The current health crisis has swept the world, provoking worldwide change at the political, economic, and social levels. Scholars have been caught in two contradicting roles: experts discussing the causes and consequences of the pandemic and victims of the pandemic workflows’ extensive impact. They have been forced to change their work dynamics and rethink the Academy’s processes and offering during this time. Based on what has transpired, can we revisit a new Academy that is fairer to researchers and to society as a whole? To begin the reflection, we will look at the traumatic period we are going through. Still, we know that many of the problems that have increased in this period are practically endemic in the profession. Thus, COVID-19 has served as leverage to multiple issues regarding the Academy and they have become more prominent and visible since the critical year of 2020.
Firstly, the profession has had to adapt itself to lockdown measures, so has creative labor. The development and growth of the online educational ecosystem and the vital importance of care and self-care have resigned the questioning of the holders of intellectual work. Gender, age, and social class have turned out to be critical facts to comprehend which kind of people have remained both active and/or dormant under these circumstances. Previous hierarchies in universities and research centers are increasingly visible in the health crisis and are at the disposal of uncertain times. See the question in the comment below. This sentence seems important but is a bit unclear. Secondly, scholars of different countries have been unequally affected by the pandemic, just as regions and their citizenship have faced its impact differently. North-South relations have been vital on a structural level, as they imply different approaches to solve the health crisis. That connects too with western dominant thinking and hegemony in research. Northern lingua franca (i.e., English) has been speeding up the dissemination of investigation on COVID-19, putting at risk the visibility of diverse realities and reflections that could prospectively understand and shape a post-pandemic world.
Thirdly, COVID-19 has placed thedebate both on deceleration and on uncertainty. On the one hand, the health crisis has also implied questioning of contemporary modes of production that subtly affect the Academy while, in turn, papers, special issues, and congresses have been blossoming since March 2020 as evidence of the already known acceleration of creative labor. On the other hand, scholarly activity has been tackling the cancelation of projects, events, and even job positions. The pandemic has suspended our usual time horizons and its implications on the concepts of space and time. Finally, the last question involves rethinking enthusiasm, a term developed by Spanish author Remedios Zafra to designate the state of mind to continue working in a precarious labor market, where volunteering is only paid for with social prestige. Some scholars (especially the most precarious ones) stand a projected vision of their future positions in a hierarchical Academy. With the disappearance of any guarantee of labor stability, bureaucratic and instrumental practices are rethought in the face of reading and writing.
Accelerated Academy #8 recaptures the aim and foresight of previous symposia debates, bridging them to the pandemic times, understanding them as a COVID-19 related issue, and particular modes of reasoning, thinking, arranging when it comes to university practices and hierarchization. This 8th edition aims to explore these currently redimensioned issues while paving a prospective Academy path in post-pandemic times. There are plenty of long-term ideological issues that structure contemporary universities that affect personal and political research and scholars in an uncertain world whose deceleration is yet to come.
Authors interested in debating about these topics can send their proposal through this form (kutt.it/acceleratedacademy8) before May 15. Proposals can be submitted as artwork, talk or workshop. Accelerated Academy #8 accepts submissions in English and Spanish. However, participations in Spanish should include visual support in English (subtitles, slides, etc.) to facilitate an international dialogue. The congress aims to be a space for reflecting on temporalities of labor during COVID-19 without condemning these changes a priori. A decelerated Academy makes some creative work concerns visible and opens a new area to look for new directions for the post-pandemic period. Deceleration plays a role in anticipating an obstacle up front: one decelerates to avoid damage. A provocative debate may include critical viewpoints as well as the prefiguration of future transformations. The main topics of the congress, including but not limiting to, are:
- COVID-19 as leverage of previous debates of knowledge production and creative work.
- Creative production within lockdown measures and online environments.
- Intersectional inequalities as key factors in the pandemic consequences of creative labor.
- Lasting and new hierarchies in Academic labor and their visibility.
- North-South relationships regarding the investigation and the diffusion of results.
- Deceleration of Academic workflows.
- Uncertainty in future work and their emotional (enthusiasm) and material (Academic duties) implications.
In light of the global health emergency, Accelerated Academy 8 will be held in a hybrid form with reduced seating capacity. A fully online format is not discarded if the situation requires it.
The full program of the event will be available on 15 June. For the moment, we can advance that the keynote speakers will be César Rendueles (Complutense University of Madrid) and Remedios Zafra (Spanish National Research Council), two cutting-edge researchers who have discussed along with their career on the dynamics of academia and creative work from an critical perspective.
The organizers expect to publish a book with the participants in the congress.
March 20, 2021: Call for participation opens
May 20, 2021:Call for participation ends
June 10, 2021: Notification of acceptance
June 15, 2021: Publication of complete program
July 30, 2021: Full texts’ submission (optional)
September 01, 2021: Registration of participants opens
September 17, 2021: Full texts’ submission (optional)
September 24, 2021: Registration of participants ends
October 01-02, 2021: Celebration of Accelerated Academy #8
Dates and venue
01-02 October (Friday and Saturday), 2021
Las Naves, Carrer de Joan Verdeguer, 16, 46024 Valencia (Spain)
Hybrid (online in case of health emergency)
Local organizers (in alphabetical order)
Daniel H. Cabrera (University of Zaragoza)
Dafne Calvo (University of Valencia)
Lorena Cano (University of Valencia)
Germán Llorca (University of Valencia)
Guillermo López (University of Valencia)
International assistants (in alphabetical order)
Mark Carrigan (University of Cambridge)
Alexander Mitterle (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)
Filip Vostal (Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies, Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences)
Supporting organizations (in alphabetical order)
Community, Alternative and Participative Communication Research Network (RICCAP)
Mediaflows Research Group
Red Latina de Teorías Críticas en Comunicación y Cultura (CRITICOM)
University of Valencia
Accelerated Academy is a free event. No fee is charged for participation in the congress.
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