TASA 2018 plenary session

“Working in the Global Academy: Precarity, Rights, Opportunities and Resistance”

At the upcoming TASA 2018 conference there will be a fascinating plenary session entitled “Working in the Global Academy: Precarity, Rights, Opportunities and Resistance”. This session will cover many of the current challenges faced by sociologists and practitioners in allied disciplines within the higher education sector. Matters close to many of TASA’s membership.

The plenary session will  held by Associate Professor Fran Collyer, who has recently been named Sociologist of the month by the journal Current Sociology for her work on Global patterns in the publishing of academic knowledge Global North, global South. Other speakers will include: Nour Dados and James Goodman (UTS); Fabian Cannizzo (RMIT) and Christian Mauri (Murdoch); and Grant Banfield (Flinders) and Ann Lawless (UWA).

As our universities became part of the global system, Australian academics, perhaps more so than in many other parts of the world, came face to face with neoliberalism, managerialism and marketisation. Our work-loads have intensified and expanded, surveillance has increased, our environments have become less collaborative and much more competitive, and for many, our future is less secure and predictable. This plenary offers the opportunity to hear about some of the latest research on the academy. We begin with a focus on Australians as ‘Southern’ workers, on the peculiar challenges they confront, and the work practices and strategies developed in the face of the dominant ‘North’. This is followed with a report on the new Scholarly Teaching Fellows introduced as a more secure alternative to teaching casuals, with reflections on the implementation and experience of this new workplace model. Early career academics are the focus of the next presentation, reflecting on a new generation of workers who display both pessimism and a sense of hope for their futures in the academy. The final session will turn attention to the possibilities and potentialities of workplace activism and rights, as collective action becomes ever more important to address the issues of precarity and workplace rights for workers in the Australian academy.

There is so much in this plenary that will be a strong call for many participants. The conference theme of Precarity, Rights and Resistance will no doubt draw together a fascinating and awakening range of presentations and people at the upcoming TASA conference.

Conference abstracts close on the 4th June. Please submit your work and we hope to see you at Deakin, in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne.

Precarity, Rights and Resistance

TASA 2018 at Deakin

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences, The Faculty of Arts and Education, The Alfred Deakin Institute of Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University are all happy to invite you to the 2018 TASA Conference at our Burwood Campus in Melbourne.

The theme of this year’s conference is Precarity, Rights and Resistance.

The pressures that neoliberal capitalism is placing on people and the planet has led to a heightened state of precarity, particularly since the Global Financial Crisis and new climate of austerity. At the same time, while the mid-late 20th Century can be categorised as a cosmopolitan era, in which great advances were made in affirming the rights of women, children, LGBTIQ people, cultural and religious minorities, and animals, an aggressive anti-cosmopolitan turn has occurred in the early 21st Century. This is evident in a rise of narrow nationalism, far-right parties, Islamophobia, and climate change denial, with previously dominant groups fighting to maintain their supremacy over ‘others’ and the lifeworld. Resistance to this precarity and anti-cosmopolitanism has emerged in numerous social movements’ and scholar-activists’ calls for new ways to live well together, recognising our interdependence on one another and the natural world. Our conference will focus on these themes, and we call for critical analysis of these pressing issues currently confronting all of us.

Staff across the sociology discipline at Deakin University represent broad interests in the areas of globalization, gender, migration, risk, religion and caring. The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI) is an internationally recognised and highly regarded social sciences and humanities research institute. ADI researchers create cutting-edge knowledge about citizenship, diversity, inclusion and globalization, which informs scholarship, debate and policy.

The Burwood campus of the university is situated in the leafy eastern suburbs of Melbourne approximately 45 minutes journey to and from the city centre. The campus is serviced by bus and tram lines. We have an abundance of on-campus as well as off-campus accommodation.

We look forward to welcoming TASA members and sociologists from around Australia and the world to Melbourne this year.

The Conference convenor is Grazyna Zajdow and the Local organizing committee is:

Rose Butler
Bernie East
Liz Eckerman
Anna Halafoff
Anita Harris
Amelia Johns
Karen Lane
Doug Lorman
Alexia Maddox
Vince Marotta
Andrew Singleton
Kim Toffoletti
Jessica Walton

Deakin Women in Sport and Exercise (WISE) Seminar

Dr Katharine Jones (Thomas Jefferson University) “Will the Real Fans Please Stand Up? Negotiating Gendered Authenticity in English Football.”

Wednesday 23 May, 4pm-5pm, Deakin Downtown, Level 12, Tower 2, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne. See reception for room number. Virtual Meeting Point dial-in number: (03) 522 36973.

Abstract: English football (aka soccer) underwent a major transformation at the turn of the 21st century as a result of several deadly stadium disasters and an infusion of money from satellite TV contracts. Women and children were seen as potential “civilizing” influences by the footballing authorities, and so were encouraged to attend (although they had always done so). At the same time, it became clear that clubs could make money off fans if they treated them as customers consuming an entertainment product. My talk explores the backlash among football fans to this corporate model, which has focused on so-called outsiders to the game, people presumed not to be “true” fans, either because of their match attendance history, their clothing, their accent, or their identity. These discourses of authenticity create boundaries between fans and their performance of fandom. Holding fans to ideals of authenticity excludes some, includes others, and produces nostalgia for the way things used to be. This mythical time was when all fans were authentic—or, rather, a time when white straight men could be “real” men, and gendered, racial and sexual others could be safely excluded, ignored or abused. The discourse of authenticity is also used to sell the game back to fans; but it leads to unattainable standards for fandom. Female fans, fans of colour, and/or LGBT fans suffer the most from these strict definitions of authentic fandom.

Katharine Jones is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. She earned a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, and an MA and PhD in Sociology from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She also earned a Certificate in Women’s Studies from Rutgers. She has published on the accents and identity negotiations of white English immigrants in the US, in her book Accent on Privilege (Temple University Press, 2001), and women’s responses to sexism and homophobia at English soccer matches. Her current research interests are: the intersections of gender, race, class and sexuality, as applied to English soccer fans; autoethnographies of the body, grief, and illness; feminist methodologies; and critical pedagogies. At Jefferson, She teaches courses about gender, race and class; globalization; citizenship; sport; and the United Kingdom. Katharine spent her childhood in the UK, Africa, and the Caribbean, and travelled widely because of her parents’ jobs.

Places are limited. To RSVP, please contact kim.toffoletti@deakin.edu.au