top of page

News: Article on Time & Faculty Life; Cfp on 'HE for Good: Teaching and Learning Futures'


"Navigating Shomoyscapes: Time and faculty life in the urban Global South"

This article by Riyad A. Shahjahan, Tasnim A. Ema, and Nisharggo Niloy is now available. Click here to download a free copy.

The authors presented a talk based on this paper when it was a work-in-progress at the first ACUSAfrica webinar on the 17th of March 2021. Carolina Guzmán-Valenzuela, professor at the University of Tarapacá, and Fadia Dakka, senior research fellow at Birmingham City University, were the respondents. Below is the recording of that talk.

Shahjahan, R. A., Niloy, N., & Ema, T. A. (2021). Navigating Shomoyscapes: Time and faculty life in the urban Global South. Time & Society.

Article Abstract

We aim to decenter the Global North knowledge production about time in higher education (HE) by introducing and applying a culturally sustaining concept of shomoyscapes. While the Bengali word “shomoy” literally means “time,” it goes beyond “clock time” and also refers to memories, present moments, feelings, a particular duration, and/or signifier for a temporal engagement. A shomoyscape entails a complex temporal landscape of different temporal categories, constraints, agencies, and to various degrees, embodies hybrid times (i.e., modern time coexisting with non-linear local/traditional time).

Drawing on interviews and participant observations with 22 faculty in Dhaka, Bangladesh, we demonstrate the efficacy of shomoyscapes by illuminating how faculty experience, contest, and manipulate their time(s) amid rapid socio-economic transformations of Dhaka, an urban, Global South mega city. We show how shomoyscapes manifest as faculty experience temporal constraints, such as (a) traffic, (b) party-based university politics, and (c) caring for others. We suggest that Bangladeshi faculty experience and navigate shomoyscapes that are constituted by both larger temporal constraints (spatial, structural, or relational) and their temporal agency in response to these same constraints.

Using a temporal lens, we contribute to a more in-depth understanding of the experiences of faculty working and living in an urban, Global South context, highlighting how life “outside the academy” spills over into working “inside the academy,” rather than vice versa. We argue that shomoyscapes offer a useful temporal heuristic to help contextualize human/social relations in different arenas of social life that would otherwise remain invisible.

images and text of the speakers
Invitation poster to the webinar

Call for Chapters:

Higher Education for Good: Teaching and Learning Futures

Prof. Laura Czerniewicz (University of Cape Town, South Africa) and Dr. Catherine Cronin (National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, Ireland (to December 2021); Independent scholar (2022) invite contributors, globally, to share nuanced critical perspectives, to rethink histories, to offer alternative imaginaries of higher education for good, and to consider preferable futures. The chapter topics they suggest could include:

  • Current narratives of the future of HE, especially in terms of teaching and learning and its surrounds

  • Addressing unevenly distributed HE futures

  • Resisting techno-corporate narratives and extractive surveillance

  • Epistemic justice in HE

  • Social justice futures in teaching and learning in HE

  • Higher education institutions as Open Knowledge institutions

  • Alternative approaches to understanding HE, e.g. capabilities approach, design justice approach

  • Pedagogies for teaching and learning futures, e.g. trauma-informed pedagogies, pedagogies of care, open pedagogies

  • Collaborative and cooperative business models for teaching and learning

  • The Commons in teaching and learning in HE

  • Data justice in teaching and learning

  • Ethics and ethical frameworks for HE

  • Responsibilities of higher education in/to society

  • Strategies for change, from within and without

  • Storytelling for the future university

For full concept paper and call see here.



bottom of page