WP298 Pressing times, losing voice: Critique and transformative spaces in higher education

Benswait & Pérez-Milans


In this article we examine our own doctoral supervisory dialogue as it has been institutionally interrupted due to Ahmad’s application for asylum in the UK. As we find ourselves lacking the conditions of recognisability required for our actions to be institutionally understood (or made intelligible) as part of a doctoral supervisory relationship, we are left with a sense of futility of how scholarly work preoccupied with social justice may confront, let alone transform, the larger socio-political realities that we aim to engage with. In light of calls to turn precarity into a productive pedagogical space for ethical action – often regarded as a “pedagogy for precarity” – we draw from Blommaert’s sociolinguistic theory of voice to account for how we attempted to become recognisable to each other throughout the course of one of our supervisory meetings. In so doing, we reflect on the implications of our analysis for politically-engaged academic research while linking with wider language scholarship on the possibility and imaginability of social transformation in higher education spaces.