‘Deeply and deliciously unsettled’? Mis-reading discourses of equity in the early stages of Covid19

Dina Zoe Belluigi*, Laura Czerniewicz, Daniela Gachago, Catherine Camps, Najma Aghardien, Renée Marx

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Downloads (Pure)


    In the early stages of the ‘pivot online’, various conceptions of inequalities and their relations to educational equity peppered the discourses of higher education practitioners and the promotional discourses of their institutions. Concerned with what conditions subjectification and action within micro- and meso-curricula, this paper explores the cultural and structural discursive positions in which such agents are entangled, and the discourse conflicts they negotiated about what to adopt, shape, defer or resist. Offering deliberations on the possibilities and problematics for equity in higher education were insiders’ perspectives of those who operate in the thresholds between academic and professional communities within South African and UK higher education—learning technologists, academic developers and Higher Education Studies scholars—in the period from March to June 2020. Careful not to provide a monovocal nor hierarchical interpretation of these discourses at that early stage in the pandemic, our analysis rather juxtaposes complex and at times conflicting local accounts and negotiations of three schisms around which their narratives skirted: (i) the substantial fault lines under and in societies, institutions and practitioner communities; (ii) the complexities which intersect with digital divides; and (iii) the in/visibility of differentially impacted individuals and groups during that period. As people with often strong ethico-political commitments, and responsibilities as members of evanescent interpretative communities, their acts of narration drew from and at times against the dominant discourses situated within particular socio-economic and ideological higher education contexts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number00847
    Number of pages24
    JournalHigher Education
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2022


    • Academic development
    • Covid19
    • Discourse
    • Equality
    • Equity


    Dive into the research topics of '‘Deeply and deliciously unsettled’? Mis-reading discourses of equity in the early stages of Covid19'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this