Writing Time: A Rhythmic Analysis of Contemporary Academic Writing

Dakka, Fadia and Wade, Alex (2018) Writing Time: A Rhythmic Analysis of Contemporary Academic Writing. Higher Education Research and Development, 38 (1). pp. 185-197. ISSN 0729-4360

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Where and when do academics write and what are the feelings associated with it? Is the pressure to write a fulfilling process of joyful exploration, or is it stressful and wracked with self-doubt?
Inspired by Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis, this article explores the rhythmic dispositions and orientations of contemporary academic writing, exposing the perils of neoliberal quantification and fragmentation in relation to the practice and experience of writing. The critical examination of Helen Sword’s guide to successful academic writing and a critique of the material and abstract spaces destined to contemporary academic writing inform the analysis, revealing problematic contractions and ruptures in the spatio-temporal continuum that organically connects reading, thinking and writing. The article makes therefore a case for the use of Rhythmanalysis as a diagnostic method capable of signalling – by detecting arrhythmias – the increasing disjunction between the institutional demands of accelerated production and the slower, irrational rhythms of craftsmanship. By politicising the pathologies of contemporary academic writing, Rhythmanalysis discloses its potential as a progressive political resource: both as a radical call for appropriation and as a counter-discourse, it allows to restore a more harmonious relationship between thinking, reading and writing against dominant forms of productivist fragmentation, while shedding light on the non-places and dead times of our everyday writing habits.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2018.1540555
21 October 2018Accepted
17 December 2018Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Academic writing; neoliberalism; rhythm analysis; everyday life
Subjects: CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Study of Practice and Culture in Education (C-SPACE)
Depositing User: Alex Wade
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2019 09:20
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 17:01
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6810

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