Here Are 15 Indispensable Academic Twitter Accounts

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Twitter. It’s great for yelling at airlines, executing flawless DM slides, and keeping tabs on the Republican presidential debates after promising yourself you wouldn’t turn on the TV. But can it be used for good?

Twitter. It’s great for yelling at airlines, executing flawless DM slides, and keeping tabs on the Republican presidential debates after promising yourself you wouldn’t turn on the TV. But can it be used for good?

It depends on whom you follow. On the occasion of Twitter’s 10th birthday, I asked others here at The Chronicle as well as my Twitter followers to name that one tweeter in academe whom they just can’t live without. Here’s a selection of their responses, listed in no particular order:

1. Shit Academics Say

@AcademicsSay, whose creator revealed his secret identity in a Chronicle piece last year, would be the overall No. 1 seed in an NCAA Tournament-style bracket of academic tweeters. Here’s a sampling of his prolific wit:

To-do lists are arguably the most efficient procrastination devices. Why avoid multiple things when you can avoid all of the things at once.

— Shit Academics Say (@AcademicsSay) March 21, 2016

— Shit Academics Say (@AcademicsSay) March 18, 2016

Sorry. Here's the attachment.

— Shit Academics Say (@AcademicsSay) March 21, 2016

2. Sara Goldrick-Rab

Speaking of prolific, this scholar-activist has one of the most active and influential accounts out there (which has occasionally landed her in hot water):

Spotted in ma's house: her dissertation (on the right) & mine. :) #ScholarSunday

— Sara Goldrick-Rab (@saragoldrickrab) March 20, 2016

No. There's no data to suggest this. But we aren't corporate robots either. That's a good thing.

— Sara Goldrick-Rab (@saragoldrickrab) March 17, 2016

It's stunning to see someone suggest that #freecollege is infeasible while doubling Pell is realistic. Wow.

— Sara Goldrick-Rab (@saragoldrickrab) March 17, 2016

3. Angus Johnston

In an age of enhanced student activism, no one is more knowledgeable on the topic and its rich history than the man whose account bears the handle @studentactivism:

Tell me again how it's the student left that can't tolerate open debate on campus.

— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) March 21, 2016

1966 was a turning point in the radicalization of America's liberal student activists. I've been writing about it:

— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) March 20, 2016

Todd Gitlin, former president of SDS, pines for Nixon. Really.

— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) March 20, 2016

4. Robert Kelchen

If there’s a big story in higher ed, it’s more likely than not that this Seton Hall professor has tweeted about it. He’s also a reliable source of deep-weeds wonkery, spitting out insightful blog posts on a regular basis:

It's baffling to me that some public universities (e.g. UVA) require the CSS Profile in addition to the FAFSA. Barrier to entry? #AEFP2016

— Robert Kelchen (@rkelchen) March 19, 2016

Clinton talks about students going to college "without borrowing a dime for tuition" in victory speech. My thoughts:

— Robert Kelchen (@rkelchen) March 16, 2016

Who will pick up the higher ed reform platform within the GOP now that both Bush & Rubio are done? Kasich has a record in Ohio. #GOPPrimary

— Robert Kelchen (@rkelchen) March 16, 2016

5. Damien Kempf

If you want a steady dose of medieval imagery, he’s your man:

Monkey using a pair of bellows as a lute while riding a goat backwards (Trivulzio Hours, 15th c.)

— Damien Kempf (@DamienKempf) March 21, 2016

Owl holding open music book supported by ape singing (Bodleian, Hatton 10)

— Damien Kempf (@DamienKempf) March 20, 2016

Man riding giant snail (@MorganLibrary, MS. 282, c. 1460)

— Damien Kempf (@DamienKempf) March 20, 2016

6. Sue Dynarski

She’s a must-follow for anyone interested in issues of college access and affordability:

Can Tracking Raise the Test Scores of High-Ability Minority Students?

Yes. Great research!

— S Dynarski (@dynarski) March 21, 2016

If you need to precede a statement with "It is interesting to note that," then it probably isn't.

— S Dynarski (@dynarski) March 20, 2016

Dissertation topic! Use NPSAS to calculate EFC under PROFILE vs FAFSA, plot distributional consequences of requiring PROFILE. #AEFP2016

— S Dynarski (@dynarski) March 19, 2016

7. Jesse Stommel

There’s no better place than Twitter to contemplate digital pedagogy, and he’s a good place to start:

No matter how progressive we think we are, there is no absolving ourselves of sexism. Misogyny is woven into the fabric of our culture.

