Lund, Locke and Wright: "Rethinking Gender Equity in the Contaminated University: A Methodology for Listening for Music in the Ruins"

Rebecca Lund (STK), Kirsten Locke (University of Auckland), Susan Wright (Aarhus University) have published the article "Rethinking Gender Equity in the Contaminated University: A Methodology for Listening for Music in the Ruins" in Gender, Work & Organization.

Cover of issue of Gender, Work & Organization


This paper offers a new way to engage with gender, race and class relations in academic leadership and organizations. Viewing our research materials through different images helps us to ask new questions, open up new kinds of answers and ultimately other ways of knowing gender and leadership in academia. Our approach has three connected steps. Firstly, we engage with the ruins of the three main promises upon which the contemporary university has been built: enlightenment, liberalism and feminism, drawing on Anna Tsing's mushrooms at the end of the world and Gibson‐Graham's notion of a post‐capitalist economy. Secondly, we use intersectionality as a methodological lens, combining it with Karen Barad's ideas about how ´matter comes to matter´. We explore the intersections between four themes arising from the accounts of our participants: Reshaping the disciplinary field; Gender, Class and Race; Travelling and mobility; and Institutional structures and policies. The third and final step, engages with how some women successfully coordinate these intersecting themes to navigate their careers and achieve leadership positions within the contaminated and ruinous university environment. In doing so we draw on the musical form of the fugue with its four themes that at different moments diverge, clash and, if successful, achieve resolution, to provide us with a way for analysing the women's stories as ‘polyphony‐in‐action'. By using this musical approach to retool intersectionality we are able to show how some women managed to bring all four themes of their lives into symbiosis and achieve value in the ruinous academic landscape.

Read the full article here (Wiley Online Library)

Published Mar. 2, 2021 8:55 AM - Last modified Apr. 8, 2021 9:10 AM