Hope as a practice in the face of existential crises: resident-activist research within and beyond the academy

Amy Clarke, Ben Rogaly, Cath Senker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Is it foolish to talk or write about hope in the face of widespread existential crises?Our answer is ‘no’. On the contrary, hope is more necessary the bleaker thingsbecome. In this article, we explore hope as a practice. Influenced by the aboli-tion geography of Ruth Wilson Gilmore, we build on John Holloway's argumentthat such practices start from ourselves, where we are and our own capacities,and overflow that which contains us. We write as resident-activists within threecommunity organisations in the place we live in. Extending existing geographicalliterature, we show how our resident-activism is distinct from, yet also entangledwith, scholar- activism and the struggles, contradictions and potential solidaritiesfound in the UK's marketised universities. This way of working can itself be seenas a practice of hope. The article further explores practices of hope that emergewithin the three organisations. Though emplaced, these practices are not con-fined in space or time, drawing rather on history as a resource and connectingwith broader national and international processes. The article concludes by usingHolloway's concept of rage-joy to bring together practices of hope across the threeorganisations and among us as resident-activists and participants in industrialaction over pay, casualisation, workloads, equalities and pensions in UK univer-sities. The result is a capacity to see the human in each other, a necessary step inresisting resurgent fascist politics and addressing existential crises.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberarea.12952
Number of pages9
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 May 2024


  • existential crises
  • practices of hope
  • scholar-activism
  • UK
  • rage-joy
  • resident-activism


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