Exciting news! We will be hosting a session on the Slow Movement and how it can be used in universities at the Royal Geographical Societies Annual Conference in September 2017. This session will be sponsored by the Higher Education Research Group of the RGS-IBG.

Since the conference is mostly academics and PhD students presenting, we would love student contributions to this panel, particularly because we write this website for undergraduates. Please see the below call for paper and drop me an email if interested!

Making the Slow University Inclusive
The Slow Movement has taken root in universities. Academics are stepping back, applying the brakes, and becoming suspicious of the frenetic desire to fill more hours of the day with work. They are taking their mental health more seriously and their overloaded schedules less so. Within Geography, scholars have written about its application for daily academic life, measuring academic success and undertaking research (Alison Mountz, 2015; Kuus, 2015).  Many of these lessons have been compiled in a  ‘The Slow Professor’ (Berg and Seeber, 2016).

The desire for less rushed research has developed amidst an atmosphere of stress and strain in universities. For many, impact agendas and audit exercises have created a culture of competition and precarious employment arrangements that are not conducive to the patience and depth required for quality research.

The Slow Movement has been largely confined to senior staff engagement, yet its benefits are widely applicable. Student anxiety, stress and visits to campus welfare services are also on the rise. Undergraduates and early career researchers alike find themselves rushing to build outstanding CV’s, undertake work experience or employment to finance their studies while completing their degrees. When implemented critically and sensitively, slowing down can offer a reflective corrective to this culture of hurry for everyone working in universities.

This session invites contributions from staff, teaching assistants and students who are slowing down. Whether this involves novel methods of teaching, assessment or simply taking an extra 10 minutes to chat with a student during office hours, we are interested in the ways that the slow university can become more comprehensive, less stressful and student-friendly across campuses. We are particularly interested in papers that discuss the systematic inequality and obstacles that staff and students of varying identity face, and the how the Slow Movement can tackle this.

Please send your abstracts of no more than 300 words to Joe Thorogood, joseph.thorogood.13@ucl.ac.uk by February 10th


Alison Mountz, A.B., 2015. For Slow Scholarship: A Feminist Politics of Resistance through Collective Action in the Neoliberal University. ACME Int. E-J. Crit. Geogr. Forthcoming.

Berg, M., Seeber, B., 2016. Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy. University of Toronto Press.

Kuus, M., 2015. For Slow Research. Int. J. Urban Reg. Res. 39, 838–840. doi:10.1111/1468-2427.12257