An Oscillating Wave: How to recarve a space for an academic practice through life’s little vagaries

Kristensen, J C. 2019. 'An Oscillating Wave: How to recarve a space for an academic practice through life’s little vagaries'. In: Shit Happens Panel, College Art Association Annual Conference. Chicago, United States. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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In 2019, I received surprising news.

Whilst out of London for the weekend, a neighbour texted to tell me that the house three doors down from my own home had finally sold, after being on the market for over a year. (Brexit has had a peculiar effect on the British housing market, despite what some estate agents may tell you.)

The new neighbours were Boris Johnson and his partner.

That Monday evening, paparazzi began to appear outside my home, camping out on the street overnight. It was the night before Johnson was declared the new leader of the Conservative Party, the night before he become the new Prime Minister of the United (or not-so-United) Kingdom. (Brexit has had a peculiar effect on British politics, despite what some journalists may tell you.)

A big story on my doorstep in my small neighbourhood.

Three years ago, my children and I were rendered homeless when our own home became too dangerous for us to stay. We spent the following months staying with friends and family where we could. We ended up returning to the family home when I made the decision to risk the dangers: I had done enough research by then to know what the risks were; and I had read enough about the structural social, economic and political issues that we were situated within to know how this story would play itself out.

A small story in my home in a global context.

As I have dealt with the aftermath of the events of June 2016, I have continually re-framed my narrative, placing different contextual lenses on my own experiences, almost compulsively. Through these acts, I have both gained and, at the same time, not gained critical distance from my situation and experiences; I am an oscillating wave.

This autoethnographic paper presents and examines various methods I deployed for how to carve a space for an academic life through these oscillations; and how these oscillations can be given shape through academic pursuits. (Brexit has had a peculiar effect on British academia, despite what some politicians may tell you.)

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)


Visual Culture, Material Culture, Academia, Academic Practice, Theory, Auto-ethnography

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1 July 2019Accepted
12 February 2020Completed

Event Location:

Chicago, United States

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Date Deposited:

21 Feb 2020 16:12

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 11:08


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