Multi-Faith and Belief Chaplaincy, For All Faiths and None

A Survivor's Guide to the University

More details on Dancing in the Dark: A Survivors Guide to the University

Dancing in the Dark. A Survivor’s Guide to the University by Anne Pirrie, Nini Fang and Elizabeth O’Brien, Tilosophy Press, 2021, 64pp, £7.99 ISBN 978-1-3999-0091-1

Photograph of Dancing in the Dark book cover sitting upright on a brown wooden table. The book cover is dark blue

Dancing in the Dark. A Survivor’s Guide to the University is a little book with a big heart. It is primarily intended to keep those who study and work in universities in good spirits.

It is ironic that what started out as a ‘lockdown project’ during the Covid-19 pandemic turned out to be a form of joyful activism that enabled us to reconnect with our happier selves, to nurture relations with each other in difficult times. Dancing in the Dark is graced by original artwork by Geoffrey Baines,  who is an Associate Chaplain at the University. Geoffrey acted as dream-whisperer to the project, exploring the text and re-imagining it through his artwork. The result is an exultant dance between images and text that offers an invitation to exercise the ethical imagination; to explore thinking as being-in-relation; and to foster the habits of replenishment, reflection and collaboration, key elements of The Abundant Academy approach. In academic life there is, by our account, ‘too great an insistence on certainty, on shining light and chasing shadows. Too great an insistence that circles and inquiry be closed.’ Dancing in the Dark. A Survivor’s Guide to the University is a gentle invitation to attend to shadows, to appreciate the unknown and – last but not least – to hold the circle open.


PhD students currently enrolled at the University of Edinburgh are entitled to a FREE copy! You can collect this from the Chaplaincy. The book is small enough to be tucked into a pocket and pulled out on a whim when a wisp of encouragement is needed. It was designed to be received as a gift or gifted to another. If you would like to give a copy to a friend you can buy one at Golden Hare Books (in store or online).