‘Imposter Syndrome’ and the Career Course: Striking out a Claim

‘Imposter Syndrome’ and the Career Course: Striking out a Claim

This paper re-visits ‘imposter syndrome’ in connection to contemporary debates on academic career categories, and explores how contested categories such as ‘early’ and ‘established’ career, circulate alongside ‘imposter’ positions on social media. It draws on two contemporary and on-going moments/case studies from ‘Academic Twitter’; the UK 2018 Universities and Colleges Union industrial action over USS pensions, and #immodestwomen which articulated around women using their academic titles, online and off. Both moments are fractured by academic career categories, and intertwine with everyday academic interactions and corridor talk as well as online spaces beyond Twitter, including academic blogs and media reports. By analysing these moments in relation to career categories, consideration is given to how imposter positions are claimed and occupied. What ‘impositions’ are (re)made, as the figure of the academic ‘imposter’ is reconstituted, reappearing and perhaps disappearing across career categories at times of ‘crisis’ in UK HE? What can the circulation of imposter-feelings can tell us about academic hierarchies, inclusions and exclusions, across the career course?

About the presenter:

Professor Yvette Taylor has published four sole-authored books based on funded research: Working-class Lesbian Life (2007); Lesbian and Gay Parenting (2009); Fitting Into Place? Class and Gender Geographies and Temporalities (2012) and Making Space for Queer Identifying Religious Youth (2015). Edited titles include Educational Diversity (2012) and The Entrepreneurial University (2014). Yvette edits the Palgrave Gender and Education Series and co-edits the Routledge Advances in Critical Diversities Series, and is now working on a Norface funded grant, with 4 partner institutions, on Comparing Intersectional Lifecourse Inequalities amongst LGBTQI+ Citizens in Four European Countries’ (CILIA-LGBTQI+)

Date & time

Mon 05 Nov 2018, 11am–12pm


Larry Saha Room, Haydon Allen Building, ANU


Yvette Taylor


Tim Graham


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