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The neoliberal university and the neurotic academic: A textual analysis of ITV drama Cheat

Wilkinson, C, Silverio, SA and Wilkinson, S (2020) The neoliberal university and the neurotic academic: A textual analysis of ITV drama Cheat. Journal of Further and Higher Education. ISSN 0309-877X

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Abstract

Through a textual analysis of four episodes comprising the ITV 1 psychological thriller Cheat, this paper explores depictions of the English Higher Education [HE] landscape and of the lived experiences of being an academic in the television drama. We achieve this through a focus on the fictional HE institution where the drama is set–St. Helen’s College–and the central character, university Lecturer: Dr Leah Dale; who is employed on a fixed-term contract and is applying for tenure. This paper engages with the following themes: Emotional Labour; Precarity of Fixed-Term Contracts; and Imposter Syndrome. Insight gleaned through the textual analysis contributes to the understanding of how academics might be navigating and negotiating the neoliberal university. In particular, we highlight the implications of contractual precarity in HE and the fragility of identity which is experienced by some academics. As such, this paper goes some way towards remedying the deficit of scholarship on the lived experiences of being a contemporary academic. © 2020, © 2020 UCU.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Further and Higher Education on 22/04/2020, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0309877X.2020.1751093
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1301 Education Systems
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions: Education
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2020 11:43
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2020 11:45
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/0309877X.2020.1751093
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13939

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