Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER)

Events Archive: 2017/18


Date: Wednesday 6 June 
Time: 12-2pm
Venue: Room G35, Jubilee 

Speaker: Marilyn Hall, Doctoral Researcher, PhD in Education
Title: Pupil Attainment, Teacher Perspectives: Exploring the Evidence for Reform in Science Education in England

Speaker: Wendy Ashall, Doctoral Researcher, PhD in Education
Title: In a Muddle with Mixed Methods?

CHEER/CTLR RiP Promo: 6june2018 [PDF 188.68KB]



Dr Emily HendersonDate: 30 April 2018 
Time: 5-6.30pm   
Venue: Room 104, Fulton 
Speaker: Dr Emily F. Henderson, Assistant Professor, Centre for Education Studies, University of Warwick

In Two Places at Once: Time, Subjectivity and the Academic Profession - Caring reponsibilities and conference participation

Traditional constructions of academic subjectivity were (and still are) dominated by an individualistic conception of care-free academics. Although higher education institutions have in some ways adapted to counter this limited notion of what it is to be an academic, certain defining practices of the academic profession are resistant to change.

Conferences are an example of one of these practices, because the expectation of sporadic, short-term travel to different locations implicitly suggests a lack of ongoing responsibilities. While it is commonly asserted that attending conferences is not essential to progressing in an academic career, parallel discourses exist about the benefits that conferences bring, such as accessing developments in the discipline, making international contacts and disseminating research. Conferences are an under-researched area in which inequalities of access remain largely unaddressed.

The ‘In Two Places at Once’ research project explored issues of access to and participation in national and international conferences; in addition to exploring obstacles and facilitating factors affecting access to conferences, the project investigated academics’ practices of managing the often conflicting roles of carer and conference delegate while at conferences. This seminar focused on the theorisation of time, subjectivity and academia that underpinned the project, and presented findings and analysis.

Seminar Promo 
Seminar Recording



Date: 28 March 2018 
Time: 3-4pm   
Venue: Room 243, Bramber House 
Speaker: Yasser Kosbar, Doctoral researcher

Exploring the Impact of Transnational Academic Mobility through Narratives and Perspectives of Egyptian Female Academics



Date: 21 March 2018
Time: 2-3pm  
Venue: Room 214, Fulton
Speaker: Rosa Marvel, Doctoral researcher

Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Postgraduate Taught Course Decision-making Trajectories

Sarah Aiston



Date: 5 February 2018
Time: 5-6.30pm  
Venue: Room 104, Fulton
Speaker: Dr Sarah Jane Aiston, Senior Lecturer, Department of Education and Social Justice, University of Birmingham and Hon. Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong

The Silence/ing of Academic Women

Seminar Promo
Seminar Recording - There were some technical difficulties during the recording of this event resulting in the video not being live until a few minutes in, and the slides not synchronising with the audio until approx 15 mins in. You may, therefore, want to view the presentation separately/additionally to the recording until both synchronise in the recording.

See also the following blog post by Sarah for a presentation she gave of the above for and on International Women's Day, Thursday 8 March 2018:

We would like to think that universities are at the forefront of demonstrating a commitment to social justice and inclusivity. But they remain ‘bastions of male power and prestige’ (Hansard Society Commission, 1990). The underrepresentation of women in the most senior ranks and leadership positions in higher education is a global phenomenon. How and why this academic gender gap remains is complex.

In the following presentation, I will put forward a new two-part conceptual framework to help us to understand this enduring issue: the silence and silencing of academic women.

Part A of the framework refers to what I call internal silencing – the inner voice. Here I will argue that socialisation and gender stereotyping has a silencing effect for women in the academy. This inner voice can manifest itself in a myriad of ways; an unease in saying no, a lack of confidence, a lack of assertiveness and a sense that as women we should remain quiet. I will also suggest another dimension to internal silencing - silence and conformity as a strategy. Gendered societal clues guide our behaviour and decisions on how to negotiate the academic ‘space’. Internal silencing relates to silence as an ‘inner’ strategy. Academic women are consciously making the decision to remain silent, even when subjected to discriminatory comments and behaviour, so as not to jeopardise future career prospects.

Part B refers to what I call external silencing - the consequences of speaking out. When academic women do not remain silent they are in turn silenced. Examples include women not being allowed to express their views, being interrupted, having their views ‘attacked’ and having their ideas attributed to male colleagues.  Women who are not silent are positioned as aggressive, ‘bitches’, which is why asking academic women to ‘lean in’ is problematic. When women exhibit those highly prized masculine characteristics they are demonised. A further dimension to external silencing is silence by exclusion: for example, a lack of women in the most senior ranks and leadership positions, and a lack of representation on key committees and panels, particularly those related to recruitment, promotion, research, and the allocation of resources.

Micro-inequities - that is small events which are hard-to-prove, covert and often unintentional - are central to our understanding of why academic women remain silent and how academic women are silenced. The study of micropolitics is relatedly important. Micropolitics focuses on the ways in which power is exhibited, and is otherwise pertinent, in daily practices.

I will conclude that the study of micro-inequities and micro-politics provides us with an insight into why legislation, policies and initiatives are not as successful as they might be. As Morley (2006) writes, there is an elusive sense that something is going on which cannot be satisfactorily named or described.

The conceptual framework of the silenc/ing of academic women is a move towards that which cannot be named. 


Date: 15 November 2017        
Time: 10.30am-5pm 
Venue: Conference Centre, Bramber House, University of Sussex   
Keynote Speakers: Professor Valerie Hey, formerly of the University of Sussex / Professor Diane Reay, University of Cambridge / Professor Meg Maguire, King's College, London

This one-day seminar celebrated CHEER's 10th Anniversary. 

November 2017 was not only the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER) at the University of Sussex, but also the 20th Anniversary of the publication of Pat Mahoney and Christine Zmroczek’s edited collection of essays ‘Class Matters: "Working Class" Women's Perspectives On Social Class’. Two of CHEER’s founding members contributed essays to this collection: Professors Valerie Hey and Louise Morley. This anniversary seminar drew together some of the original writers, and invited newer researchers to speak back to the papers ‘in conversation’. 

Seminar Promo