CFP: Activism and the Academy - Special issue of Australian Universities' Review
Proposals due 14 November 2016    

What does it mean to be an activist or to do activist work in a university context at a time when universities themselves are openly pursuing change in their public role and function? What does activism look like in different disciplines and in diverse academic settings? How are the commitments of scholarly activism negotiated in relation to the other work that academics do: teaching, research, community engagement, and governance? How do universities seek to manage activism in the context of their business goals or political networks? And what happens when activist attention turns to the operation of the university itself?

In her doctoral thesis, Activism in the Academy, Lawless (2012) argues that “activism is essential to the lifeworld of the university and that universities need activists and their activism in order to engage with communities, educate the next generation and generate new knowledge”. Flood, Martin and Dreher (2013) describe the obstacles faced by academics involved in activist work within and beyond university contexts, including risks to job security and advancement, and make suggestions for practical strategies to alleviate these risks. However, more recent high profile cases in Australia and internationally have shown that academics who take on activist roles, especially in public social media, are increasingly vulnerable to formal censure. 

This special issue of AUR welcomes articles, essays and other forms of academic writing that seek to explore what it is to be and become (an) activist within and beyond the academy.

We are initially seeking 500-word paper proposals (excluding scholarly references). These are due byMonday 14 November 2016. Please send your proposal as an email attachment in Word format to and include the subject line ‘Proposal for AUR Special Issue’. You will receive an acknowledgement of your submission. The Guest Editors will review each abstract and successful authors will be invited to submit a full article by Friday 31 March 2017.

A Style Guide for AUR authors is available here: Papers should be between 2,000 and 7,000 words, although longer contributions will be considered. References are to be cited according to APA Publication Manual 6th edition. Articles will be subject to double blind peer review following AUR’s editorial procedure. It is presumed that authors have followed scholarly ethical practices, and submitted articles should not have been previously published nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere.  Authors should take their lead from the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

If you have questions about this Special Issue, please contact

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