Trajectories of knowledge and desire: Multilingual women scholars researching and writing in academia

Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane (2018). Trajectories of knowledge and desire: Multilingual women scholars researching and writing in academia. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 32 pp. 53–66.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2018.03.008

Abstract

This paper explores the significance of gender in research and academic writing for publication. It reports on a gender-focused, interview-based study with 10 multilingual women scholars, set within a longitudinal research project in which they have participated for between 11 and 14 years. The scholars work in two disciplinary fields, education and psychology, and come from four national contexts: Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal. The paper argues that gender remains an ‘occluded’ (after Swales, 1996) category in research on academic writing for publication but is implicated in practices around academic knowledge making in important ways. Key themes emerging from the data are discussed: the passions driving intellectual work; academic inscription practices; networks of collaboration; being a carer; academic service work; the body in academia. The value of exploring women scholars' perspectives and practices through the lens of trajectory is underscored, offering as it does glimpses of how they enact agency at specific moments of their academic lives, in an increasingly rigidly governed and evaluated social space.

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