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TASA 2018 plenary session

“Working in the Global Academy: Precarity, Rights, Opportunities and Resistance”

At the upcoming TASA 2018 conference there will be a fascinating plenary session entitled “Working in the Global Academy: Precarity, Rights, Opportunities and Resistance”. This session will cover many of the current challenges faced by sociologists and practitioners in allied disciplines within the higher education sector. Matters close to many of TASA’s membership.

The plenary session will  held by Associate Professor Fran Collyer, who has recently been named Sociologist of the month by the journal Current Sociology for her work onGlobal patterns in the publishing of academic knowledge Global North, global South. Other speakers will include: Nour Dados and James Goodman (UTS); Fabian Cannizzo(RMIT) and Christian Mauri (Murdoch); and Grant Banfield (Flinders) and Ann Lawless(UWA).

As our universities became part of the global system, Australian academics, perhaps more so than in many other parts of the world, came face to face with neoliberalism, managerialism and marketisation. Our work-loads have intensified and expanded, surveillance has increased, our environments have become less collaborative and much more competitive, and for many, our future is less secure and predictable. This plenary offers the opportunity to hear about some of the latest research on the academy. We begin with a focus on Australians as ‘Southern’ workers, on the peculiar challenges they confront, and the work practices and strategies developed in the face of the dominant ‘North’. This is followed with a report on the new Scholarly Teaching Fellows introduced as a more secure alternative to teaching casuals, with reflections on the implementation and experience of this new workplace model. Early career academics are the focus of the next presentation, reflecting on a new generation of workers who display both pessimism and a sense of hope for their futures in the academy. The final session will turn attention to the possibilities and potentialities of workplace activism and rights, as collective action becomes ever more important to address the issues of precarity and workplace rights for workers in the Australian academy.

There is so much in this plenary that will be a strong call for many participants. The conference theme of Precarity, Rights and Resistance will no doubt draw together a fascinating and awakening range of presentations and people at the upcoming TASA conference.

Conference abstracts close on the 4th June. Please submit your work and we hope to see you at Deakin, in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne.

This article was originally published on Deakin’s Sociology blog.