At times, it proves to be difficult to find a balance between trying to build an
academic career and conforming to existing evaluation criteria while also
confronting and tackling hegemonic and institutionalized ideas of what constitutes good research. It’s a delicate exercise where the challenge to play the game while simultaneously trying to change the rules of the game, often leads to ethical, methodological and strategic dilemmas. Being involved in research on identity and a commitment in identity politics shapes, questions, challenges, and redefines our own identity and touches upon the researcher’s body. Consequently, our personal and professional lives are intrinsically linked and the motivation to shape or change academic and political debates only grows stronger.
The workshop "Academia and identity - when research meets activism" held in March 2015 in Leuven, aimed to create a space to discuss these complex issues. This magazine collects the stories and reflections of the workshop’s participants and provides insight into their balance between academic work at the one hand, and the commitment to the politics of identity on the other – in all its messiness and potential failure.