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Accidental academic activism – Intersectional and (un)intentional feminist resistance

Sobande, Francesca 2018. Accidental academic activism – Intersectional and (un)intentional feminist resistance. Journal of Applied Social Theory 1 (2) , pp. 83-101.

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Drawing on autoethnographic reflections, this work explores the concept of ‘accidental academic activism’. It outlines how this notion aids understanding of power struggles and resistance in higher education. Shaped by feminist and queer theory, there is discussion of processes of (mis)identification as an academic activist. This article examines how the intersections of racism and sexism result in the presumed political presence of Black women in academia, in ways that may influence their academic activism. This account also considers how creative and self-reflexive approaches can enable resistance to neoliberal pressures to perform perfection as an academic. When considering the history and future of academia, questions concerning identity, ideology and inequality inevitably arise. These include the contested scope for individuals to pursue and produce work that is both academic and activist in nature. Pairing such debates with discussion of race, gender and feminism yields insight into fractious forms of academic resistance, solidarity, (un)settling silences, and identities. This article stems from my perspective as a Black (and mixed-race) woman, and who as an early career researcher is still determining the extent to which their work is resistant. By reflecting on tensions and overlaps between academia and activism, there is exploration of the parameters within which feminist research and resistance is (im)mobilised.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Uncontrolled Keywords: academia,activism,feminism,intersectionality, race, reflexivity
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Publisher: Cristina Costa and Mark Murphy
ISSN: 2398-5836
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 April 2019
Last Modified: 29 May 2020 10:39

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