Toxic times for feminist academic freedom?

Carol Taylor, Susanne Gannon, Kathryn Scantlebury, Jayne Osgood

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


This chapter focuses on feminism and academic freedom in toxic times through our perspectives as feminist academics and editors of a major journal in the field of gender and education. The chapter begins with biographical narratives illuminating the personal effects of toxicity and why academic freedom matters to us. The next section widens the scope to theorise our work as a politics of location (Haraway, 1988) which sits in uncomfortable relation to Brown’s (2015, 2019) concerns that neoliberalism is ‘undoing the demos’. From this, we conceptualise feminist academic freedom as a politically-charged contested terrain possessing particular risks for feminist work. The subsequent section outlines how feminist academic freedom has been conceptualised in Gender and Education and feminist work more broadly. Following that, we identify a number of examples which highlight the increasing threat feminist work frequently attracts as a consequence of the rise of the right. After that, we turn to our work as editors of Gender and Education, to explore how feminist academic freedom is entangled with our affective labour as editors and how it shapes our desires to enact a feminist ethics of care. The chapter contributes a novel perspective in conceptualising feminist academic freedom as an opportunity for producing collective spaces of hope within toxic times for feminists.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Academic Freedom
EditorsM Olssen, R Watermeyer, R Raaper
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781788975919
ISBN (Print)9781788975902
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2022


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