For the Academic Writer on Your List

Need ideas for someone working toward their master’s degree, PhD, or someone who has already been there and done that, but works in higher education? You’ve come to the right place. Graduate students, post-docs, and professors are difficult to shop for because they usually love reading and writing, but have little time to engage in fiction because they are too busy reading research and writing grants.

  1. For the Feministanana
    This iconic shirt from thugs maison celebrates some badass feminist activist and writers Audre Lorde, Gloria Steinem, Angela McRobbie, and bell hooks. This shirt is a gift of empowerment, support, and celebration of your feminist friend and the work of four incredible women who tirelessly champion for equality of all women. Plus, the design is an ironic play off a shirt from the early 2000s that celebrated a bunch of white men.
  2. For the PhD Studentpmojo_book5_2
    Believe me when I say that pretty much ANYTHING from PhDcomics would be a hit. I don’t know any graduate student in any field that hasn’t chuckled at the comics that poke fun at the graduate student life. Many of my friends regularly share the comics through their social media platforms when they are at conferences, working on their dissertations, or just drowning in a pile of reading or writing research. The PhDcomics store has mugs, t-shirts, and actual book collections of the comics that would absolutely be appreciated by the aspiring academic. When you’re in grad school, laughs are always appreciated.
  3. The Social Justice Activist
    Whether it be their research, their passion, or both, you can always gift an item that supports a cause near to their heart. While you can always buy a t-shirt, a wristband, or a lapel pin, consider donating to an organization that the activist in your life admires or works for. Better yet, you can also volunteer your time and gift a petition with signatures or buy materials for signs they may need at a march or protest. But if you’d rather go the actual gift route, Revel & Riot has some of the greatest designs for supporting the LGBTQ community, Blck has incredible merchandise to support the Black Lives Matter movement, or check this article for other organizations that might be close to your activist’s heart.
  4. For those needing a break: Adult Coloring Books18467
    Hear me out. Academics spend a lot of time thinking, reading, writing, and talking that sometimes they need to turn their brain off. Adult coloring books are the perfect way to relax. As much as I love words, the lack of words was honestly part of the appeal when I returned to coloring as a PhD student. Seriously, coloring is good for you and the adult books are becoming increasingly popular. You can buy adult coloring books at a number of places and pick a theme that compliments the person you’re buying for. I really like the different themes featured on Muse, but mandalas are my personal favorite.
  5. For those who need to leave the ivory tower: Magazine Subscriptionbpk-1502-mar
    I know I suggested this on another list, but it needs to be suggested here too. It is so easy for academics to be consumed by their academic life and duties. Give them a gift that reminds them of who they are outside higher ed. Do they hike? Do they bike? Do they love wine or craft beer? Do they love to cook? Or are they dying to learn guitar or to take better pictures? There are so many great magazines out there and subscriptions are affordable. Get them a magazine that will pique their interest or fuel an existing hobby. My husband and I loved perusing Backpacker’s magazine because we actually took action to plan trips and shop for gear.

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