— Jesse Stommel (@Jessifer) March 11, 2016

And patience. Being willing to listen. So often, teaching is for me a struggle to find new ways to be quiet. #digped

— Jesse Stommel (@Jessifer) March 11, 2016

Teachers should focus less on "granting" students agency and more on being sure they don't take agency away. #digped

— Jesse Stommel (@Jessifer) March 11, 2016

8. Chemjobber

I can’t imagine being a chemist and not following this account (I can’t imagine being a chemist):

Look at that cracked glass. #chemsafety #damn

Be safe out there, tweeps.

— Chemjobber (@Chemjobber) March 21, 2016

We need to figure out a way to get chemistry into makerspaces.

— Chemjobber (@Chemjobber) March 19, 2016

YES YES YES YES YES #chemsafety

— Chemjobber (@Chemjobber) March 18, 2016

9. Leah Crane

Some awesome tweets about outer space and the people learning about it:

Get you a world that can do both! Pluto has tropics, arctic, & tropical arctic!

— Leah Crane (@DownHereOnEarth) March 21, 2016

THIS=awesome. Cratering on Pluto's moons shows they were created by ANCIENT impact #LPSC2016

— Leah Crane (@DownHereOnEarth) March 21, 2016

o hai owl have fun in spaaaaaaaaaace (the owl's bounce means the spacefarers are in microgravity!)

— Leah Crane (@DownHereOnEarth) March 18, 2016

10. Katie Mack

Her account is ubiquitous in the astronomy world, and she’s been particularly vocal and insightful on the issue of sexual harassment:

The number of successful people who think "I worked hard and made it" implies "you will make it if you just work hard enough" is astounding.

— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) March 20, 2016

The idea that hard work itself creates virtue is problematic enough w/out the obliviousness to luck & privilege that goes w those statements

— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) March 20, 2016

Anyway next time someone asks you how you got to the top of that mountain, don't just proudly display the scars on your hands, lower a rope.

— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) March 20, 2016

11. Tressie McMillan Cottom

Few accounts have the breadth of hers, and she’s downright funny:

Awesome. Unrelated: HBCUs are gonna want to get in on ground floor bids for the Tressie McMillan Cottom School of Social Stuff. Email me.

— Tressie Mc (@tressiemcphd) March 21, 2016

"What's the curriculum here!"
Oh. We will wreck ish.
"What are the learning outcomes?"
Ish having been wrecked.

— Tressie Mc (@tressiemcphd) March 21, 2016

No one would've invested in me and that tells you what's wrong with that system #maybe

— Tressie Mc (@tressiemcphd) March 21, 2016

12. Joseph A. Howley

For classicist Twitter, he’s chock-full of nerdy hilarity and insight:

Every time you say "Silver Latin," the spirit of Lucan—chillin' with Homer, Horace, Vergil and Ovid in Dante's underworld—takes a drink.

— Joseph A. Howley (@hashtagoras) February 26, 2016

I posted screencaps from a word processor, rather than a PDF, leaving in the red squiggle of autocorrect on a proper name, like a *monster*.

— Joseph A. Howley (@hashtagoras) March 18, 2016

The rise of a figure like Trump should challenge us all about the role and ability of humanists to advocate for humanity.

— Joseph A. Howley (@hashtagoras) March 11, 2016

13. The Oxford English Dictionary

Day in and day out, a fascinating collection of knowledge about the English language:

'Montivagant' is a rare and obsolete adjective to describe someone who wanders in mountainous areas.

— The OED (@OED) March 18, 2016

Infandous: an obsolete adjective meaning ‘unspeakable, not to be spoken of; nefarious’.

— The OED (@OED) March 16, 2016

'Hamartia' is the fault or error which entails the destruction of the tragic hero (with particular reference to Aristotle's Poetics).

— The OED (@OED) March 15, 2016

14. Raul Pacheco-Vega

Scroll through his timeline for some insight about academic life and writing (and he came up with the hashtag #ScholarSunday):

In this case, I'm perfectly fine with arguing that correlation IS causation :)

— Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega (@raulpacheco) March 21, 2016

I chose Sunday for #ScholarSunday because @profragsdale had already started her #SaturdaySchool and I wanted to respect that and not overlap

— Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega (@raulpacheco) March 21, 2016

It DOES create some issues when people unfamiliar with the hashtag think it's intended to encourage/promote academic work on Sundays

— Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega (@raulpacheco) March 21, 2016

15. Nyasha Junior

Follow for tweets about religion, race, and some impressive livetweets:

Welcome new followers! I'm an academic/writer. I tweet on race, gender, religion, and Netflix.

— Nyasha Junior (@NyashaJunior) March 19, 2016

If you have a prof who takes time to offer comments/edits (& not just a grade), read them!

— Nyasha Junior (@NyashaJunior) March 19, 2016

RTs & likes are fine. But writers don't often get to hear about the impact their work has. Write a review. Send an email. Be specific.

— Nyasha Junior (@NyashaJunior) March 16, 2016

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