,600
1998 Preferred provider status in a joint application with Dr Katherine Hutchings and Mr John Shepley by DEWRSB and the OEA for case studies on the impact of AWAs.
1990, 1994 Consulted for the University of Queensland Union on Industrial Relations matters and Occupational Health and Safety


Consultant on Public Policy, IR and HRM to a variety of public sector and private sector organisations.

About Mark Bahnisch

Mark Bahnisch is a sociologist and is the founder of this blog. He has an undergraduate degree in history and politics from UQ, and postgraduate qualifications in sociology, industrial relations and political economy from Griffith and QUT. He has recently been awarded his PhD through the Humanities Program at QUT. Mark's full bio is on this page.
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2021 years ago


Being an intellect of the third rank myself, I can’t give any worthwhile advice. Except this: you’re a gifted man – go far, go hard.

Carpe diem etc.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

Thanks, C.L. But I’m sure you’re being too modest :)

2021 years ago

You forgot yer star sign and hobbies (“walking, dancing, reading, meeting people.”)

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

That’s under “communication skills” in the selection criteria responses, Nabs.

Andrew Norton
Andrew Norton
2021 years ago

Mark – What on earth is this:

“2004 Awarded QUT Online Teaching Compassionate Pioneer Award”

2021 years ago

Andrew, his response to your question should answer your question.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

Andrew –


You have been nominated and selected for an OLT Compassionate Pioneer Award for 2004. Your award will be presented by the Deputy Vice – Chancellor Professor David Gardiner and a representative from Leading Solutions, a conference sponsor of the OLT 2004 Online Learning and Teaching Conference. The presentation will be held between 5.00 – 6.00pm at the cocktail party following the OLT conference next Wednesday 3 November, please see below for address details.”

“”OLT Compassionate Pioneers” are staff who use (or support) new ways to improve teaching and learning.

Students and Staff of QUT nominate “OLT Compassionate Pioneers” on the way the nominee meets the following criteria:

* Providing interesting and accessible content online and using face-to-face time to clarify questions and more difficult concepts;
* Setting up well-thought out discussion forums or quizzes online to help with students’ understanding of content;
* Helping students in their own departments learn more comfortably using new technology applications;
* Noticing what a student or faculty members is searching for and gently explain how to find better sources – both online and elsewhere;
* Assisting students to manage their online learning, access or interactions.”

Nicholas Gruen
2021 years ago

From a request for tender to consultants.

“19.1 The original and five bound copies of the proposal are to be lodged in single-sided A4 format.
19.2 The original is to be marked as the original and each copy sequentially marked with a copy
number. In the even of a discrepancy between any copy and the original, the original takes

And on it goes. “19.3 The consultants will busk in the courtyard of the Department from 4 am on the day of selection with musical instruments left under a rock by the department the previous day. 19.4 They will then do 40 push ups each. They will then read the news.”

Etc etc.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

In other words, Nabs is right.

I was one of the first staff members at QUT to run online tutorials back in 98, and used the OLT system to maximise content provision, communication and interaction in subjects I coordinated, as well as being responsible for the web based seminar and discussion fora in Intro to Sociology (500+ enrolments). The latter worked a bit like a blog.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

Nicholas, I’ve not put in tenders for consultancies because of requirements like that. Of course some of the consultancies I’ve had are ones where the Minister’s waived the tender requirement. I suspect that’s not uncommon.

Michael Carden
Michael Carden
2021 years ago

Good luck with it Mark. The CV is very good, especially publications, although they might quibble that you don’t have a book. I’ve just finished my appliction for the ARC APD or should I say dealing with some last minute stuff raised by MOnash research office. I won’t know until October if I’m successful. Hopefully you don’t have to wait that long. In the meantime I’m dealing with the joys of Serena Russo and the JOb Network. All hail the workhouse!

Francis Xavier Holden
2021 years ago

mark – I don’t know much about academic CV’s except that whenever I’ve seen them they seem to include every staff meeting, seminar, presentation, hallway or coffee shop conversation the aca attended.

But I am curious as to why you haven’t included any mention of your blog activities? Seriously.

