The emotional knots of academicity: a collective biography of academic subjectivities and spaces

Charteris, Jennifer, Gannon, Susanne, Mayes, Eve, Nye, Adele and Stephenson, Lauren 2016, The emotional knots of academicity: a collective biography of academic subjectivities and spaces, Higher education research & development, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 31-44, doi: 10.1080/07294360.2015.1121209.

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Title The emotional knots of academicity: a collective biography of academic subjectivities and spaces
Author(s) Charteris, Jennifer
Gannon, Susanne
Mayes, EveORCID iD for Mayes, Eve
Nye, Adele
Stephenson, Lauren
Journal name Higher education research & development
Volume number 35
Issue number 1
Start page 31
End page 44
Total pages 14
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 0729-4360
Keyword(s) Academicity affect
collective biography
knowledge economy
Summary The highly imagined and contested space of higher education is invested with an affectively loaded ‘knowledge economy optimism’. Drawing on recent work in affect and critical geography, this paper considers the e/affects of the promises of the knowledge economy on its knowledge workers. We extend previous analyses of the discursive constitution of academic subjectivity through the figuration of ‘emotional knots’ as we explore three stories of the constitution of academic subjectivities in institutional spaces. These stories were composed in a collective biography workshop, where participants constructed accounts of the physical, social, material and imaginative dimensions of subjectivities in the ‘academic-city’ of higher education spaces. Identifying moments of ‘perturbation’ in these stories, this paper considers the micro-contexts of ‘becoming academic’: how bodies, affects and relations become knotted in precise times and places. The figuration of ‘knots’ provides an analytical strategy for unravelling how subjects affectively invest in the promises of spaces saturated with knowledge economy discourses, and moments of impasse where these promises ring hollow. We examine the affective bargains made in order to flourish in the corporate university and identify spaces of possibility where optimistic projections of alternative futures might be formed. These stories and their analysis complicate the metanarrative of ‘knowledge economy optimism’ that is currently driving higher education reform in Australia.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/07294360.2015.1121209
Field of Research 130103 Higher Education
13 Education
Socio Economic Objective 939904 Gender Aspects of Education
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2016, Taylor & Francis
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