Academic life in the measured university: pleasures, paradoxes and politics

Via Janice Malcolm:


To submit CLICK HERE

Submissions are due by Friday 15 January 2016.  


The conference welcomes submissions from staff and students (especially collaborations among students, and between staff and students), across the full spectrum of disciplinary lenses on the themes described below. We are especially keen on receiving submissions that address or re-work the themes below drawing on arguments about Indigenous knowledges and southern theory. Please note that the questions at each theme are intended as prompts only:

  • Teaching, learning and curriculum: How are changes to teaching, learning and curriculum shifting the identities of staff and students? What kinds of ‘welcome’ and ‘questionable’ identities, roles, and practices have emerged in the measured university for staff and students, and with what consequences? What sorts of theories, approaches, and evidence are now needed to confront and re-work teaching, learning and curriculum in the measured university?
  • Research & research education: What are the pleasures, paradoxes, and politics inherent in measuring research? How does the curriculum of research training / doctoral education prepare research students for engaging with (or speaking back to) the demands of the measured university? How do we form and sustain communities that nourish our identities and practices as researchers and scholars?
  • Service: How does service manifest in the measured university? What has driven the transformation of ‘service’ into administration/bureaucracy? What are some innovative examples of the recognition and reward of service in the measured university?
  • Community engagement: How do staff and students take up the desire by universities for increased community engagement? How are staff and students renewed by their participation in community engagement activities? In what ways does the increased focus on community engagement relate to the demands of the measured university?
  • Academic careers and promotion: In what ways has the measured university helped, hindered and shaped the nature of academic careers? What does the emergence of new third space/para-academic roles tell us about the changing nature of the academic workforce in the measured university?
  • Leadership: What is the intellectual role of the professoriate in the measured university? What forms of disciplinary and departmental leadership are needed for academic work in the measured university? How do we understand the relation between the restructuring of academic labour and university leadership?
  • Governance: In what ways is the measured university transforming academic governance structures? Are we in a time when data has replaced discussion? Does data develop dissent or compliance? How is an understanding of what counts as data informing shifts in academic governance? What is the future role of collegial governance in the measured university?
  • Ideas about the university under the conditions of measurement: In the measured university, what languages of description have we become lumbered with, and enabled by? How do practices of care, kindness, critique, and pleasure play out in the measured university? How do we continue to be committed to the idea of the university despite its reputation for being a ‘greedy institution’? What can be done to act both with, and against, the drift, scale, and reach of the measured university? Is it possible to redirect the measured university to different ends? If so, what might those ends be and how shall we go about it?

Submission types

We welcome four types of conference submission. No matter which type you choose, aim to prepare no more than a 500-word submission (which should include no more than five scholarly references). The references should be included in your word count.

Paper/Symposium (30/60/90 mins)

Single-paper presentations explore one or more dimensions of the conference themes. The goal of these sessions is to share work-in-progress and engage in dialogue with conference participants, so timing should be balanced between presentation and discussion (20m+10m is optimal). You should also aim to demonstrate how your paper/symposium contributes (or is likely to contribute) to the existing body of scholarly research. Where presenters have two or three thematically linked papers, you may propose a symposium with a maximum time of 90 minutes. In that case, you need to give an overarching abstract for the symposium as a whole, as well as titles and reduced abstracts for each paper within the symposium. Please nominate a contact person for the symposium.

Roundtable (60 mins)

Roundtable discussions provide the opportunity for a lively discussion around a particular topic or area of research. They are an ideal opportunity for networking and for building collaborations. If you wish to propose a roundtable discussion, the submission should include an overview of the topic, and pose some critical questions that the roundtable discussion will explore. These sessions will be chaired by the person who proposes the roundtable.

Performance (30/60 mins)

Performance-based presentations provide an opportunity for presenters to draw on forms, expressions and traditions of arts-based inquiry as a vehicle for exploring the conference themes. We welcome performance in all its variety. Some possibilities include: readers’ theatre, performance ethnography, and poetic representations of research. If you wish to propose a performance, your submission will need to be strong in both the idea (related to the conference themes), and in the description of the type of performance. If the performance involves audience participation, you will need to indicate that as well in your submission.

Pecha Kucha Forum (30 mins)

Presenters show 20 slides for 20 seconds each, giving a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds for each presentation. The aim is to exchange ideas in a concise and stimulating way. Presentations are image based, which keeps them engaging. Each forum will have three pecha kucha presentations followed by time for group reflection and discussion. Individual and group proposals are welcomed.

Review criteria

Each submission to the conference will be double-blind peer reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • It responds and contributes to the conference theme.

  • It is connected to, and in conversation with, appropriate scholarly literature.

  • It demonstrates how and why it is of interest to the intended audience.

  • It is well written

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