Webinar: Sevil Sümer on Transitional Academic Citizenship

The Centre for Gender Research and the FRONT project are hosting the first event in the seminar series Gender Inequality and Precarity in Academia in the European Context. In this webinar, Sevil Sümer will discuss the concept of gendered academic citizenship, focusing particularly on problems experienced by early-career academics, or “transitional” academic citizens.

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Postdoctoral researchers face harsh competition in order to secure permanent positions at higher education and research institutions. Illustration photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash.

Practical information

You must register for the event in order to receive the Zoom link. To ensure that you receive the link in time for the event, please sign up before 12 pm on October 27. The link will be sent to your registered e-mail address close to the time of the event. If you have any practical questions regarding the webinar, please contact Anna Young.

Register here

Please note that the times listed for this event are in Central European Time.


Increasing insecurity and harsh competition for permanent and secure academic positions is a common reality at higher education and research institutions which are run as private enterprises, with neo-liberal governing principles emphasizing profitability and commercialization. The employment and working conditions of postdoctoral researchers in these temporary positions and their chances of getting permanent positions are affected by academic career structures and research policies at the national and international (European) level, but also by the gender arrangements of the broader societal contexts.

In the book Gendered Academic Citizenship: Issues and Experiences (Sümer, O’Connor, Le Feuvre 2020), we have developed the framework of gendered academic citizenship, to analyze processes of inclusion/exclusion and participation patterns at higher education and research institutions. Looking into the complex interaction of membership, recognition and belonging dimensions, we identified four ideal-types of academic citizenship: full citizenship, limited citizenship, transitional citizenship and non-citizenship. In this paper, I will first present this overall framework and then focus on problems experienced by “Transitional” Academic Citizens.


Sevil Sümer is Associate Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, currently employed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and at the University of Bergen. Her main fields of research are comparative studies of gender regimes, gendered citizenship, work-family reconciliation and gender imbalance in top academic positions. She is the author of the book European Gender Regimes and Policies: Comparative Perspectives and editor of the book Gendered Academic Citizenship: Issues and Experiences (Palgrave Macmillan).  

Gender Inequality and Precarity in Academia in the European Context: An International Seminar Series

Changing patterns and conditions of academic work have accelerated in recent decades: Universities in Europe and elsewhere are increasingly adopting neoliberal business models involving continual restructuring and creating precarity within the academic workforce. While this trend has invited manifold critiques, it continues apace with potentially detrimental impacts on individuals, careers, academic cultures and knowledge production. Particular concerns have been raised in relation to the impact on women and minoritised staff who may experience multiple barriers developing careers in academia.

This event series therefore considers the impact of precarity on gender and broader equity goals in the academy and beyond; it maps gendered and intersectional consequences for individuals alongside implications for the conditions of knowledge production, learning and teaching; challenges the normalization of precarious working conditions and explores ways forward. 

The collaborative series is an output of the Gender and Precarity in Academia working group, part of the European Universities – Critical Futures project. 

Other webinars in this series

  • November 25, 3pm-4pm CET: Charlotte Morris (University of Portsmouth) - "'You just have to learn to play the game': Regret, resentment, resignation and responsibility in narratives of academic precarity"
  • December 2, 12.30pm-1.30pm CET: Oili-Helena Ylijoki (Tampere University) - "Affects, gender and precarity in academic work"
  • January 2022: Professor Nicky le Feuvre (University of Lausanne)
  • February 22 2022: Marie-Pierre Moreau (Anglia Ruskin University), Kate Hoskins (Brunel University), Ellen McHugh (Brunel University)
  • March 22 2022: Barbara Read (University of Glasgow)
  • April 2022: Lotta Snickare (KTH Royal Institute of Technology/University of Oslo)


Lotta Snickare
Published Sep. 14, 2021 9:37 AM - Last modified Mar. 31, 2022 1:07 PM