Women, “Failure” and Academia Post-2020, a Kick Ass Project - Edited collection

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Dr Marina Cano & Dr Rosa García-Periago
contact email: 

Women, “Failure” and Academia Post-2020, a Kick Ass Project - Edited collection

We invite chapter contributions to the edited collection Women, “Failure” and Academia Post-2020, a Kick Ass Project:

This collection will explore the situation of women in the post-2020 academy, while taking a counterintuitive lens that privileges failures rather than successes. Instead of celebrating successes or providing habitual lists of academic achievements, we aim to examine the unfinished, the unattained, the unconventional—that which doesn’t fit neatly and tidily into a narrative of modern academia and academic life. Taking Jack Halberstam’s theorisation of failure in The Queer Art of Failure (2011) as our starting point, we are interested in the purposeless, the culturally anarchic, the quirky in post-2020 academia and women’s position in it. The present co-edited collection will, thus, explore the present academic moment: Where are we going? Indeed, are we going anywhere? Do universities have a future? And women in them? And if so, what is such present and such future? 

This is a speculative project about the here and now, a celebration and an interrogation of failures, a plea against pressures to succeed and achieve an academic “happy ending” (i.e. a permanent lectureship?) after a reasonable time of struggle. As Halberstam notes, the counterintuitive can itself be a form of resistance: failure is “a way of refusing to acquiesce to dominant logics of power and discipline,” which “can exploit the unpredictability of ideology and its indeterminate qualities” (88). Such forms of resistance and such unpredictability are what the current volume aims to unravel.

Topics might include, but are not limited to, failure (widely defined and variously interpreted) and:

  • Early, mid and/or late career academics

  • Precarity, zero-hour/temporary contracts, the job market

  • Publishing: challenges, pressures, reports, rejections

  • Burnout, mental health

  • Promotions

  • Leavers

  • Mothers and/or carers in academia

  • Relationships (dating, long-term relationships, marriage, family, etc.) in academia

  • Friendships and competition in academia

  • Trans, queer, non-binary academics

  • Women of colour and intersectionalities in academia

  • Disabled women in academia

  • Ageing

  • Working in academia across geographic boundaries

  • The growth of support groups for academic women, such as the Women in Academia Support Network (WIASN); Older, Wise Learners (PhD Owls); and others.

  • The rise of freelance coaches and editors for academic-related matters (writing projects, book proposals, job materials, job interviews, motivation, etc.)—e.g.  The Professor is In, The Academic Imperfectionist, etc.

  • Academic futures?/The future of academia?

Please send us your abstracts (200-300 words) and a short biographical note (100 words) before 15 September 2022 to Dr Marina Cano (marina.cano@hivolda.no) and Dr Rosa García-Periago (rosagperiago@um.es).


  • Outcome of abstract submissions: November 2022

  • First drafts of chapters due (7,000 words, including references): April 2023

  • Chapter feedback and revisions: July 2023

  • Final chapters due: September 2023