Breaking our silences on the neoliberal academy: facilitating change from a postgraduate perspective
As PhD students, we often hear the refrain ‘if you want to get into academia, doing your PhD alone is not enough’. But with the subsequent requirement to produce papers, teach, organise and attend conferences, participate in additional collaborations or project work, not to mention keep up online engagement with those in our fields, what time is left for self-care, activism, or the care of others?
This one day workshop aimed at PhD students offers a space to critically reflect on our personal experiences and the structures which shape them, and to hear from those slightly further down the academic career path. Speakers include the University of Warwick's Dr. Maria do Mar Pereira, Dr. Meleisa Ono-George, Dr. Laura Schwartz and Dr. Julie Walsh. The University of East Anglia's Dr. Victoria Cann of the Res-Sister's Collective and Dr Lena Wanggren (University of Edinburgh) will also be presenting. Both Dr. Cann and Dr. Wanggren have produced chapters for the forthcoming Being an Early Career Feminist Academic: Global Perspectives, Experiences and Challenges.
The aim of the workshop is to build on our critiques by exploring strategies that can be applied to overcome negative aspects of academia, including those of resistance and support which we can implement. To do this, we will consider the following through a combination of keynote speakers, participant papers and workshop sessions:
What are particular processes of casualisation, extensification and elasticisation, and forms of neoliberal performativity (Ball, 2003) (e.g. dynamics in the PhD common room, ‘You should be writing’ and other social media feeds) occurring at the PhD level?
How have these, or might these, be resisted?
How can we help one another?
We recognise that such processes impact individuals differently according to (dis)privilege so our aim is to foster a strong intersectional ethos in our discussions. The workshop will be followed by a wine reception and a performance by Shit Theatre, an improv duo currently touring their feminist show ‘Woman’s Hour’.
This event is generously funded by the University of Warwick ESRC Doctoral Training Centre, Warwick Sociology, Warwick History, CADRE, the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender and the Social Theory Centre.
This event is now sold out. If you would like to be added to our waiting list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The workshop will take place in WA1.15, located on the first floor of the Avon Building in the University of Warwick's Westwood complex. Westwood is approximately fifteen to twenty minutes walk from the centre of the University of Warwick campus. The Avon Building is located next to Westwood Café. For those walking from central campus, we will provide signs to help direct you and further information about the location of the Avon Building is available on this interactive campus map: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/about/visiting/maps/interactive/.
If you are attending from further afield, we recommend that you arrive into Coventry Railway Station and take either the 11 or 11U, which stop outside the Westwood complex before heading into central campus (https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/about/visiting/directions/localbuses/).
Pay and display car parking is also available on campus, though spaces can fill quickly and the main university car parks are also a fifteen to twenty minute walk from Westwood. Car Park 13 (see map link above) is the nearest available car park to the Avon Building.
The final session of the workshop, facilitated by Muireann Crowley, Órla Murray, and Lena Wånggren (University of Edinburgh), will involve a zine-making activity. Please bring along any materials you would like featured in your zine that you feel represent issues surrounding the neoliberal academy, including newspapers, magazine and university prospectuses.