Conference: Academic Identities in Crisis?

Academic Identities in Crisis?
4th – 6th September 2008 – University of Central Lancashire, UK

Conference details can be found at the conference website and conference booking/registration form is attached. Conference Website –

This interdisciplinary conference will break new ground by exploring questions of identity as they relate to teaching, research, moves between disciplines or even professions, career and lifecourse
transitions and public and private identities. Stuart Hall talks of the ‘suturing’ process of constructing our identities out of fragments (1996), and we begin from the position that our identities are fragile
and constantly shifting. However, there may well be some common and recurrent features, and we invite colleagues from all subject areas and roles, both inside and outside universities, to join us in mapping some of our identities and possibly finding synergies.

Keynote Speakers
Professor Laurie Taylor
Professor Heidi Macpherson (De Montfort University)
Professor Paul Trowler (University of Lancaster)
Professor Gina Wisker (University of Brighton)

Questions to consider include:
• How is your research and/or teaching identity structured? Is it literal or symbolic? What metaphors do you use to explain and analyse your practice?
• What is the relationship between you and your research topic/teaching area? What models do you use for understanding your academic work?
• How do you negotiate the interface between the ivory tower and the marketplace? How do you get your research ‘out there’? How do you construct and negotiate a ‘public’ identity?
• How do the texts, objects, people and places you research reflect and/or shape your identity?
• Can you map changes in your identity through transformations in your teaching/research, especially from postgraduate to lecturer/researcher or from lecturer/research to professor? What about mapping changes in your identity if you have moved from one discipline to another or one role to another? How can interdisciplinarity be managed? How/Have you managed to transfer your identity into the public arena?
• How do you manage the academic identities of others, either through line management or staff
development roles?
• Have changes in your life prompted transformations in your research/teaching? How can we or how do we ‘enjoy’ these identities?
• Is there a conflict between your teaching and research identity? Do you have more than one identity for different contexts and occasions and does this cause you any physical and/or emotional and/or professional difficulties? Do you have an ‘ideal’ identity you are trying to attain and, if so, where does this come from (books, films, mentors etc.)? What choices are we presented with?
• How do you think others conceive of your research, teaching or public identities? What do external evaluators say/write about your research (peer review, book reviews, in the news, at conferences) or your teaching (students, peer observation etc.)? How do you feel about this?
• How do you negotiate external challenges to your research or teaching identity such as the RAE, employability agenda, corporate strategies,widening participation, QA, and internationalism etc.?

This conference will be of interest to anyone who wishes to reflect upon and interrogate their academic identity, in any subject area and from a variety of backgrounds.

About Jennie Barnsley

I am the Research Development Officer in the CLTR (Centre for Learning & Teaching Research) where I have worked part-time since January 2005. In this role I develop activities and resources to encourage and support colleagues across the institution to research their pedagogic theory and practice.
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