PaTHES online social meets – Season 5: Slow Academia – A Critical Discussion


Date: Six meetings on Mondays from May 2, 2022 until June 6, 2022 at 9.00 - 10.00 am (CEST)

Venue: Online via Zoom Link Arrow Link 

Fee: Free

SEASON 5 THEME: Slow Academia – A Critical Discussion

Led by A/Prof Agnes Bosanquet, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Chaired by A/Prof Barbara Grant, University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

This season of Online Social Meets explores slow academia. Typically defined in the negative – something other than frenetic, competitive, metricised, anxiety-promoting academia – its advocates are most visible in academic self-help such as Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber’s (2016) The Slow Professor, and its critics on social media including The Thesis Whisperer blog Link Arrow Slow academia is for the privileged and the Post Pandemic University Link Arrow Four reasons slow scholarship will not change academia.

What might closer attention to theorising slow academia offer? This season invites you to think critically about slow academia as a difficult but useful way of considering the intersections of self, others, time, place and institutions. Discussion of the following contributes to a richer understanding: Ahmed’s (2017, 2021) feminist pedagogy, Butler’s (2001) account of the self, Derrida’s (1994) political temporality and Baraitser’s (2017) endurance of time, Foucault’s (1982) heterotopias, and recent theorisations of neoliberalism in higher education and academic identities.

While the theoretical terrain is vast, this season rewards slow discussion as a challenge to what Walker (2016) calls ‘institutional reading’ which is hurried or rushed. By contrast, slow reading and discussion is described as attentive, open-ended, ambiguous and contradictory:

As a fascination rather than a final interpretation … as a questioning rather than an explanation; as an incomplete reading [and discussion] rather than a final one … as a loving relation or wondrous appreciation rather than an authoritative account; as an attentive listening … as a slow and intimate approach rather than a hasty reduction; as a generosity and a giving rather than a plundering … as a meandering, an unhurried reception, a reflection, a rumination, a meditative relation, a patience … (Walker, 2017, pp. 32-33)

Leading this season, Agnes Bosanquet blogs at Link Arrow The Slow Academic, a chronicle of experiences in academia, reflections on raising a child with a chronic illness, and reading feminist fiction and scholarship. The first post was triggered by reading Mountz and colleagues’ (2015) For Slow Scholarship: A Feminist Politics of Resistance through Collective Action in the Neoliberal University. Over six years, blogging has offered a way of thinking through the politics of higher education, university governance, academic roles and identities, and academic activism.

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