Seminar: Exploring Probationary Academic Citizenship in the Swiss Context

Date: January 31, 2022, 13.00 - 14.00

Venue: Online

Fee:  Free



In this presentation, we adopt the multi-level definition of academic citizenship (see Sümer, O’Connor, Le Feuvre, 2020), in order to explore the experiences of a particular group of postdocs working in a case-study Swiss university. Although the increasingly precarious employment status of postdocs has attracted considerable research attention in recent years (see, for example, Murgia & Poggio, 2018), little is known about the ‘feelings, experiences, and narratives of being included and excluded, recognized and misrecognized, heard or ignored’ (Roseneil et al., 2012: 5) that members of this transient intellectual labour force develop towards the academic institutions through which they pass in the course of their ‘precarious postdoc’ (Jones & Oakley, 2018) careers.

Using biographical interview and focus group data collected in the course of the Link Arrow EU-funded GARCIA project, we adopt the notion of ‘probationary citizenship’, initially developed by migration scholars (Chauvin & Garcés-Mascarenas, 2012), to provide new insights into the contradictory expectations placed on this particular group of early-career academics, and analyse their implications for the gendering of academic citizenship more generally.

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