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In the mood of data and measurements: experiments as affirmative critique, or how to curate academic value with care

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The technologies used to govern performance at universities consist of monitoring and comparative instruments. They are designed to affect and direct behaviour. In these academic environments of exposure, comparison and self-monitoring are deeply entangled with a vulnerable affective economy. This article explores how these data may affect our moods and how academic value could be curated by other means and with care. Drawing on feminist new materialist thinking and speculative feminist storytelling, the article takes this picture of the actual as a point of departure for discussing ways of experimenting with affirmative critique of the current use of data. Through a smaller experiment with thirty PhD students, the article discusses how to speculatively curate academic value by other means that provide more liveable world(ing)s than data visuals measuring performance and that engage other sensorial and affective registers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFeminist Theory
Pages (from-to)429–445
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

    Research areas

  • Affirmative critique, feminist critique, new materialism, data governance, performance measurement, affect, Ursula K. Le Guin, Agential Realism-New Materialism, Videregående uddannelse, Målstyring

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