scinapse is loading now...

“The show must go on!” Fieldwork, mental health and wellbeing in Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Published on Mar 1, 2019in Area 2.19
· DOI :10.1111/area.12437
Faith Tucker10
Estimated H-index: 10
(University of Northampton),
John Horton19
Estimated H-index: 19
(University of Northampton)
Abstract
Fieldwork is central to the identity, culture and history of academic Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES). However, in this paper we recognise that, for many academic staff, fieldtrips can be a profoundly challenging ‘ordeal’, ill-conducive to wellness or effective pedagogic practice. Drawing upon research with 39 UK university-based GEES academics who self-identify as having a mental health condition, we explore how mental health intersects with spaces and expectations of fieldwork in Higher Education. We particularly focus upon their accounts of undertaking undergraduate residential fieldtrips and give voice to these largely undisclosed experiences. Their narratives run starkly counter to normative, romanticised celebrations of fieldwork within GEES disciplines. We particularly highlight recurrent experiences of avoiding fieldwork, fieldwork-as-‘ordeal’, and ‘coping’ with fieldwork, and suggest that commonplace anxieties within the neoliberal academy – about performance, productivity, fitness-to-work, self-presentation, scrutiny, and fear-of-falling-behind – are felt particularly intensely during fieldwork. In spite of considerable work to make fieldwork more accessible to students, we find that field-based teaching is experienced as a focal site of distress, anxiety and ordeal for many GEES academics with common mental health conditions. We conclude with prompts for reflection about how fieldwork could be otherwise.
  • References (23)
  • Citations (2)
Cite
References23
Newest
Published on Dec 1, 2017in Area 2.19
Sarah McGarrol4
Estimated H-index: 4
Emotions are increasingly being recognised and integrated into human geography and it has been highlighted that focusing on the ‘interrelatedness’ of the research process is crucial. By contextualising fieldwork within the life course of the researcher, greater acknowledgement of the ‘emotional labour’ involved in fieldwork can be highlighted. The author reflects on the ‘emotional geographies’ of conducting PhD research into significant health issues with participants who had recently suffered a...
8 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2017in Disability Studies Quarterly
Margaret Price4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Ohio State University),
Mark S. Salzer15
Estimated H-index: 15
(Temple University)
+ 1 AuthorsStephanie L. Kerschbaum4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Delaware)
High-profile shootings and student suicides have made mental health issues on college campuses a major national issue. College students are usually the focus of this conversation, while little attention beyond anecdotal accounts has been paid to faculty with mental health issues. In response to this lack of broad-scale research, a first-of-its-kind cross-institutional survey of faculty with mental disabilities was conducted. Respondents self-identified as faculty with mental disabilities, mental...
4 Citations Source Cite
Published on May 1, 2017in Research Policy 4.66
Katia Levecque16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Ghent University),
Frederik Anseel21
Estimated H-index: 21
(Ghent University)
+ 2 AuthorsLydia Gisle7
Estimated H-index: 7
Research policy observers are increasingly concerned about the potential impact of current academic working conditions on mental health, particularly in PhD students. The aim of the current study is threefold. First, we assess the prevalence of mental health problems in a representative sample of PhD students in Flanders, Belgium (N = 3659). Second, we compare PhD students to three other samples: (1) highly educated in the general population (N = 769); (2) highly educated employees (N = 592); an...
52 Citations Source Cite
Linda Peake15
Estimated H-index: 15
(York University),
Beverley Mullings7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Queen's University)
A rising number of students seeking mental health services across university campuses in Europe and North America has prompted faculty, administrators and student service providers to call attention to what some describe as a crisis. Academic geographers, however, have not yet begun to explore a collective and professional response to this crisis. In this article, we seek to examine what a critical commitment to addressing emotional and mental distress in the academy might look like, discussing ...
