‘Not in our Name’: Vexing Care in the Neoliberal University

Nicholls, Emily Jay; Henry, Jade Vu and Dennis, Fay. 2021. ‘Not in our Name’: Vexing Care in the Neoliberal University. Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies, 9(1), pp. 65-76. ISSN 1894-4647 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In this paper, we draw on our collaborative work running a salon for thinking about care in STS research, which quickly became more about fostering an ethico-politics for thinking with care as a mode of academic intervention. Not dissimilar to the origins of the salon in nineteenth-century France, the salon provided a provocative and disruptive space for early career researchers (ECRs) to think together.

As attention and critique increasingly point towards the unequal distribution of harms arising from marketization and the vulnerability of ECRs in the ‘neoliberal university,’ we have witnessed a surge in activities that promise a supportive space, such as pre-conference conferences, seminar series, discussion forums and self-care workshops. In this paper, we ask not only what these modes of care might make possible, but also what exclusionary practices and patterns they mask or render more palatable (Ahmed, 2004; Duclos & Criado, 2020; Martin et al., 2015; Murphy, 2015).

Reflecting on our experiences of organizing and participating in the salon, with the stated purpose to explore ‘ecologies of care’ as an embodied socio-material practice (Puig de la Bellacasa, 2017), we move from care ‘out there’ in STS research to care ‘in here’. We follow threads spun by and out from the group to rethink our own academic care practices and how to do the academy otherwise.

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Care, slow scholarship, early career researchers, precarity, neoliberalism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Invention and Social Process (CISP) [2016-]


19 April 2021Published

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Date Deposited:

05 Nov 2021 09:42

Last Modified:

05 Nov 2021 09:42

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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