Academic Aunties: A Conversation with Dr. Ethel Tungohan


You’ve probably heard by now that there’s a hidden curriculum in academia. But it’s called hidden for a reason—only some [privileged] people are in the know about what it contains. And when you can’t find the answers you need, earning your degree is much harder than it should be. Today, higher education podcast host Dr. Ethel Tungohan of the Academic Aunties joins Dr. Christina Gessler, the producer and host of the Academic Life, to talk about why they are so passionate about bridging this knowledge gap. This episode explores:

  • The importance of seeing the structural barriers and gatekeepers.
  • Why the problem is not you, it’s them.
  • How being left out of important conversations harms women, first gen students, and people of color in academia.
  • Some advice that can help you survive and thrive in academia.

Our guest is: Dr. Ethel Tungohan, who is Associate Professor of Politics and Social Science at York University. She received her doctoral degree in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. Her research looks at migrant labor, specifically assessing migrant activism. Her work has been published in academic journals such as the International Feminist Journal of Politics; Politics, Groups, and Identities; and Canadian Ethnic Studies. Dr. Tungohan specializes in socially engaged research and is actively involved in grassroots migrant organizations such as Gabriela-Ontario and Migrante-Canada. She is the host of the Academic Aunties.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, who is a freelance book editor. She has served as content director and producer of the Academic Life podcast since she launched it in 2020. The Academic Life is proud to be an academic partner of the New Books Network.

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Welcome to The Academic Life! On the Academic Life channel we are inspired and informed by today’s knowledge-producers, working inside and outside the academy, and around the world. Find us on Twitter: @AcademicLifeNBN.

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Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is the creator, show host, and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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