Slow Singularities for Collective Mattering: New Material Feminist Praxis in the Accelerated Academy

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The contemporary university privileges speed, precarity, competition, and performativity; it operates through modes of accelerationism, work intensification and productivity; and it is oriented to producing academic subjectivities rooted in self-commodification. Much of this is antithetical to feminist ethics and working practices which focus on care, relationality and working together. The article explores these tensions as a basis for moving forward with the question: What does a new material feminist approach offer as an ethical practice to work against these damaging conditions? In response, it proposes an embodied material feminist ethics (Barad 2007; Haraway 2016) of response-ability generative of alternative approaches to educational research, teaching and mentoring. Relating Isabelle Stengers (2018) insights on the generativity of slow to Gilles Deleuze’s (1993) concept of ‘singularities’ it proposes slow singularities for collective mattering as a conceptual and practical means – as a material-discursive feminist praxis – to contest the un-liveable life of the neoliberal accelerated academy. In doing so, it makes the case for feminist work as an un/dutiful response-ability of nurturing decelerated forms of being which might help reimagine the aims and purpose of the university.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIrish Educational Studies
Early online date5 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Mar 2020


  • Slow, singularities, material feminism, responsibility/response-ability, ethics

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