In the wake of the neoliberal reform agenda of the 1980s, public schools in many western countries, have faced reforms at an ever-quickening pace. One effect of this is the increased pace and number of organizational change projects going on in schools. Schools must be adaptable to shifting demands for outcomes, and must be able to take themselves to new modes of organising that are considered to be more goal efficient (OECD, 2013).
Like so many other households, mine is doing its best to maintain some sort of order under the current conditions, organizing around the new abnormal of the COVID-19 pandemic as best we can. However, as we enter yet another month of semi-lockdown (this was written in a Copenhagen flat at the end of January 2021) entropy looms large. Routines that used to go unquestioned can now become the main task – and sometimes the highlight – of the day: do I need to shower? Should we prepare a home-cooked dinner?
Lisa Baraitser is Professor of Psychosocial Theory at Birkbeck, University of London. In her research, she combines psychoanalytic and social theories to address the temporal, ethical and affective dimensions of care. In this interview, Prof. Baraitser helps us think through the temporal politics of COVID-19 and the ways in which pandemic conditions transform the affective dimensions of care work in Europe and US-America.
Standby refers to an operating state in which energy continues to flow despite an apparent shutdown, thus allowing for sudden reactivation. This special issue mobilizes the notion of standby to understand its capacities and conditions as a mode of organizing sociomaterial lifeworlds.
Is it feasible to explore, dissect and live feminism within academia, a system that contributes and feeds into the very discrimination and violence denounced by feminism itself? And if so, what are the tools necessary to dismantle the master’s house to paraphrase Lorde (1984)? What is the role of activism and writing, and how can we incorporate these practices in feminism?