Battles for Occupied Academic Space

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    For women, sharing space, being acknowledged in that space, is a battle of trust and spirit. Academic spaces have previously been colonised, either by the leader in charge, or a previous ‘owner’ of that space. This presentation and paper describes three common intersectional narratives of Williams’ (1991) ‘spirit murder’, and the ‘protectors and restorers’ (Revilla, 2021) of our space in the academy. Women are battling to occupy their work spaces on a daily basis: trying to speak, teach, research in ways they have organically invented and conceived their service. They are the caretakers of diverse and different languages, and innovative methods to research and teachings; yet these divergent pathways are often blocked by colonised, ‘expected’ practices within the institution. Even the physical grey and white walls are concrete signs of ownership. The Academy is a place we are in; where we have a right to be in (Sefa Dei, 2021). Trusting and accepting these unique differences is at the heart of moving forward to a more inclusive, rich research and teaching space. Just because a pathway or method is distinct, does not mean it is deficient. For educational leaders, acknowledging shared ownership in the academic space involves sharing and projecting one’s self into the space (Kreger,1999); trusting that, while an approach is unknown, it can be successful. To redress space in the academy, educators must be at ease with the discomfort of sharing space in what has yet to be experienced and institutionalised.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number11(1)
    Pages (from-to)10
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2023
    EventInternational Women's Day 2022 - University of Highlands and Islands
    Duration: 8 Mar 20228 Jun 2022


    • women
    • education
    • Teaching
    • Learning
    • Equity


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