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.
List of figures; List of contributors; Preface; Chapter1 Telling stories, gaining wisdom: putting our voices into our practice; Chapter2 You’re not alone: discovering the power of sharing life narratives as academic women; Chapter3 Responding to longings for slow scholarship: writing ourselves into being; Chapter4 "We would love to have you over . . . ": building career capital in a new academic environment; Chapter5 How yoga taught me about vocation; Chapter6 Intergenerational bodies: women’s knowledge production in supervisory relations; Chapter7 Feasible utopias and affective flows in the academy: a mobilisation of hope and optimism; Chapter8 Beyond silence and conformity: a reflection on academic activism as resistance to managerialism in the contemporary university; Chapter9 Academia as therapy; Chapter10 Travellers: traversing the academic landscape: a dialogue; Chapter11 Confronting, collaborating, and crafting: an enlivening methodology for academic ecojustice activism; Chapter12 Women writing to ourselves: rescuing the girl child from androcentricity; Chapter13 Embracing the power of the self as a female scholar; Chapter14 Vulnerability: an uncomfortable means to a positive place; Chapter15 PhD: Pivotal Heart Development; Chapter16 Stretching the elastic: can we change the heart of university management?; Chapter17 To care for self and others: a collaborative conversation; Chapter18 I am the compliant academic;Afterword; Index