Under the Shadow of Time: Where Indicators and Academic Values Meet

  • Ulrike Felt University of Vienna Department of Science and Technology Studies
Keywords: chronopolitics, indicators, accountability, metrics, academic work


This essay aims at relating the growth of indicators to the shifting temporalities of academic work. Drawing on research into academic work and lives but also on professional experiences, I develop the notion of chronopolitics to analyze the politics of time governing academic knowledge production, work and evaluation. Drawing on a range of examples, from the projectification of academic work and lives to the epistemic effects of strictly timed career structures, I point to the multiplication of theatres of accountability and to the shifting focus of academic work from a logic of discovery to one of delivery. In conclusion, I suggest moving beyond a debate of how to best play the indicator game, to a more fundamental critique of the entanglement of indicators and time, and to a re-timing of research as a political project.

Author Biography

Ulrike Felt, University of Vienna Department of Science and Technology Studies

Professor of Science and Technology Studies

Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences

17 Feb 2017
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