Impact: Epistemic and Social Closures? Professor Louise Morley Centre for Higher Education


Professor Louise Morley

Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER) University of Sussex, UK

Provoking Impact

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Financialization = research an object of surveillance. Technicization of knowledge?

Clumsy articulation of aspects of social attitudes to which politicians find it expedient to appeal (Collini, 2012).

Expository tactic/ social transparency Idealised abstraction/Clearing discursive debris Turning research into a contract model (Holmwood, 2014).

Neo-liberal capitalism transferring research into an opportunity for consumerism.

Rectilinear accounts of cause/ effect Management by Numbers/ Making individuals calculable (Cooke, 2013).

Bourdieu’s concept of illusio – the investment in the game (Colley, 2013).

Academics affectively orientated to participate in self-frustrating and punitive research funding regimes.

Knowing Women: History Written by Victors

Gendered monopoly of the research economy

4 out of 5 professors in Europe = men (Husu, 2014).

UK 2008 RAE = men 40% more likely than women to be entered.

Women less likely to be:

Journal editors/ cited in top-rated academic journals (Wilson, 2012).

Principal investigators

Represented on research boards/peer review structures allocating funding (EC, 2011).

Awarded fewer research prizes (Nikiforova, 2011)

Keynote speakers at prestigious academic conferences (Schroeder et al., 2013).

Troubling Values in the Research Economy

Knowledge capitalism generating/reinforcing inequalities and social hierarchies.

Research/researcher identities = constructed/reinforced via the optics and apparatus of neo-liberalism.

What is valued in research and scholarship = shaped by market demands.

Lower UK success rates for curiosity-driven funding (Else, 2014).

Feminist research = credibility deficit?

Counter-hegemonic research= unfundable/ unknowable? (Butler, 2006).

Follow Up?

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