“You can feel the exhaustion in the air around you”: The Mood of Contemporary Universities and its Impact on Feminist Scholarship

39 | 2019

Maria do Mar Pereira

University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom / Centro Interdisciplinar de Estudos de Género (CIEG), Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal / Centro de Estudos das Migrações e das Relações Interculturais da Universidade Aberta, Portugal
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3745-6266

Science and higher education have undergone profound changes in recent decades, leading in many countries to the institutionalisation of academic cultures of performativity. In this article, I examine how that institutionalisation shapes women’s, gender, feminist studies (WGFS) in paradoxical ways. Drawing on an ethnography of Portuguese academia, I show that the growing emphasis on productivity has created opportunities for WGFS but also produced a mood of exhaustion and depression that has extremely detrimental impacts on WGFS academics’ bodies, relationships and knowledge production. I use this paradox to call for more debate in WGFS about contemporary academic working cultures, and our ambivalent personal investments in work.


academia, feminism, gender studies, work, higher education

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22355/exaequo.2019.39.11
[ Descarregar pdf ] [ Ver pdf ]

Direitos de autor: Creative Commons – CC BY NC