5 Citations
Published on Jun 1, 2016in Canadian Geographer
Kate Parizeau7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Guelph),
Laura Shillington6
Estimated H-index: 6
(John Abbott College)
+ 4 AuthorsLinda Peake15
Estimated H-index: 15
(York University)
Mental health and wellness are issues of growing concern on campuses across North America. While feminist geographers have done important work over the years to organize, mentor, gather, and publish collectively on issues related to wellness, much more remains to be done. In this article, we—a collection of scholars who identify as feminist geographers—comment on our experiences of mental wellness in the academy, and engage in a collective self-analysis to better understand the silences, invisib...
6 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2016in Canadian Geographer
Lawrence D. Berg17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of British Columbia),
Edward H. Huijbens11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Akureyri),
Henrik Gutzon Larsen5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Lund University)
This paper presents a theoretical analysis of the neoliberal production of anxiety in academic faculty members in universities in Northern Europe. The paper focuses on neoliberalization as it is instantiated through audit and ranking systems designed to produce academia as a space of economic efficiency and intensifying competition. We suggest that powerful forms of competition and ranking of academic performance have been developed in Northern Europe. These systems are differentiated and differ...
32 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2016in Canadian Geographer
Alison Mountz22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Wilfrid Laurier University)
This article analyzes findings of semi-structured interviews with 21 women at different stages of academic careers in North America. I argue that work conditions in contemporary universities subject women graduate students and faculty members to high levels of stress such that work exacts an unsustainable toll on women's bodies, making “getting through the day” a priority. Themes include work conditions; gendered experiences of stress, health, fertility, and well-being; and efforts to balance wo...
4 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2016in Canadian Geographer
Beverley Mullings7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Queen's University),
Linda Peake15
Estimated H-index: 15
(York University),
Kate Parizeau7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Guelph)
Drawing upon recent initiatives to highlight issues of mental health in the academy we focus in this special issue on work by geographers from Canada, the United States, England, and New Zealand that aims to shed some light on the ways that the organized practices of the academy are implicated in the current state of mental health of a broad cross section of its members across university campuses. In bringing the perspectives of Geography graduate students and faculty to bear on questions of men...
8 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2016in Canadian Geographer
Marcia R. England5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Miami University)
Whether to disclose mental health disabilities in the workplace is a current debate in academia. This article is an autobiographical reflection on the decision to be open about my mental health status during all stages of my career from diagnosis as a graduate student through the tenure process to my present state of working to attain full professor. Autobiography can provide richness in detail and description. In my reflections, I discuss why disclosure is a personal and political issue and off...
5 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2016in Canadian Geographer
Laurence Simard-Gagnon1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Queen's University)
This viewpoint offers my experience as a graduate student and mother of two children, one with autism, as a starting point to problematize models of individual accommodation and resilience within academia. Based on a liberal framework of human rights, such models are what presently allow my pursuit of a doctoral degree without fear of direct discrimination or exclusion due to my family status. However, they also individualize the anxieties of attempting to address the multiple needs of my well-b...
7 Citations Source Cite
Cited By2
Newest
Corey McAuliffe (University of Toronto), Ross Upshur46
Estimated H-index: 46
(University of Toronto)
+ 1 AuthorsErica Di Ruggiero9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Toronto)
The ways in which global health students experience trauma/distress while conducting global health fieldwork is understudied. No identifiable literature addresses the risks to students’ mental well-being, although physical wellness checks exist. Importantly, global health practitioners are at greater risk than the general population for moral distress, secondary-traumatic stress disorder, vicarious traumatization, compassion fatigue, burnout, stress, and anxiety. Students face increased risks (e...
Source Cite
Published on Sep 1, 2018in Nature Geoscience 14.39
Cédric M. John18
Estimated H-index: 18
(Imperial College London),
Saira Bano Khan (City University London)
Field work is an important and valued part of geoscience research, but can also serve as a source of stress. Careful planning can help support the mental health and wellness of participants at all career stages.
Source Cite