Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Journal of Gender Studies

For a Special Issue on

Gender and Academic Employment in Changing Times

Abstract deadline
15 October 2023

Manuscript deadline
15 March 2024

Cover image - Journal of Gender Studies

Special Issue Editor(s)

Rodrigo Rosa, Independent Scholar
[email protected]

Sara Clavero, [email protected]

Glenda Strachan, [email protected]

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Gender and Academic Employment in Changing Times

Despite decades of equality policies and programmes, higher education institutions remain gendered organisations, while employment patterns and the work conditions of academic and research staff have changed dramatically. In the current neoliberal and globalised university, academic employment and academics’ productivity are situated within economic and corporate systems rooted in utilitarian perspectives aligning scientific knowledge with its relevance and applicability to industry. Not only have governments increasingly controlled academics’ work through a set of monitoring mechanisms, but, in many countries, they have drastically reduced public funding for higher education and research, undermining the non-market values in which academic work was traditionally anchored.

The gendered processes shaping academic employment are complex. Five questions are at the core of the debate on gender and academic employment today, namely:

  • What are the gendered consequences of the dismantlement of a conception of academic work oriented to the public good and the predominance of new public management technologies of governance?
  • How have the processes of precarisation of the workforce, overwork, hyper-competition for positions and performance management, transformed the gendered social relations and outcomes of academic work?
  • How have the conditions of employment and ways of doing work changed as a result of government responses to global health issues of Covid-19 resulted in gendered differences in academic employment since 2020?
  • In what ways have the new challenges of digitalisation and working from home created more complex and challenging gender issues for academic employment policies and practices?
  • To what extent are there opportunities to challenge the negative consequences of neoliberal demands on the professional role of academics, and what has been the focus and impact of collective campaigns?

This special issue seeks to contribute to the debates on academic employment policies and practices through original articles that present, analyse and discuss the gender mechanisms underlying academic labour markets arising from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives including gender studies, anthropology, sociology, social policy, organisational studies, psychology, political science, economics, education, and the law. The specific objectives are fourfold:

(1) to foster research on the gendered consequences of the academic labour market in times of globalisation and the prevalence of neoliberal thinking;

(2) to discuss the advantages, limitations or blind spots of the different approaches to investigating and tackling gender inequality in the academic labour markets of today;

(3) to explore the intersections of gender with other inequalities (such as race, ethnicity, nationality, age, class and sexuality) and the ensuing more complex forms of either disadvantages or privileges defining the social relations of work in the higher education sector;

(4) to underline the importance of applying a gender lens when outlining strategies and identifying best practices to tackle the loss of legal protections and bargaining power of academics in the last decades.

This special issue welcomes approaches that attempt to build bridges between different gender studies’ fields and that develop, from a critical standpoint, innovative conceptual tools. However, we seek to give priority to studies addressing empirical and policy challenges. We invite studies that use qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies while presenting either single or comparative case studies on gender issues in academic employment by exploring the work experiences and activism of university staff.

Submissions may cover one or more of the following topics: major changes in the gendered nature of  academic employment the gendered implications of neoliberal reforms transforming academic career paths; gender pay-gaps in different academic labour markets; the challenges of precarious academic labour for gender equality; women’s (dis)empowerment against a backdrop of the steady collapse of bargaining power and legal protections for academic workers; work-life balance in hyper-competitive and performative academic work environments; the gendered patterns and impacts of remote/hybrid forms of work in the 2020’s; the pastoral work of academics and the shrinking space and time for lecturers to care for students; (wo)men, femininities and masculinities in the context of work-centric organisational cultures; gender bias in recruitment, promotion and retention; collective action, including trade union activity and campaigns, through the lens of gender; sexual harassment within academic work relations; gender segregation and the imbalances between STEM and non-STEM disciplines; and intersectional approaches to academic employment.

Articles examining gendered academic employment patterns and work experiences in universities in countries of the Global South (or Asia, Africa and Latin America) are particularly encouraged.

The closing date for early expressions of interest will be 15 October 2023. An abstract of 300-500 words and a 50-word biographical statement should be sent by email to guest editors Rodrigo Rosa, Sara Clavero and Glenda Strachan: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

The closing date for submission of articles will be 15 March 2024, through the journal’s submission platform.