Prof Marie-Pierre Moreau: Care-full futures? Transforming the care-free norms of HEI

  • Photograph of the speaker sat on a bench

Those with caring responsibilities represent a significant presence in academia, both among students and staff. This is the case in the UK and in many other countries across the Global North and the Global South (Hook, Moreau and Brooks, forthcoming). Research on the topic highlights the multiple challenges faced by carers, including how they are often rendered invisible by the care-free norms of academia and misrecognised as they navigate the competing demands of two greedy institutions (higher education and 'the family', understood broadly)

Covid-19 has disturbed the construction of the academic as 'care-free', enabling care to invade academic spaces (and vice-versa) in unprecedented ways. While there is growing awareness of the issues faced by carers, there has been limited reflection regarding what a care-full university would look like.

In this presentation, Marie-Pierre will reflect on some of the issues faced by carers and engage with definitions of 'care-fullness' and with the potential pathways leading to a more carer-inclusive future for HE students and staff. In particular, drawing on her research conducted with various HE groups (including professional and support staff, academics and senior leadership), She will argue that we need to favour an intervention informed by recent theoretical and empirical developments in the field. This intervention should be 1) multi-dimensional, as it simultaneously engages with matters of redistribution, recognition, representation and affective equality (Fraser, 1997; Lynch, 2016), 2) multi-level, as it understands that HE policy-making works in rhizomatic ways (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980; 3) structurally-focused and collectively-oriented (Moreau and Robertson, 2019); and 4) considerate of the intersectionalities of carers' identities (ibid.).

  • Date: Wednesday 9 June 2021
  • Time: 12pm
  • Platform: Microsoft Teams
  • Register here

Marie-Pierre Moreau is Professor in Education and Education Research Lead in the School of Education and Social Care at ARU. A sociologist by training, her interests are located at the nexus of education, work and inequalities.

Her current research concentrates in two key areas: the relationship between care and academic work, with specific reference to the way students and staff with caring responsibilities are positioned in HE discourses, and teachers' identities and careers, with specific reference to gender and the 'feminisation thesis’. She is the editor of the Bloomsbury Gender and Education book series (with Prof. Penny Jane Burke, Newcastle, Australia and Prof. Nancy Niemi, Yale, USA).


This talk has been organised to mark Carers Week 2021 by the University of Lincoln's Carers and Parents (CaP) Staff Support Network and the Eleanor Glanville Centre. If you would like more information on how to join the CAP network please email

Carers week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

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