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My best Geographer’s Dress: Bodies, Emotions and Care in Early-career Academia

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Federica Bono, Valerie De Craene, Anneleen Sylvie Kenis

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography
Accepted/In press16 Dec 2018

King's Authors


In this paper, we draw on our personal experiences with the perpetuating gender bias in (early-career) academia, more specifically within geography. We develop two main arguments. First, we argue that everyday academic practices stand in sharp contrast with the critical content geography, as a discipline, aims to study and teach - including its feminist, anti-colonial, and queer understandings. Strikingly, geography as a field does not seem able to apply its academic insights into its internal organisation. Indeed, everyday academic practices within geography reproduce structural gendered inequalities. Consequently, geography reproduces the historical ‘maleness’ of the discipline, both in terms of who embodies it and through the methods and topics it focuses on. Second, we reflect on the strategies we develop to denounce and alter the unjust practices we are confronted with. Yet, these strategies reveal the double bind early career women face, as these very strategies may risk to undermine one’s own precarious position, or to give the skewed impression of reproducing the male, disembodied ideal we are fighting.

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