Debate 3: Precarious Voices in Language Studies: methodological shifts precipitated by precarity
A panel of Early Career Researchers debates the challenges that now profoundly mark early-career academic trajectories. The Debate takes as a starting point Hannah Scott and James Illingworth’s current research on ECRs in French Studies which explores the methodological shifts precipitated by precarity, not only recording those methods precarity has rendered researchers unable to pursue, but also investigating the new or alternative methods which precarious researchers have, nonetheless, pursued.
Academia today, more than ever before, poses challenges that profoundly mark the early-career trajectories of the youngest third of its workforce. From the expectation some thirty-years ago that one would hone one’s skills through a couple of temporary positions before settling into an established lectureship, now highly-experienced and even field-leading scholars tread precariously from post to post for many years after the successful acquisition of their PhD. Indeed, the precarity of this professional trajectory impacts seriously upon the personal life, mental and physical health, and long-term financial security of those who seek to follow it.
The panel discussion seeks to better comprehend the creativity and ingenuity of precarious researchers in the face of adversity across the range of Modern Languages and allied disciplines as well as its personal and professional impact. Questions include how constraint has perhaps been confronted with insightful work and innovative modes of working; how collaboration has been either foregone or fostered to good effect; and, perhaps, how belief in the importance of research has changed.This Debate, like the research which inspired it, does not seek to turn precarity into a positive, rather, it seeks to better comprehend the creativity and ingenuity of precarious researchers in the face of adversity.
Chaired by Rachel Scott, Lecturer in World and Hispanic Literatures; Director of Comparative Literature and Culture, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Royal Holloway, University of London;
With Hannah Scott, NUAcT Fellow in French Cultural History, Newcastle University, James Illingworth, Lecturer in French, School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University, Martina Borghi, Italian Language Tutor, School of Humanities, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Royal Holloway, University of London, Mona Habeb, Institute of Languages, Cultures and Society (ILCS), School of Advanced Study, University of London and other Early Career Researchers.
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