Deadline: June 30, 2023
This special issue, will explore examples and implications of academic development approaches conceived and structured as community development. Parkinson, McDonald and Quinlan (2020) proposed a reconceptualization of academic development as centred around particular communities of academics who exist outside of or across higher education institutions. To illustrate, they reported on a study of the academic development needs of Syrian academics in exile, a group of academics who are bound by ‘common experiences, needs, expectations, and access to opportunity’ (p. 195), rather than an employing institution. These features, referred to as common interests, define and hold together a community (Kenny, 2016).
This framing invites the field to think beyond academic development as an institutional practice to instead consider approaches that listen to, empower and develop communities of scholars. Parkinson et al. (2020) proposed a model for designing and critiquing academic development activities that address the needs, experiences, choices, and structures of opportunity of communities of academics, especially those who have been marginalised in, or excluded from, the academy. Their model outlined three main dialectics that shape how such activities may be organised philosophically and practically: individual-focused vs community-focused; alleviating vs transformative; and needs-based vs asset-based.
The editors invite manuscripts that highlight and interrogate examples of academic development as community development. These articles may focus on specific groups, such as women, racially-minoritised scholars, disabled academics, adjunct or precarious staff, discipline-specific communities, those with common interests in particular questions or concerns, or scholars in countries where academic development is not institutionally embedded. The initiatives may be led by members of the academic community themselves rather than people who identify as academic developers. Academic development activities may be formal or informal, coordinated through grassroots efforts, grants, networks, national agencies, a university, or disciplinary associations or societies.