I don’t know what the convention is but at least one or two of your pieces are worth reading [smirk] (well that is excluding your musical and tv taste, and you might leave out the Net Sex bits)

I dunno something like:

“Regular contributions of short topical articles to one of australia’s top online sites. The site also has right of response from a range of recognised contributors from other academic disciplines and the general public. Over .2M hits a month.”

Francis Xavier Holden
2021 years ago

“From a request for tender to consultants.
19.2 The original is to be marked as the original and each copy sequentially marked with a copy
number. In the even of a discrepancy between any copy and the original, the original takes

Nic you forgot to mention for a $30,000 one off, write a report type contract:

20.1 The contractor shall provide proof of carrying $6m of professional indemnity insurance.

2021 years ago

Give up Mark, Be an independent scholar!
No cvs to prepare.
No fixed office hours.
No lectures or tutes.
No essays to mark.
No forms to fill in for the administration.
No need to please superiors.
No need to care what editors or publishers readers think.
No need to care what students think.

The downside?
No funding.
Oh well…

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

Downside is a big one, Rafe!

FXH, I talked about Troppo in the application and referred to a number of posts as writing samples. I probably will put it in the cv, which was last updated in December last year. I think the list of publications is also incomplete, so I need to have another look at it soonish.

2021 years ago

“apparently some bloggers get jobs this way”..

Honestly Mark,
Given your constant admission of being a blogaholic, I’d worry that despite being impressed by your panoptic intellectual stamina, potential employee’s, reading your stuff, might have reservations about employing someone who has a heedless and public need for self-disclosure and who seems to be fighting an excruciating battle with procrastination.
My advice, exercise a little more prudence and discretion, and finish the bloody phd.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

Thanks for the note of caution, klt. I don’t know that I have a need for self-disclosure. I do think it’s part of writing on a blog. Believe me, lots of prudence and discretion is exercised.

2021 years ago

Mark, admitting to being a blogaholic in your cv would be a serious strategic error IMHO. If you were looking for an employee, would you run the risk of employing someone who might spend most of the time for which you have paid them to work reading and writing blog posts?

2021 years ago

BTW, doesn’t “a museum like simulacrum of Kafka-esque bureaucracy” sound remarkably like a description of any number of communist states?

Brings back memories of all those cold war era jokes – “What’s 300 metres long and never moves? – A meat queue in Poland” etc.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

Actually, Alex, I don’t know that it would be massively frowned upon in academia – it might be seen as an aspect of “community service” as they call it now – we’re supposed to be out and about engaging with people and not reading books in our ivory towers. If I had a public servicey type job, I wouldn’t blog at work. I’m actually really quite ok at doing the public/private separation thing – possibly contrary to the impression I might give – it’s largely an artefact at the moment of not having a job but being effectively a full time student.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
2021 years ago

I think the blogging can be quite helpful and there are quite a few academic blogs in a variety of disciplines. The medium does provide the potential to straddle across various themes outside your specialisation allowing for various kinds of reinvigoration.

Plus blogging does provide the opportunity to provide some sort of public discourse for a thinker in search of an audience. Considering this country has only a couple of major publications that cater for the presentation of ideas, which can on occasions be so entrenched, tired and predictable blogging can at least provide a modest form of public forum. As Mark said academics should find some avenues to express themselves outside their research context and from what i gather unis do look kindly on the staff that are able to get into the papers and enter into public discussions. However, this is not everyone’s cake and certain specialities are doing to find it difficult to communicate in a simplified format, being more suited to journal articles. Also, I should mention that the interactive element also helps a researcher to deal with the solitary nature of some parts of the profession.

Plus, i know lots of under-utilised people who have non-challenging jobs who spend time on the internet. If all you have is the monotony of a continual routine, brief interactions in moderation can help keep the mind active. I know there are various uni-break jobs where if it wasn’t for something exterior (a radio, rapport with colleagues, attractive distractions) I never would have lasted the many months. Also I don’t see blogging being that different from the perpetual puffers out the front of the office, the long lunchers made up of mainly middle management types, the games of solitaire I spied on various PCs and the other social games and politics that make up any office. They are all there to break up the monotony.

Paul Watson
Paul Watson
2021 years ago

Rafe wrote:

“Be an independent scholar!
. . .
No need to care what editors or publishers readers think.
No need to care what students think.

The downside?
No funding”