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Seminar: "Shifting our gaze from individuals to structures – to where? The strange feeling structures of university work"

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Location: Zoom

You are warmly invited to a talk by Dr Mona Mannevuo and Dr Elina Valovirta (University of Turku), entitled "Shifting our gaze from individuals to structures – to where? The strange feeling structures of university work". It will take place on May 24th 2023, on Zoom at 10.00 (UK time; to convert to another timezone, click here)


This presentation deals with academic time management discourses or "tendencies" (Sedgwick 1995) as an affective phenomenon in the neoliberal university. The genre based on efficiency thinking, neuromanagement and brain plasticity appears as an antidote to chronic time poverty plaguing academics worldwide. However, time management often aims to serve individual, not collective, goals. The question remains whether these time management tendencies are effective to solve problems experienced in the university community on a structural level.

Numerous studies have stated that time-related affects such as guilt and anxiety plague the subjects of academic work, and burnout is not an exception but almost a rule concerning university workers. However, the ideas of a slow university or skillful time management brought to control the chaos and counterbalance the eternal rush do not seem to completely remedy the situation. Academic, precarious work culture is a structure, but people through their own actions create the emotional structure or atmosphere that emerges from it. Our attempt is to envision, what sustainable time activism could look like. Thinking about time differently could help balance the accelerating pace of work and bring back the joy of collectivity crucial to feminist practices and politics.

Author Bios:

Mona Mannevuo works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Turku, Finland. She received her PhD in gender studies from the University of Turku and holds a title of docent in political history at the University of Helsinki. Her current research explores the complicated history of work-related fatigue. Her research has been published in journals such as Theory, Culture & Society, International Journal of Cultural Studies and Sociological Review. She has recently published two monographs in Finnish, one on the history of Finnish work psychology, and the other on the growing impact of communications agencies on Finnish politics (with Matti Ylönen and Niina Kari).

Elina Valovirta is collegium research fellow at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Turku in Finland, and a senior lecturer in English at the same university; she is currently on a leave of absence. She is the author of Sexual Feelings. Reading Anglophone Caribbean Women’s Writing Through Affect (2014, Rodopi) and the co-editor of Thinking with the Familiar in Contemporary Literature and Culture ‘Out of the Ordinary’ (2019, Brill). She has published articles in journals such as The Feminist Review, Sexuality and Culture, The European Journal of Cultural Studies, and The Journal of Commonwealth Literature.

This seminar is free and open to all, but advance registration is required.

To register for a place, click HERE.

If you have any questions about the event, please email

In the registration form, you will be able to indicate access requirements and other needs. Do not hesitate to let us know if there are any adjustments we can make to support your full participation.

This seminar is co-hosted by CSWG and Atgender (the European Association for Gender Research, Education and Documentation).

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