Hi everyone, I’m Lisa Emerson, one of the primary investigators for this research. I work at Massey University, in the beautiful country of Aotearoa New Zealand, as Professor of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and the Director of Teaching and Learning in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Over the years, I’ve engaged with a range of research interests, including academic and scientific writing, academic integrity, and information literacy. A feature of my research is an interest in enabling hidden or subjugated voices to be heard, as a way of effecting change (if you’re interested in reading more about what motivates me to use this approach to research, I write about it in the prologue of a recent book: https://wac.colostate.edu/books/perspectives/emerson/). My motivation for developing this study is a recent experience of gaslighting within my workplace (sadly, at the hands of another woman) and listening to the stories of friends and colleagues. I strongly believe that gathering hidden stories about women’s experience of bullying in higher education, and enabling them to be heard, is a powerful way to challenge both individual attitudes and beliefs and institutional narratives about power and behavior in academia.
Hello, Everyone–or Hey, Y’all as I might say in my home state of Georgia, USA. I’m Susan Thomas, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Sydney, Australia. I am the Founding Director of the Writing Hub and Writing Program (now the Department of Writing Studies), the first of its kind in Australia. After a long period of start-up work in the program, I am completing two monograph projects with the WAC Clearinghouse: Carrying Culture: Writing Across Curricula, Boundaries, and Borders, and The Zen WPA: Navigating the Unexpected in Writing Program Administration. My research focuses primarily on theories of writing, grounded in cognitive rhetoric, with a particular interest in affect and its relationship to mental health. I am also interested in life writing, feminist rhetorics, and Native American rhetorics, especially as they relate to storytelling as a means of empowerment and self-care. Like Lisa, my interest in this project stems from my own and others’ experience of bullying, mobbing, and gaslighting at the hands of other women, which has regrettably become more common with increasing managerialism in the corporate university. Having grown up in a South Georgia farming community in the seventies, barely a decade after Civil Rights, some of my earliest memories are of discrimination and mistreatment, but until relatively recently, I’d experienced neither firsthand. My aim for this project is to expose both the prevalence of bullying in academia and its impact on the physical and mental health of targets so as to equip women with the knowledge and solidarity they need to speak out, get help, and move on.