It is about time: Chronotopes and the experience and negotiation of space-time throughout PhD candidature

Luke Macaulay, Tanya Davies

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Throughout the duration of one’s PhD candidature, the concept and experience of time is inescapable and often never far from one’s thoughts. Within institutional university settings, time and the economic accounting of time is a cornerstone of output and accountability: how much time should be allocated to tasks, how long tasks should take, how time is managed, and how time is viewed as a commodity that can be divided and shared, bought, traded, or taken away. Consequently, such expectations implicitly assume there is a correct way time should be experienced and implemented. As PhD candidates, the authors of this chapter are sensitive to the ways that systems, structures, and stratifications of time within institutions attempt to streamline a PhD candidature in linear and economic ways, regardless of the lived experience of time spatially and temporally. This chapter draws on the Bakhtinian chronotope to challenge the simplified narrative forms of academic work complicit in institutional stratifications of time and provides an account of the unique ways academic work may be experienced from moment to moment. In doing so, the authors propose an imagining of time and the lived experience of academic work as a process of becoming, rather than the accounting of tasks and output upon a constrained linear timeline.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWellbeing in doctoral education
Subtitle of host publicationInsights and guidance from the student experience
EditorsLynette Pretorius, Luke Macaulay, Basil Cahusac de Caux
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9789811393020
ISBN (Print)9789811393013
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Sept 2019


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