Explore a curated, and updated, selection of relevant scholarly and public engagement publications (including those by our Founder/Director).
Chapter: “A stitch in time …”: Scholar-activism as resistance/disruption, method, and self-care practice (2021)
Post-Covid-19, the standard neoliberal model for higher education, particularly in the West, has finally been fundamentally challenged. For those of us who have been tentatively seeking to disrupt and resist this model in academia, explore alternative approaches, methods, and an alternative practice in academia; this global moment seems a great opportunity to openly explore such alternatives. It is in this international and historical context that I offer an exploration of my own variation on the theme of ‘Scholar-Activism’, in the field of International Relations (IR) and, more particularly, the feminist community within that field. As with my recently defended PhD thesis, I will be taking interdisciplinary insights from fields such as education, sociology, anthropology, and political geography, to outline my own approach. Essentially, this approach can be summed up by the following ‘equation’: Scholar-Activism + Self-Care = A Compassionate Higher Education. It is hoped that such an approach may lead to a greater balance between the competing interests of success, productivity, and self-care and wellness.
Book Review: Being an early career feminist academic: global perspectives, experiences, and challenges, edited by Rachel Thwaites and Amy Pressland
A book review for the International Feminist Journal of Politics (2017).
PhD Thesis (2019): A feminist critique of the militarization of knowledge production on terrorism studies : a scholar-activist counter-narrative account
Given the post-2008 ‘evolution’ of the term ‘terrorist’ to incorporate more domestic threats, such as protesters/activists/dissidents, in the West (particularly with reference to the US and UK respectively), the author seeks to question the utility of this development for the purposes of reducing violent conflict. Consideration is given to the Minerva Initiative and the relationship between the security and scholarly community, towards the aim of the United States to manage future security challenges. It is suggested that the increasing militarization of knowledge production, coupled with the militarization of police and civic spaces, is in fact counter-productive to efforts to reduce such (domestic) violent conflict. Considering the recent context of post-2016, ‘post-truth’ events and the Trump Presidency, along with the ‘black propaganda’, ‘fake news’ and hybrid security threat of Russia; the author highlights significant areas of Cold War-esque concern raised from the analysis. In the ongoing Information War context, scholar-activists are needed more than ever. Furthermore, the author suggests an alternative theoretical and methodological approach, incorporating Critical (Feminist) Security scholarship, a radical approach to Peace Economics, and alternative critical (artistic) methods. This ultimately resulted in the author choosing an ‘immersive’, ‘scrap-booking’ style for the format of the thesis. The author suggests that critical (feminist) security scholars are best placed to utilise Peace Economics, engaging empathy via concepts such as Sylvester’s (1994) ’empathetic cooperation’; developed further by ‘CS’ scholars such as Sjoberg (2006, 48), who suggest it can be understood as a ‘feminist security ethic’. This approach should improve the prospects for a reduction in political violence (often referred to as ‘terrorism’). It is suggested the hermeneutic cycle, reflexivity and autobiographical counter-narrative methodological approach, enables the scholar-activist to negotiate a path through the current political and intellectual landscape in academia, whilst also remaining true to activist ideals and aims. In seeking solutions to the problems of today, the author suggests we look to the past … and the Presidency, for ‘A (feminist) ‘Strategy of Peace’ (Economics)’.
By Robert Samuels
Copy edited by Karen P. Peirce. Designed by Mike Palmquist.
In A Working Model for Contingent Faculty, Robert Samuels offers an outline of fair and effective practices for improving the working conditions of faculty in precarious positions. Drawing on more than twenty years of union activism and university teaching, Samuels examines programs, policies, and practices that work for non-tenure-track faculty in the University of California system. His detailed analysis of facts on the ground offers a foundation upon which faculty in contingent positions can build arguments for improved working conditions. Throughout the book, Samuels focuses on the central issues of academic freedom, job security, compensation, shared governance, evaluation and promotion, benefits, and dispute resolution as well as critical but less often addressed concerns such as funding for professional development family leave policies, technology training, and summer teaching. A Working Model, as a result, offers resources that can support progress well beyond the University of California system.