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Keynote Speakers

Liz Morrish

Academic identities: from tenured autonomy to indentured servitude  


This keynote will look at the evolving identities imposed on academics and embodied by some, but considered aberrant and discomforting by many academics who have striven to critique and resist them. Taking the last 40 years in the UK, I will trace a number of different framings of the ideal academic which have been imposed by politicians in order to try and change academic cultures. The drivers of these changes have been ideological, economic and legislative. This paper will discuss how these have emerged from the political and economic context. I start in the early 1980s with the Thatcherite revolution which led the way for the neoliberal reforms in the next decades. I will identify successive interventions seeking to mould: 

  • The efficient academic  

  • The entrepreneurial academic  

  • The panoptical academic  

  • The metricised academic  

  • The managed academic 

  • The casualized academic 

  • The unfree academic 

In what ways can these identities be performed, subverted or refused? What is the point of universities and academic careers if we no longer have the autonomy to define our own academic identities? Can the arts and humanities survive in a context where the very notion of criticality is being designed out of the academy?  

Liz writes a blog: Academic Irregularities  


Liz Morrish is an independent scholar. She is also an honorary Visiting Fellow at York St John University, UK. For over 30 years she taught linguistics at Nottingham Trent University, UK. Since leaving academia, Liz has found it easier to reclaim academic freedom and she continues to research and write in the areas of higher education policy and Critical University Studies. Her most recent book, co-authored with Helen Sauntson, is Academic Irregularities: Language and Neoliberalism in Higher Education, Routledge 2020.  In 2019, Liz wrote Pressure Vessels, a paper for the UK think tank, the Higher Education Policy Institute, on the epidemic of poor mental health among university staff.  

Liz writes a blog: Academic Irregularities  

Sharon Stein

Redressing Harm and Repurposing the University

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Over the past decade, students and social movements around the world have called on institutions of higher education to reckon with their historical and ongoing role in the reproduction of social and ecological violence. This lecture asks how universities, and those of us who work and study within them, might ethically respond to these calls by confronting our individual and collective complicity in systems premised on coloniality and unsustainability. In particular, it invites engagement with the challenges, complexities, and possibilities of enacting material and relational repair in ways that could both redress harm and repurpose our institutions to be more relevant and responsible in the context of the current polycrisis.


Sharon Stein is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. As a white settler scholar, her work is focused on developing practices of self-reflexive critical inquiry that support people to unlearn colonial habits of knowing and being, and learn to cultivate deeper forms of relational maturity and intergenerational accountability. She is the author of Unsettling the University: Confronting the Colonial Foundations of US Higher Education, as well as the founder of the Critical Internationalization Studies Network, and a founding member of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective and the Critically Engaged Climate Education Hub.

Qinghua Chen (The Education University of Hong Kong), Phoebe Siu (Hong Kong Polytechnic University) &
Angel M. Y. Lin (The Education University of Hong Kong)

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Self-Care Amidst Neoliberal Pressures in Academia: Diverse Voices

Qinghua Chen


This keynote intertwines the perspectives of an early career researcher (Qinghua), an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) lecturer (Phoebe), and a seasoned academic (Angel). Each one is making their unique journey through the neoliberal landscape of the contemporary university. Collectively, we emphasize the importance of self-care strategies in the face of escalating neoliberal pressures. We advocate for maintaining a genuine interest in research, seeking the societal relevance of our work, and fostering supportive academic networks. We highlight the challenge of resisting the co-opting influence of neoliberalism while nurturing hope for change, and share our survival strategies in a self-care affirming space. We unite in our call for a critical appraisal of the impact of neoliberalism on higher education and those within it, with a goal to sustain both individual and collective well-being. This keynote seeks to ignite a renewed focus on hopeful transformations in the face of the global neoliberalist incursion into higher education.


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Phoebe Siu

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Angel Lin

Qinghua Chen is a postdoctoral fellow at the English Language Education Department of the Education University of Hong Kong. His current research interests include subjectivity, emotions, and identity of pre-service teachers and English language learners. He is particularly interested in exploring how these factors shape teaching and learning experiences in multicultural and multilingual contexts.

Phoebe Siu is a lecturer at College of Professional and Continuing Education, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Siu is a doctoral candidate (English Language Education) at The University of Hong Kong. Her doctoral thesis investigates the potentials and challenges in promoting a heterglossic approach to content and language integrated learning (CLIL) for Public Relations Writing in EMI higher education. Prior to her doctoral study in English language education, Siu has completed her M. Phil. thesis on Histories and Fictions in post-colonial Hong Kong contexts, her M.S.Sc. training in Corporate Communication, School of Journalism and Communication, along with her MEd. thesis on Language across the Curriculum in EMI higher education, focusing on the curricular and pedagogical connects and disconnects in EAP classrooms designed for Healthcare and Nursing tertiary students in Hong Kong.

Angel Lin is Chair Professor in the Department of English Language Education at the Education University of Hong Kong.  Professor Angel Lin serves on the editorial boards of international research journals including International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Language Policy, Language and Education, Language, Culture and Curriculum. Her research and development of the Multimodalities-Entextualization Cycle (MEC) serves as a critical pragmatic heuristic for educators and researchers to navigate and disrupt the often monoglossic institutional spaces by both valuing and enabling translingual, multimodal, and multisensory meaning making actions with implications for equity, diversity and inclusion in education.  She is the current Chair of the American Educational Research Association’s Special Interest Group (SIG), Semiotics in Education, and has been a part of the SIG’s executive board since 2020. She started the TL-TS Research Channel on YouTube ( in 2019 and has organized over 30 research seminars featuring both seasoned and emergent scholars in applied linguistics and education from all over the world.

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