The Domestic Academics: Finding the time to write and care. Storying the gendered inequalities of academic research in the global pandemic.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


I propose to share the outcome of my current collaborative digital story quilt project, which concludes in September 2021. It has invited women academics with caring responsibilities to create an artwork accompanied by a 3-minute voiceover, to show and tell their experiences of dealing with the challenge of completing and submitting research during the pandemic. It will be presented as an interactive webpage, with further plans for a physical exhibition.

This project employs interdisciplinary practices across art and autoethnography to address the major injustice that threatens to significantly impede the developing careers of these women, including post-graduate students and ECRs. By its nature, research requires concentration and absorption, which is at odds with lockdown family life. Early research statistics, reported as early as Spring 2020 in Inside Higher Ed, indicated that the number of women contributing to academic Journals since the pandemic began had dropped, whereas male contributions had risen. Studies also showed that mothers in heterosexual households spent over 50% more of their time supporting home schooling and completing domestic tasks, in comparison to their male partners.

This quilt targets the need for tacit knowledge of these experiences to be acknowledged and made accessible. Through creative expression it provides the bedrock for discussion and consultation, supporting the identification of actions required for reconciliation. Autoethnography stories the self (Adamson and Moriarty, 2019) whilst arts practice supports collaboration to build community during times of isolation. Together they entice change by describing and critiquing individual experiences, employing reflexivity to interrogate the intersections between society (gendered expectations) and self (lived experience) and striving for social justice (Ellis 2015). The stories told through this quilt will become voices among many, enabling participants and viewers alike to reclaim their voices and address the inequalities faced as a direct result of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2021
EventGender, Activism, and Political Theory in Covid Times - Online, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Oct 202129 Oct 2021


ConferenceGender, Activism, and Political Theory in Covid Times
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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