(or, inevitable third-person bio)
Myshele is an American-born writer and activist who has made her home in Scotland, a country she fell in love with at the age of 19. Most recently she has worked for the Scottish Green Party, and taught sociology at the University of Strathclyde, where she completed her PhD in 2010.
A desire to challenge injustice is at the root of all her work. Since early 2013 her activism has focused on opportunities for social change through constitutional change in Scotland, and post-referendum her work with with the Radical Independence Campaign continues in Aberdeen (ricaberdeen.wordpress.com) and nationally (radical.scot). She was involved with the Centre for Human Ecology from 2004-2010, and she founded Goo Goo Dolls Fans for Peace, which was active between 2002 and 2006.
Beyond obvious activism, she is fascinated with big questions. How do we learn our place in society? Why do some people have more power and privilege than others? What do we cherish most deeply, and how do we build our lives to reflect those values?
These kinds of questions arise from a deep curiosity about the world and a strong sense of social justice, which developed during Myshele’s formative years in education. As a child and teenager, she attended schools at both ends of the socioeconomic spectrum, and her undergraduate university was an elite bubble in a deprived area of Los Angeles. Issues of wealth, poverty and persistent inequality have always been tangible and personal.
In her writing and teaching, Myshele seeks to connect everyday experiences with wider social processes, making abstract ideas more tangible and personal for readers and students. She enjoys finding the hidden meanings in things we take for granted, and getting out of the ivory tower to share those insights with a wide audience. For two years she wrote a regular column on the Education page of the Scotsman newspaper, and she has also written numerous articles for other newspapers and magazines. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, students nominated her for Teaching Excellence Awards, in the categories ‘passion for the subject’ and ‘most enthusiastic.’
One of Myshele’s main intellectual passions is higher education, along with formal education more broadly. She is fascinated with the paradox that schools, colleges and universities are key points where inequalities are both maintained and transformed. She believes that modern education systems are deeply flawed, but still provide important tools for changing individual lives – and society – for the better.
In June 2015, Myshele became unemployed due to course closures – an ironic coincidence after writing a PhD on the marketisation of higher education. She is currently looking for work, whether in teaching, activism, public sector or third sector work – and she’s always available for freelance writing and proofreading jobs. She became a UK citizen in 2015.