In the neoliberal university, how do doctoral candidates (PhDs) and early career academics (ECAs) experience time? This analysis brings together two qualitative studies in Australian universities: interviews with 64 PhD candidates, and a survey of 522 ECAs on teaching and research experience, and identity and career development. The data is analysed using Ylijoki and Mäntylä’s (2003. “Conflicting Time Perspectives in Academic Work.” Time & Society 12 (1): 55–78. doi:10.1177/0961463X03012001364) categories of academic time: scheduled, timeless, contracted and personal. Reading Derrida’s Specters of Marx (1994) enables us to extend this framework to include deferred time. We argue that the dominant affect of deferred time is anxiety. As political subjects of the university, following Derrida’s line of argument, participants are in a deferred state of waiting for academic careers that are yet to come.
- academic work
- doctoral candidates: early career academics