Lives in the Making: Power, Academia and the Everyday

  • Roberta Hawkins University of Guelph
  • Maya Manzi Independent Scholar
  • Diana Ojeda Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Keywords: corporatization, neoliberalism, university, academia, corporeal experiences, geography, PhD programs, feminism, work-life balance, graduate students, knowledge production


There has been significant attention paid to the corporatization and neoliberalization of the University as an institution in North America. In this article we examine the everyday and corporeal experiences of these processes on the lives of several graduate students in Geography PhD programs across North America. From a feminist perspective, we explore how these students become academic geographers through particular articulations of work/life embedded in complex power dynamics within the neoliberalized university. Using information gathered from in-depth interviews and open-ended survey questions we explore the contradictions inherent in academics’ efforts of finding ‘work-life balance’. Through the stories recounted, we add to the recent theorizing about neoliberalism and the academy by highlighting the ways that the neoliberalized university plays out on the everyday and bodily scale in the lives of graduate students. We seek to interrogate the making of professional geographers within these neoliberalized institutions due to a concern about the effects of this particular form of discipline and subject formation on the current and future politics of knowledge production in the field. This article is part of a multi-year project following these research participants that seeks to investigate the process of becoming geographers over time.
How to Cite
Hawkins, R., Manzi, M., & Ojeda, D. (1). Lives in the Making: Power, Academia and the Everyday. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 13(2), 328-351. Retrieved from