Social Class, Gender and the Pace of Academic Life: What Kind of Solution is Slow?

Heather Mendick


My starting point for this article is the increasing pace of academic life. As the other articles in this special section evidence, the Slow movement, which seeks to challenge our contemporary obsession with speed, is being taken up by many in order to intervene into "fast academia". However, in this article, I suggest we should pause and question what kind of a solution this offers to the current crisis of speed. Working auto/biographically and using examples drawn from popular culture, I argue that Slow is both classed and gendered, re/producing wider patterns of inclusion and exclusion. Specifically, I suggest that Slow naturalises a particular relationship to self which requires not just stability of employment but an individualist way of being, constituting selves that calculate and invest in them-selves for the future.



autoethnography; fast academia; Slow movement; neoliberalism; higher education; social class; gender

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Copyright (c) 2014 Heather Mendick

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