Monthly Archives: October 2014

Fixed-term and temporary: teaching fellows, tactics, and the negotiation of contingent labour in the UK higher education system

My latest article, co-authored with Kimberley Peters, in Environment and Planning A is available here.

Abstract:

This paper autobiographically considers the role of teaching-only staff as a contingent labour force in the contemporary higher education system in the UK. The aims are twofold. First, whilst much attention has been paid to the role of the research fellow, there has been less consideration, in the UK context, of the teaching fellow as an alternate form of postdoctoral experience. Accordingly, this paper gives voice to the teaching fellow—a member of academic staff who is not allocated writing and research time as part of their contract—whose views are often marginalised in ongoing debates concerning the plays of power in the neoliberalised academy. Second, the paper raises these voices to bring into consciousness the impacts of the teaching fellow experience for the fellows themselves and the faculties they work in. It is argued that teaching fellows face challenging circumstances with regard to their career trajectories in the academy. Accordingly, this paper considers the ways in which fellows, through tactics of place-making, presence and visibility, and collaboration, negotiate the challenging structural and institutional conditions that underscore their contracts. It is contended that exploring the teaching-only workforce is vital for critically assessing the workings of the contemporary academy and questioning the unequal power relations that shape work places in a culture where contingent labour is expanding; becoming less of a fixed-term and temporary feature of the university system but, rather, a stable and enduring one.
Keywords: contingent labour, higher education, fixed-term, temporary, teaching

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Potential Carceral Geography research group – survey

Following a series of successful sessions at recent conferences of the Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers and Association of American RGS_logoGeographers, and in particular, sessions organised as part of the RGS-IBG 2014, there seems to be an interest developing in establishing some kind of formal research network around carceral geography.

One way forward could be to establish either a Research Group or a Working Group, of the RGS-IBG, (which would also be open to non-RGS-IBG members, and would also welcome colleagues from outside of the discipline of geography) and which could serve as a hub for networking and information sharing among like-minded researchers. Depending on what kind of group is established, it could also provide some funds to support postgraduates, and to arrange events.

In order to gauge potential interest, we would like to ask you to complete this survey.

If weight of opinion is in favour of establishing some kind of group, a list of names of potential supporters/members would be needed – this is covered in the survey. Please consider adding your name to this list, whether or not you are an RGS-IBG member.

Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham)

Jennifer Turner (University of Leicester)

Anna Schliehe (University of Glasgow)

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