Women Activating Agency in Academia seeks to create and expand safe spaces for scholarly, professional and personal stories and assemblages of agency. It provides readers with the opportunity to connect with the strategies women are using to navigate academe and the core values, linked to trust, relationship, wellbeing and ethics of care, they live by.
The collection offers the stories of women academics from around the globe and across disciplines and showcases their efforts to meaningfully listen and converse in order to resist self-audit and diminished identities. Reflections come from a range of responsive, personal and aesthetic techniques, including writing groups, guided autobiography, auto-ethnography, collective activism and slow scholarship. Chapters engage with themes and ideas such as agency, neoliberalism, ontological security, androcentricity, identity and collegial support, which manifest in unique ways for female academics.
The focus in this volume is what really matters to women in the academy, as they share their efforts to ‘be’ themselves in their work, to ‘care for themselves and others’ and to ‘count what isn’t counted’. It aims to prove how collaborative storytelling and discussion can empower female academics to preserve and achieve these ambitions.
Table of Contents
List of figures; List of contributors; Preface; Chapter 1 Telling stories, gaining wisdom: putting our voices into our practice; Chapter 2 You’re not alone: discovering the power of sharing life narratives as academic women; Chapter 3 Responding to longings for slow scholarship: writing ourselves into being; Chapter 4 "We would love to have you over . . . ": building career capital in a new academic environment; Chapter 5 How yoga taught me about vocation; Chapter 6 Intergenerational bodies: women’s knowledge production in supervisory relations; Chapter 7 Feasible utopias and affective flows in the academy: a mobilisation of hope and optimism; Chapter 8 Beyond silence and conformity: a reflection on academic activism as resistance to managerialism in the contemporary university; Chapter 9 Academia as therapy; Chapter 10 Travellers: traversing the academic landscape: a dialogue; Chapter 11 Confronting, collaborating, and crafting: an enlivening methodology for academic ecojustice activism; Chapter 12 Women writing to ourselves: rescuing the girl child from androcentricity; Chapter 13 Embracing the power of the self as a female scholar; Chapter 14 Vulnerability: an uncomfortable means to a positive place; Chapter 15 PhD: Pivotal Heart Development; Chapter 16 Stretching the elastic: can we change the heart of university management?; Chapter 17 To care for self and others: a collaborative conversation; Chapter 18 I am the compliant academic; Afterword; Index
Alison L. Black is a narrative researcher and early childhood educator. Her arts-based research and scholarly work seeks to foster connectedness, community, wellbeing and meaning-making through the building of reflective and creative lives and identities. Ali is interested in storied and visual approaches for dismantling personal/professional binaries and representing lives. Her research and writing is concerned with the power and impact of collaborative and relational knowledge construction.
Susanne Garvis is Professor of Child and Youth Studies in the Department of Education, Communication and Learning, University of Gothenburg. Her focus is the field of early childhood education. Susanne has been involved in Australian, European and international research projects and is the current organizer of the Nordic Early Childhood Systems Approach Research Group.