Becoming Reading Group

reflections on assembling a collegiate, caring collective

Melina Ey, Kathleen Mee, Kristian Ruming, Pauline McGuirk, Kevin Dunn, Miriam Williams, Sarah Wright, Susan Caves, Faith Curtis, Mathew Kearnes, Eliza Crosbie, Tom Baker, Paul Hodge, Ryan Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In neoliberalising universities, collegial and collective practices such as reading groups are often positioned by students, staff and managers as less important than meeting individual KPIs (such as producing research publications, seeking research grants, or meeting the increasing demands of producing quality teaching outcomes.) However, reading groups can be vital for cultivating caring collectives and spaces of collegiality. In this paper we use assemblage thinking to explore 25 years of a Geography reading group at the University of Newcastle. The paper addresses two questions: what does reading together do and make possible; and how might we think about the labours of reading together as a way of building caring collectives. The paper draws on reflections from 24 past and present members of reading group to explore how these kinds of academic practices nourish our working lives.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalAustralian Geographer
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2020


  • Collegiality
  • academic practice
  • assemblage
  • care
  • postgraduate education

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