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22 April, 2014 Bad New Days? A State of Feminist Emergency of/in and beyond Higher Education Valerie Hey.

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Presentation on theme: "22 April, 2014 Bad New Days? A State of Feminist Emergency of/in and beyond Higher Education Valerie Hey."— Presentation transcript:

1 22 April, 2014 Bad New Days? A State of Feminist Emergency of/in and beyond Higher Education Valerie Hey

2 The Evidence Base: Location, Location, Location Reading in the literature of the post-post structural sensual turn – feminist and critical theorist engagements in/against/alongside Foucault – Butler, Skeggs, Berlant, & in/against/alongside Bourdieu – Ranciere, Pelletier, McNay, Reay Working out a cultural sociology of higher education (Hey & Leathwood, 2009; Hey, 2011; Hey & Morley, 2011) Living the Triumph of Emptiness (Alvesson, 2013) Experimenting in auto-ethnography of the now – (Hey, in press, 2013)

3 Academic Affects & Agency : Navigating Academic Noir Different affects make us feel, write, think, and act in different ways … This matters at the level of theory. It matters in terms of what we want writing to do (Probyn,2010). Apocalyptic analytics – Zizek in New Left Review – the market is ideology English liberal pragmatics – retreading the hollowed (out) ground of widening participation? Defending the Public University ?

4 Dreaming in code Lucas, (2010) In context of academic capitalism & Lucass critique of immaterial labour do feminist words matter? Excessive production – driven maniacs (Skeggs, 2008) reproduction not resistance or both but then how? Thus a tongue-in –cheek question posed in CHEER is Why Bother? in the context of Who Cares? 22 April, 2014

5 Apocalypse Now? or Rethinking Academic Attachments Not attached to : Apocalyptic analytics of Zizek – or The discourse of defence offered by the 'chaps' – some things in the public university not defensible yet implicated in academys perverse pleasures such as: 'reproductive' or 'will to hyper-performance' of feminist academia thus where to now? Lauren Berlant on sticking with difficulty ?

6 Cruel Optimism & Depressive Realism (Berlant, 2006, 2010) Cruel Optimism : To phrase the object of desire as a cluster of promises is to allow us to encounter what is incoherent or enigmatic in our attachments, not as confirmation of our irrationality but as explanation for our sense of our endurance in the object, all attachments are optimistic Depressive Realism : There is no collective life without norms, the question isnt how to become post- normative as such but how to respond to the urgency to engender other kinds of anchors or magnets for new social relations and modes of life (Interview with Lauren Berlant 2010)

7 Feminist Attachments – Do Words Matter? I became an academic mainly because of the relation between words and things (Probyn, 2010) I dont think writers are sacred but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you might nudge the world a little or make a poem that children will speak for you when you are dead (Henry, in The Real Thing - Stoppard) 22 April, 2014

8 The Other with/in – Gender as a structuring material & cultural relation it can be argued that whenever women occupy a place in the public world that is predicated on the exclusion/inclusion problematic the central denial of the significance of the Other that is involved in binary gendered thought, that place will be a profoundly uneasy one, inexplicable and irresolvable unless the exclusion/inclusion problematic is more firmly and fully understood (Celia Davies, 1996;p672)

9 Out of the Mouth of Ministers –Misogyny & the Heterosexual Matrix One of the things that happened over that period was that the entirely admirable transformation of opportunities for women meant that with a lot of the expansion of education in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the first beneficiaries were the daughters of middle-class families who had previously been excluded from educational opportunities,... And if you put that with what is called 'assortative mating that well-educated women marry well-educated men this transformation of opportunities for women ended up magnifying social divides

10 Passionate Feminism & Present Women Fighting to be heard To be seen To matter To know and to be curious Women into higher education –students and scholars YET Being in is not the same as being equal Storming & performing but never norming?

11 Meeting Isambard ? Undoing or Living Alongside Austerity A vocabulary of academic authority: Severe Strict Stern Grave Ascetic Rigorous Serious 22 April, 2014

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