“This could be the turning point”: rethinking times and spaces of academic work as a result of Covid-19

1st July 2021 : 14:00 - 15:00

Category: Webinar

Speaker: Melina Aarnikoivu, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä; Terhi Nokkala, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä; Taina Saarinen, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä

Location: Zoom webinar, registration required

Audience: Public

In this presentation, we discuss the temporal and spatial materialities of academic work, as they unfold in the new settings of full homes, empty offices, and different levels of isolation from colleagues and university premises. In the one year trajectory that our longitudinal data currently covers, the meanings and functions attached to familiar places and times shift, as do the range of emotions that the new situation evokes.

These observations compel us to ask whether the pandemic caused the academia to change, or whether it merely made the existing materialities and the ensuing (in)equities visible. Our presentation is based on a longitudinal online interview study of academics based in Europe and North America during the corona pandemic. The first group consisted of four early-career academics, the second group of three senior academics, and the final group was a mixture of both early-career and senior researchers. In addition to the interview rounds, we, the authors of the study, met 13 times before, in between, and after the interviews to reflect on them, thus bringing elements of reflexive team ethnography into the study.

This webinar is part of the free public seminar programme hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).