„To work under the pressure of academic capitalism and strive to answer the world’s challenges, we may need to think hard and slow about how we can utilise what we have learned from our research to equip our minds, hands, bodies and collectives to imagine alternative future(s) for academia, societies and humanity. Some initiates have been taken. For instance, the International Panel on Social Progress was convened to answer the question “Can we hope for a better society?”“
I read the announcement for the symposium on “Be/com/ing academic” on a cold day in early February 2017. It clicked with me.
I started my master’s-doctoral programme at the University of Sussex in 2012, and am pressured to complete on time this September. Since 2015, I have seen my colleagues and friends graduating from their doctoral programmes in the social sciences and humanities. Half started their careers outside of academia. Those who obtained temporary academic positions in the UK are on short-term contracts for teaching or postgraduate research, and unsure about their future in academia. In conversations with those who chose to leave, one question seems to appear often: how come our curiosity to understand the world and human conditions has been transformed into completing a task to answer a manageable question to primarily convince the examiners that “you got it to be a Ph.D.” Then no one is there…
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