Writing and drawing care-based equity into practice

Writing and drawing care-based equity into practice

I was so lucky to be able to work with Professor Marie-Pierre Moreau on our collaborative project on carers in higher education. This was collaborative comics-based research at its best, generously funded by Advance HE. And, best of all, in addition to the gallery shows to follow in Europe and the US, we have published some of the first results of the work here: https://novaojs.newcastle.edu.au/ceehe/index.php/iswp/article/view/163

The paper is open access, and the work itself as well as the extensive project backstory can be found on Marie-Pierre’s website (again, please reference and attribute accordingly). You can read more about the project there, as well as on my own page here, and the abstract below.

Writing/drawing care-based equity into practice: A research- and art-based collaboration about caring responsibilities in academia

Marie-Pierre Moreau, Sally C Galman


Carers are a group of particular significance to society, who contribute precious time and energy to other people’s needs and, simply put, enable society to operate (Tronto 1993). Yet, in many settings, they are largely rendered invisible and misrecognised. This is the case in academia where the figure of the ‘bachelor boy’ (Edwards 1993) has long prevailed and, linked to this, carers have been ‘written out’ of higher education narratives. In this article, we reflect on our experience of developing a research- and art-based collaborative project (Fostering a sense of belonging for higher education staff and students with caring responsibilities) which involved the production of a series of drawings shared online and, in the course of the forthcoming months, through campus-based exhibitions (Moreau & Galman 2021). Through comics-based research, we seek to distantiate ourselves from the conventions of academia to expose its care-free norms and how they frame the experiences of carers and non-carers in ways which are diverse, fluid and intersectional. We also seek to encourage the development of social, including writing/drawing, practices which are equitable to all, including carers. Writing and publishing can be exclusionary processes and the arts are not immune to this. However, we argue that the arts do more than enhance accessibility but have the potential to challenge forms of academic writing which have historically ‘written out’ carers and care work.

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