The production of the academicwritingmachine
The organisational territory of academia has become heavily gridded by consuming requirements to produce publications that ‘count’. To survive, the scholar must plug herself into this machine – a heaving, monstrous academicwritingmachine. She must invest libidinal energy into the process of counting if she desires to be counted. This troubles us, who write for both ‘work’ and ‘pleasure’, who write to seek connections with one another, with our sense of unknowns, and with ways people learn in communities.
Taking as a starting point the concept of the academicwritingmachine, in this paper we attempt to collectively explore and interrogate our own investment, our own repression, and our own desire to be produced within this machine. We seek to explore how this well-oiled machine captures flows of desire and how the vulnerability and sensuality of writing risks being flattened out to achieve ‘results’ that can be measured as ‘research outputs’.
In a production of synergetic collaborative writing, we explore the innards of the academicwritingmachine, following the tubes, cogs, and wheels, the pulleys and levers, to examine the series of machinic arrangements that construct and constrict those moments of presenting, rewriting, reviewing, rejecting, resubmitting. We see this as a process that propels us out and away from our individual scholarly commitments to the machine, and into a myriad of imaginative, creative and joyous collective experiences. We take back the joy of writing, and make visible our shared attempt to open/break the machine through writing which experiments with ‘the openness required for the condition of constant becomings and the value of uncertainty and questioning’.
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